With the last of the cracker jokes cracked and the leftovers almost all polished off, the year that was 2018 has come to a close, inviting us to reflect on the previous 12 months.

There may be personal resolutions, to eat healthier, exercise more, travel to new places, try new things – but for small business owners, this time of year provides the perfect opportunity to look back and try to figure out what we can do to make our business stronger, happier and healthier in the coming months.

So as businesses return to their normal working hours, here are a few of our favourite (and quite achievable) resolutions for small businesses in 2019.

1) Be More Social

If you work from home, run your own company or are trying to become established as a startup, it can feel like a pretty lonely business sometimes. But there are so many people out there in a similar position who can make life a little sweeter through shared experience. To find fellow freelancers and small business owners, seek out local networking events, consider coworking or renting office space. You can even find support and other like-minded professionals by joining in the conversation on social networks with the vibrant and friendly business communities on Twitter and LinkedIn.

2) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…

…Delegate it instead. When you look back on last year, do you shudder to think of the sheer amount of hours spent on admin and other tasks that take up lots of time but don’t exactly play to your strengths? Then, maybe it’s time to consider assigning some of these duties that you consider to be necessary evils to those who view these tasks to be their absolute bread and butter. We’re thinking accounting, mail handling and secretarial services – but to name a few. Yes, it means you will need to pay someone else for work you normally do yourself but hiring someone who’s much more efficient and experienced in these tasks will help free up all that (unpaid) time you would spend wading through these jobs, so you can concentrate on paid projects around your own area of expertise.

3) Look for Collaboration Opportunities

The saying, ‘two heads are better than one’ comes to mind here. Developing strong partnerships with other companies can offer a real boost to your business and allow you to strive for bigger clients that you might not have been able to entice on your own. If you find someone who you work well with, trust and respect – don’t let the opportunity to collaborate pass you by.

4) Plan for Growth

Set a goal at the beginning of the year to grow your business in some way. Whether it’s taking a leap from sole trader to limited company, setting up virtual office services for your business, moving from your home office into a serviced office or hiring your first employee – aiming to achieve something that takes your company to the next level within the next 12 months can be a great motivator and ensures that your business is moving in the right direction.

5) Take Time for Regular Reflection

Taking time out once a year to think about what you could do to improve your business is all well and good, but wouldn’t it great if you kept up this habit of reflecting and re-assessing your businesses strengths and weaknesses all year round? So why not try scheduling in some time, maybe once on the last Friday of every month, to take stock of where you are, where you’re heading and where you want to be – to give your business a sense of direction that goes beyond resolution season.

We all know that personal resolutions often have a habit of falling by the wayside – but hopefully these business resolutions will help provide focus at the beginning of the year to allow your business to achieve more over the next 12 months.

Whatever resolution you make for your business this year, we wish you all the best for 2019.

Happy New Year!