At the beginning of 2015, Gallup delivered some sobering news with regard to business startups.
At that time, it was reported that the U.S. came in at number 12 on the list of business startup rates among developed nations. We got beat out by Finland and Hungary.
The report also pointed out that for the first time since the Gallup number wonks began crunching statistics, business startups and closures crossed on the chart. Translation: Four hundred thousand new businesses are opening their doors while 470,000 are putting up the closed sign.
Translation: Four hundred thousand new businesses are opening their doors while 470,000 are putting up the closed sign.
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Are you in panic mode thinking about joining the ranks of failures? You don't have to be. That's the one great thing about businesses — there is always a chance to turn them around. Nothing beats a clean fiscal slate to put new business goals in place. If you’re looking for 2016 goals, here are six resolutions you can add you can add to your business "to-do" list:
1. Get Healthy
The most popular personal New Year's resolution is to get healthy. That is why so many gyms see a spike in membership on January 2nd. You can apply that same attitude to your business. Start with your staff. Are you fully engaging them with companywide wellness programs?
One of the top components of employees’ poor health (and for rising healthcare costs) can be attributed to the “underuse of preventive services.” That is where a robust wellness program can come into play.
When the whole company is supporting each other to lose weight, eat better and get active, then you'll find a lot less sick days being activated. That's going to have a positive impact on your productivity numbers.
2. Toss out the Junk
Are you embarrassed to invite prospective clients into your workspace? Are you making good use of all that workspace in terms of storage? What about your company's "curb appeal?"
These are all areas where you can improve upon with a little decluttering. It's time to shred those files that are no longer needed and to recycle your office e-waste. Time to do some spring cleaning in the warehouse or revamp the office. Don’t neglect the exterior, either. You'll be amazed at what a bit of pressure washing action can do for your building's exterior. Don't use the excuse that it’s your landlord's problem. This is your business. Take charge, and keep your workspace clean.
3. Boost Your Website
What happens when a prospective customer stumbles onto your company's website? Is there fresh content that is going to keep them engaged? Does it look like it represents a company that cares about the impression they want to make on the rest of the world? When was the last time you even looked at your traffic analytics?
It might be time to give your website a complete overhaul. Your company website is your virtual business card. Often, it is the only source your customer might look at to determine if they want to spend money on your service or product. Your website needs to be the best. No excuses.
4. Spread the Good Word About Your Business
You should have a company Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram profile. Or are they already in place, but you're taking a passive aggressive approach to your social media networking?
The stats don't lie. You can increase your company exposure, increase traffic to your company website and build up your brand with the use of social media.
It doesn't take much effort to engage your customer base through social media, but you have to invest the time. At a minimum, you should devote one hour a day to your social media networking.
5. Fire Up Your Expansion
"2016 is the year your business is going to grow exponentially." This should become your new mantra.
Back when you started, you probably had a business plan projecting out five, ten and even twenty years into the future. Have you hit your benchmarks? If so, then why aren't you expanding? Your only chance for growth is to take that next step toward expansion.
Whether it means setting targets for new customer acquisition, adding to your product line or reaching into foreign territories, the new business is not going to come to you. You have to go out there and bring the business back.
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6. Be a Better Boss
Not every boss has the opportunity to go undercover. However, you can still learn a lot from your staff by actively listening to their concerns, gripes and ideas. It might help to have some of these discussions away from the work campus. Let 2016 be the year you truly engage with your staff. After all, this is the team that is going to take your business to the next level. You want them fully vested in your goals.
The worst thing you can do for your business is to become complacent. That is probably what happened to all 470,000 of those businesses that went under.
Make these New Year's resolutions stick for your company. Work to keep your business lucrative, up-to-date and constantly growing in one way or another.