With the New Year approaching, now is the time to start thinking about resolutions — for yourself and for your business. In this guide, we’re breaking down eleven potential New Year resolutions to help small businesses thrive.
Whether you’re ready to transform your workplace culture, reach new customers with a new marketing plan, or incorporate charitable giving into your business model, this guide will help you get started on whatever business goals you have in mind.
1. Create a healthier workplace culture
Workplace culture was a lynchpin of hiring and recruitment in 2022, and this trend will likely continue into 2023. According to 2022 surveys:
- 65% of millennials cared about company culture more than their proposed salary.
- 89% of workers felt that their employers should “have a clear mission and purpose.”
- 77% of people looking for a new job consider company culture before applying for a position.
Kiolbassa Smoked Meats in San Antonio, TX is an excellent example of a brand with a commitment to positive workplace culture. Not only do they offer competitive pay and benefits, but they also prove their commitment to cultivating their employee’s overall well-being by offering a health and wellness program and work-life balance tools for their staff.
If you’re a business owner looking to retain top talent and recruit fresh faces in 2023, it’s time to re-evaluate your workplace culture—an all-important factor for hiring in the coming year and for growing positive employee engagement.
How do you enhance workplace culture? Ask your employees what they want. Consider gathering anonymous feedback about:
- What your company is already doing well to support a positive environment
- What company leadership could do better to improve workplace culture
- How employees envision their ideal workplace
Use the information gathered to make tangible, employee-supported changes to your workplace.
#2 Stay up to date on relevant technology trends
Technology is constantly changing, but when was the last time you overhauled your office hardware? As you ring in the New Year, it may be time to take inventory of your tech assets, eliminate redundancies, make updates, and invest in new equipment. Why?
- Up-to-date tools can help employees achieve greater efficiency and productivity.
- New tools could offer cost-saving automation options for businesses.
- Redundant or obsolete devices can pose cybersecurity risks.
- Using the best possible tools can help you get a leg up on your competition.
After you evaluate the devices and software you’re currently using, establish a budget for updates and research which tech assets could help grow your business.
#3 Increase employee buy-in
As you make changes in the New Year, remember that employee buy-in is crucial to the success of systemic, organizational, product, or staffing changes. By asking for your employees’ buy-in, you’re showing them that their work is important to your business, which will motivate them to be more engaged and contribute their ideas.
Justin Goodbread, a Forbes Finance Councilmember, recommends a few ways that business owners can increase employee buy-in and bolster the success of their workplace changes:
- Build trust among your staff by welcoming vulnerability and building personal relationships. This will help your employees to feel comfortable in the workplace and encourage them to speak up more.
- Communicate why changes are happening as often as you describe how they’re happening. Doing so helps to increase awareness, create a desire for change, build knowledge about the company’s goals, and reinforce the brand’s mission.
- Provide incentives for employees to participate in new changes or support the transition period. Incentives will get your employees excited about shifts within the company, allowing for a more seamless transition.
- Be transparent about the goals, methods, and predicted impacts of any changing protocols. Transparency will instill trust among your staff and make sure they’re aware of and prepared for important changes in their day-to-day role.
- Adjust with your team—let employees set the pace for change. Doing so will help your employees contribute ideas, set goals, and contribute to your company’s broader vision.
#4 Refresh your marketing plan
Holiday marketing ideas were critical to support your business during the holiday season and throughout the past year. However, as you ring in the New Year, consider how a fresh approach to your marketing could increase your sales, brand awareness, and overall company success. As you revisit your marketing strategy, consider:
- Advertising to new markets and audiences – Think about how your product could be used in a new way by a different user group—then market to them.
- Revamping your branding – Embracing current branding and design trends could increase your brand awareness and re-introduce your business to past clients.
- Trying out a new marketing avenue – If word-of-mouth and print media have served you well, think about how you could branch out to the digital space to reach new clients.
- Running a focus group - What kind of messaging makes consumers want to buy your product? If you’re looking to get the most out of your new year marketing campaign, reach out to the people who can give you the most valuable feedback—potential customers.
#5 Amp up your online presence
Speaking of harnessing new avenues, when is the last time you invested in your business’s online presence? Don’t underestimate the power of the internet to connect potential clients with your products, services, and unique value propositions.
Whether your business is already social media-savvy or you’re looking for a simple entry into the digital marketing space, creating a Nextdoor Business Page is an excellent way to spread the word about your business. Nextdoor offers powerful tools for business owners, like:
- A customizable profile for your business
- Business Posts to connect with your current and potential customers
- Recommendations from real neighbors
- A place to post sales, promotions, and exciting company updates
With a Nextdoor Business Page, you can amp up your brand awareness in your own backyard.
