The 10 Best 2018 Resolutions for Small Business Owners

  •    Law graduate and journalist who specializes in helping entrepreneurs market and grow their businesses.

The new year is the perfect time to start with a fresh slate and create goals that will reinvent your business and enrich your personal life. But as a business owner, it can be tough to decide which resolutions are worthwhile. Here are 10 resolutions that can help you start 2018 in a positive direction.

1. Grow Your Online Presence

Today, unfair or not, many people will automatically think less of a business that has an outdated website. So consider how you can update your website to meet modern standards. Is your site mobile friendly? Do you have a blog that you update frequently? Even something as simple as answering emails and social media comments within 24 hours can improve your online reputation.

2. Join a New Social Media Platform

Some business owners get so comfortable with their single social media account that they don't want to rock the boat. Resolve in 2018 to expand into one new social media site, whether it's Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat or another medium. You'll have an opportunity to meet new potential customers and you'll learn a lot in the process.

3. Charge What You're Worth

Many entrepreneurs are uncomfortable charging what they are truly worth, because they fear they're being greedy or taking advantage of others. But the truth is, if you think you're not getting paid enough for your work, you might subconsciously feel unappreciated and work less hard, leading to a lower quality product. This year, make sure you're not shortchanging yourself.

4. Become a Better Speaker

Do you feel uncomfortable talking in front of crowds? Do you get nervous if you're asked to lead a meeting? Seek out opportunities to give speeches so you can improve your skills. This could mean joining a group that teaches public speaking, such as your local Toastmasters or looking for a group on Meetup.com. Or you can take a public speaking class at a nearby college.

5. Learn a New Skill

What skill could you learn in 2018 that will help your business? For example, learning coding might help you enhance your own websites or create that app you've been wanting to make. Whether it's coding, marketing, graphic design, a new language or accounting, sign up for a college class or take a free class online from a site like Khan Academy.

6. Delegate More

Many entrepreneurs could grow their businesses even more if they just delegated. It's a simple concept, but it can sometimes be really difficult to let go. Do you have the funds to hire a new employee? Or do you have an employee you're not utilizing enough? Your job as the business owner is to focus on the mission. Don't be afraid to give smaller, daily tasks away so you can steer the ship.

7. Refocus Your Mission

When was the last time you took a step back and considered your original vision? Whether it's your business's mission or your personal life mission, it's easy to get distracted. It's easy to come up with so many ideas that you forget the original reason you started your business. So think about your original goals and consider whether each project you're doing has that goal as the endgame. You and your business will thrive if you stay focused.

8. Achieve a Long-Awaited Personal Goal

Do you have a personal goal that you keep putting off? It's easy to let the tyranny of the urgent distract you from the bigger picture. Maybe you've been wanting to write a book or learn to play an instrument, but you keep putting that goal at the bottom of your to-do list. Experiencing new things — even while pursuing a goal that's not related to your job — can actually give you more creativity and increase your productivity. This year, pursue that personal goal. Break it into smaller, achievable steps that you can take every month.

9. Replace a Bad Habit with a Good One

This is the key to keeping your resolutions. For example, if you want to lose weight and find that snacking while watching TV is a big temptation for you, then you can't just quit snacking. You need to replace that habit with something healthier: either eating a healthier snack, sipping on tea or doing something with your hands like crocheting while you watch TV. What bad habits can you replace in 2018?

10. Keep Your Work-Life Balance

It's easy as an entrepreneur to get pulled into working all the time and lose a work-life balance. You feel like you could always be making money, and it just seems like the tasks are never finished. Well, you'll likely never hit a magical point where every item on your to-do list is completed, especially not while you work for yourself. That's why it's vital to schedule "me time" and make sure you stick to it. This year take time to smell the roses. Spend more time with your family, friends and pets. You won't regret it.

The new year is the perfect time to reevaluate your business priorities and start fresh. Even if you only make good on a few of these resolutions, you'll be ahead of the game.