There is a a lot of excitement for the start of a new year of business. 2015 is here and while everyone is getting ready and preparing with their goals and aspirations for the new year (so are we), we decided to ask some entrepreneurs and business owners what their New Year's Resolutions were.
To Hire My 1st Full-Time Employee
My resolution for this year is to hire my first full-time employee. We've long been past the point when it made economic sense to hire and we have nearly 20 independent contractors assisting us, but thus far I've resisted hiring a full-time employee. It's a more of a mental hurdle than anything else; hiring an employee can be a scary step and the mark of a transition from a hobby business to a full-on, adult business. Also, like a lot to entrepreneurs, I fear the process (the never-ending barrage of applications/interviews) and the chance that the person you hire won't ultimately be the right fit. Despite all of that, I know it's the right step for my business and essential if we want to continue to grow at the same pace this year.
Thanks to Kyle Taylor, ThePennyHoarder.com!
Enrich the Lives of the Military Community
Our New Years resolution is to enrich the lives of the military community. One of the ways we want to do this is by continuing to have the most verified, military discounts on a mobile app so service members can easily access this information at their fingertips. Our 2015 goal is to get 25,000 new locations that offer a military discount added to the app by the end of the year. This will be achieved by our users adding military discounts they can find for service members, and by our team aggressively looking for savings that can be shared with our military.
Thanks to Cody McGraw, SCOUT Military Discounts
To Make Employees More Nourished
Molly's Suds is a natural products company so we want to create a culture where our employees have a place to nurture their creativity and growth within the company through outside-the-box work spaces, free healthy snacks and non-dictative break times and hours. If they feel like they need 15 minutes of yoga, or a bean bag in addition to their desk chair, we want to encourage that! Our goal for 2015 is to make our employees feel nourished while they help us grow!
Thanks to Monica Leonard, Molly's Suds, LLC!
Generating International Speaking Engagements
Our resolution for 2015 is to do a better job of generating international speaking engagements. Much as I love speaking in the U.S., there's nothing like meeting the challenge of connecting with audiences from another culture. And getting the chance to see the world in the bargain. It's a bit more difficult than filling my calendar with events in this country, so it's something we've gotten away from in the last couple of years. That's a trend I want to reverse.
Thanks to Barry Maher, Barry Maher & Associates!
To Hit Our Customer Acquisition Targets
Our new year's resolution is to hit our customer acquisition targets – in terms of numbers and more importantly customer acquisition cost (CAC). This will be our second tax season in business. Last year we hit our volume target, but our CAC was too high. This year we're targeting a much lower acquisition cost and are resolved to do this through hustle and grinding away on free and low cost channels. Why? Because if we can't lower our CAC we will die a slow death. Unlike our competition with deeper pockets, we can't spend $15 acquiring every customer.
Thanks to Bill Hendricks, Common Form Tax Software!
To Be Present
My New Year’s Resolution for my business is to be more present. Running a small business has been an extremely stressful, yet rewarding journey. There are so many tasks at hand owning a business which result in equally as many distractions. My resolution to be more present will hopefully allow me to not only pay closer attention to those around me, but to more efficiently listen, learn and delegate. The power of being present will, in return, relieve stress, remove unnecessary worry and overthinking. 2015, here we come!
Thanks to Lori Cheek, Cheekd!
Improve the Overall Quality
My new year's resolution for my business is to improve the overall quality of our services, add a personal touch in our deliveries, and to make our customers' experience something truly memorable. I'm a firm believer in providing an intricate amount of value to our clients, and the experience that comes with it is something that will stick to them for a long time to come. All of this will hopefully translate into even more sales opportunities, happier clients, and an even more motivated team at ZOOM Articles.
Thanks to Aaron Lin, ZOOM Articles SP!
Treat Myself Like a Client
My New Year's Resolution is to treat myself like one of my clients. As an expert organizer and author of multiple de-cluttering books one would expect my paperwork to be perfectly filed and my desk to be tidy. However that is not always the case; sort of like the shoemakers children not having any shoes. My office and home are in need of my professional touch, which allows me to be more relatable to my clients but can hamper my productivity. So this year I promise I will add myself to my client list ensuring I make the time to keep myself organized! After all the more personally organized I am the less stressed I'll be and the more I can accomplish.
Thanks to Jamie Novak, Novak Organizing LLC!