#6 Increase your community outreach
Your company simply couldn’t succeed without the community around you. Whether you run a small landscaping company or a massive manufacturing facility, support from your neighbors helps keep your business afloat.
Not only does giving back increase positive brand awareness for your business, but showing your investment in your community also helps build relationships and trust. For an example of community outreach in action, check out Oelrich Construction in Jonesville, FL. Their STEAM Grant Program covers the costs for public school students to visit nearby science, technology, and innovation museums. This investment benefitting students shows that they are a business that prioritizes the overall well-being of their community.
You could follow in their footsteps by creating a fund for community or youth activities in your area, organizing events, or offering educational opportunities to people throughout your city.
#7 Incorporate charitable giving into your budget
If your business simply doesn’t have the time to organize a program, you could still inject some philanthropy into your business model by contributing to existing charitable organizations.
But with so many worthy organizations out there, how do you choose the right one? Look for an organization (or several) that:
- Speaks to your company values
- Supports a cause that’s important to your employees
- Shows particular support for youth or education
- Has a long history of local impact
When in search of a worthy cause, don’t be afraid to ask your staff for recommendations to get the whole team involved.
#8 Clean your office
If you’re looking for a fresh start in 2023, why not focus on the place where the magic happens—your office, workshop, or facility? After all, a clean workspace has a variety of benefits. An organized space allows employees to focus on their tasks and find the things they need to complete them. As a result, employees may experience less stress, leading to an overall happier work environment.
While there’s something to be said for spring cleaning, you can celebrate early with a deep cleaning of your office. And, if you don’t currently have one, consider creating a plan that can help keep the building clean year-round. Consider:
- Hiring a local cleaning service for weekly or monthly touch-ups
- Laying new doormats or boot brushes to reduce dirt build-up
- Setting up a schedule for staff to trade off simple chores, like:
- Wiping down bathroom counters
- Dusting ceiling fan blades
- Watering office plants
- Lightly cleaning windows and other glass surfaces
- Freshening up the kitchen or break room
#9 Invest in upskilling
Your staff is a vital part of your business. As the new year approaches, consider investing in them—their skills, efficiency, confidence, or team identity. Upskilling your employees sets them up for success and helps them work their way up into new roles. This, in turn, increases employee satisfaction and morale.
You can equip your employees with new skills this year by:
- Inviting suppliers and subcontractors to host Lunch and Learn events at your office
- Enrolling in professional development training that covers:
- New software
- Industry best practices
- Law or policy changes
- Asking union reps to personally offer memberships to your employees
- Attending professional conferences or other networking events
#10 Expand your network
Between holiday stress and the last-minute push to end Q4 on a high note, you may have had your head down recently. But with a New Year comes new opportunities to pop the bubble you’ve been working in—and perhaps it’s time to expand your business’s professional network.
Networking will allow you to meet other business professionals who may identify new trends, opportunities, or insights that you might not have thought of yourself.
While there are countless ways to pad out your contact list, here are a few sure-fire methods:
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce
- Host or attend a networking event with other industry professionals
- Table at a public-facing event, like a job fair
- Offer a joint promotion, product, or package with another local business
#11 Revamp your customer service
No list of business New Year resolutions would be complete without mentioning customer service—the backbone of any successful brand. In a 2022 survey, an overwhelming 95% of consumers reported that customer service was essential for their brand loyalty—and 60% said that they switched brands in search of better customer service.
In the New Year, think about how you can give special attention to your customers (especially the ones looking for product or service support). Consider:
- Hiring new staff to support your customer service systems and procedures.
- Surveying past clients to discover potential areas of improvement in customer service.
- Overhauling your ticketing system to reduce inefficiencies and improve response times.
- Introducing additional channels for customer support, like SMS text or customer support chat.
If you want to continue to attract customers, there’s no better time to invest in revamping your customer service.
Ring in the new year by connecting with your neighbors on Nextdoor
The eleven business New Year resolutions above can help you ring in the next year with enthusiasm, commitment, and growth in mind. From giving back to your community to making your office squeaky clean for the New Year, you have plenty of opportunities to welcome a new chapter in your business’s story.
At Nextdoor, helping businesses connect with nearby customers is what we’re all about. With a free Nextdoor Business Page, you can establish an online presence, connect with your neighbors one-on-one, share promotions and exciting company updates, and increase your brand awareness in your own backyard.
Your neighbors are ready to support local businesses like yours—connect with them by claiming your Nextdoor Business Page today.