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Lose Weight and Other Small Business Resolutions

Is your small business fatAccording to a New Year’s Resolutions infographic we did, the number-one resolution last year was to spend more time with family. As an owner or employee of a small business, we highly recommend that you, too, get your priorities straight and resolve to spend more time with the people you love in 2014. This doesn’t mean that you have to let business slide. It just means you need to strive for a better work/life balance.

Other typical categories that are used for setting personal resolutions include: self-improvement, education, weight, finances and relationships. Using these same categories, you can also set company goals that can create small business success in 2014.

What are some self-improvement goals you might set for your business? Perhaps you’d like to grow your market share, introduce a new product or service, enter a new market, or the good ol’ business standby: increase revenue. Whatever the improvement, set a measurable goal that includes deadlines. For example: We will grow market share by 10%, to a total of 60% by July 1, 2014.

Education is an area that too many businesses see as an expense as opposed to an asset. Making the time to take a class, or paying for an employee to attend a conference, can be a very good investment that can pay for itself time and again over the years. Sometimes the education is merely a reminder of something you already know, but have forgotten to employ in your business practices. Other times, you learn new concepts that can help your company succeed and grow. Most staff members see the opportunity to get some training as a perk, which gives your business the added benefit of improving employee morale.

Does your business need to lose weight? Maybe you offer too many different products or services, have excess inventory or you’re overstaffed. Sometimes one of the healthiest things you can do for your company is to take an honest look at your situation and make some tough decisions to trim the fat.

Finance is an obvious area to set business goals. Go beyond bringing in revenue — calculate the true costs of your goods or services. This requires you to take into account both fixed and variable costs. Variable costs include the materials you use, the labor, packaging, shipping, depreciation of equipment and more. Fixed costs include office expenses like building rent, supplies and utilities, salaries and wages, advertising expenses, insurance and so on. If you’re not including these expenses as part of calculating your gross profit margin, you’re not getting a true picture of your revenue. This can give you a false impression of your financial situation. Resolve to establish an accurate cost of goods and true gross profit margin for each product or service.

Last, what kind of relationship goals do you have? Are you happy with all of your business partners? Could you benefit from outsourcing some tasks that don’t fall in your areas of expertise? And what about your relationships with customers? Commit to measurable tactics designed to improve specific business relationships.

We asked a lot of questions to get you thinking about your small business resolutions for 2014. Please let us know what you think and if you established resolutions for your small business. Comment below, write something on our 123Print Facebook wall, leave a message on our Google+ page, or tweet us your thoughts.

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