Working on Strategic Partnerships
My New Years goal for my business is to spend the first 30 days of the new year working on Strategic Partnerships with other business owners who work with my type of customer. The goal is to work out a way we can work together for synergistic returns on all our businesses together. Partnerships lower marketing cost for business owners and although I'm an online marketing company, I strongly believe offline relationships can grow businesses exponentially when formed correctly. I've recently sold my most recent company and as I'm forming my next business. I know the relationships I make in the beginning of this coming year will carry us all to great successes at the end of the year.
Thanks to Mike Kawula, Self Employed King!
Hire Slow and Fire Fast
My resolution is to hire slow and fire fast this year. Last year we went through 400% growth and employee turnover was a major growing pain. It's frustrating to spend the time and money to interview, train and develop a person who wasn't a good fit in the first place. I am going to take my time and do all I can to make the right hire. As soon as it becomes apparent someone is not going to work out, I will make a move and let them go.
Thanks to Amy Walker, Amy Walker Consulting!
Make Better Use of Social Media
As 2015 approaches my new year resolution for my business is to make better use of social media as a marketing platform. I was unaware of the power of social media until I saw it for myself. One of my happy customers shared their purchase on Pinterest and the pin went viral. Within a few day my revenue and traffic increased by triple digits. In 2015 I will be sure my business has a daily pin on Pinterest and also increase our Twitter and Facebook activity. Our social presence on social media will be our number one marketing plan.
Thanks to Lisa Chu, Black N Bianco Children's Formal Wear!
Positive Cash Flow
Our new years resolution is to get to cash flow positive. We're working on important problems where we need to plan for the long term. Sustainable cash flows are the best way to do that.
Thanks to Preet Anand, BlueLight!
Creating a Professional Development Schedule
In 2015, I resolve to spend less time randomly reading blog posts and other online information that catches my eye. Instead, I'm creating a professional development schedule of topics I want to learn about. When I see something of interest, I'll save it to Pocket and tag it with the name of the topic. Then when it's time to study that topic, I can easily find that information. I'll organize incoming newsletters and free downloads the same way, to be reviewed at the same time. This will allow me to be more focused and expand my knowledge more efficiently.
Thanks to Janet Barclay, Organized Assistant!
Work Smarter & Effectively
My New Years resolution for 2015 for CorpNet.com is to work smarter and more effectively with my time. I'm going to focus on quality vs quantity and I'm only going to invest my efforts on initiatives that are instantaneously adding to our bottom line and cut out the rest of the noise.”
Thanks to Nellie Akalp, CorpNet.com!
Set Better Boundaries
As most small business owners, I started my own company because I wanted to be my own boss, set my own schedule, and make lots of money. However, as most business owners find out once they embark on their dream, it's not all cookies and ice cream. In 2015, my resolution is to set better boundaries between work and home life, create more space for leisure, and outsource a lot of work. I've already taken steps to do this by getting rid of my laptop and purchasing a desktop which stays at my office. I've hired a virtual assistant and automated all my tasks which now only requires me work about 2 hours each day. I've also downloaded several apps for my desktop and phone that create more structure and organization for my work and personal life.
Thanks to Andrew Randazzo, Prime Medical Training
Hire More & Smarter
2015 is the year of planning and creating systems for my business. I spent too much time in 2014 doing last minute scrambles when getting things out to my customers, and pulling my own self in too many directions. My resolution for 2015 is to hire more and smarter. It's also about creating systems in my business that my touch points with my new customers are planned six months in advance. No more scrambling week to week and feeling like my business is going to crumble if I take a week off!
Thanks to Erin Smith, The Starters Club
Deliver Exceptional Service
My biggest goal for next year is to continue delivering exceptional service to my clients so they continue to be wowed when they least expect it. I have several events planned to express my gratitude for my 2014 clients. I plan to also increase growing my presence within my community through direct mail marketing my business, and community involvement.
Thanks to Raziel Ungar, Burlingame Properties!
4 Major Areas to Focus
We have a number of goals for the business in 2015. We have identified 4 major areas to focus on: music supervision for retail spaces, hotels, restaurants, and more; high end event production; DJ booking for venues; and to grow our social media network and leverage it into partnerships with other brands in music, nightlife, fashion, and media companies. To accomplish this, we are revamping our website and all promotional items to focus on these four services we can provide to clients, and we are growing our web traffic and social media profiles. Now that we have the experience and a large network to work with, we are going to only offer services to high end clients that can afford our new prices. In South Florida where we are based, there is no “go to” music brand in place yet like there are in other cities (Okayplayer in Philadelphia, Om Records in San Francisco, Hot Creations in Los Angeles, etc) so in 2015 we want to be the brand that people think of when they think of music in Miami.
Thanks to Adam Foster, Twilight Notes LLC!