Well, hello 2020 and a very Happy New Year to all.

As businesses have returned to work fully this week after the festive break, we’re resisting the temptation to talk about resolutions (unlike last year) and instead we’re thinking about goals for the year ahead.

The term ‘New Year’s Resolution’ is thrown about at this time of year with the implication that no-one really expects you to stick to them. But as we naturally look back at the year that’s gone and think about the year before us, it seems worthwhile to spend some time considering goals for your business in the coming year and to look to where you can improve and grow professionally.

So with that in mind, we thought we’d put together some possible aims or areas of improvement for you and your small business, so that you can really make the most of opportunities available throughout the year.

Get Organised

With the huge and ever-growing market of online business apps now available, it’s easier than ever to get your ducks in a row when it comes to company admin. Whether that means using an app to manage your time, stay in touch with your team, or to track your expenses, there are a load of genius online tools out there to help you get organised in 2020. This article lists just a few.

Build Your Audience

Once you’re an established business, you can start to feel more secure with a client base that you can depend on. But that’s no excuse for resting on your laurels. Taking your business to the next level by growing your audience becomes the new challenge.

The best ways to do this will be different for every business – but a few avenues you could explore might include developing your presence on social media, creating online/offline ad campaigns, improving your website visibility, attending relevant networking events or simply asking your existing clients for recommendations.

Delegate More

If you’re at a stage where you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that you have on your to-do list, maybe it’s time to start thinking about delegating some of your tasks to make your working life more manageable. Take a look at our recent post, 5 Tell-Tale Signs You’re Ready to Hire Your First Employee for some more advice on this.

Be Kind to Yourself

We talk a lot about this on the blog and on Twitter because we truly believe that looking after yourself is of utmost importance. If running a successful business means making yourself ill and unhappy, is that really a success?

Yes, it’s true that being the boss and the master of your destiny is incredibly hard work. This pressure can sometimes lead us to take on more than we should – becoming tired, overworked and both mentally and physically exhausted. But there are things you can do to avoid this and the start of the year is the perfect time to make plans that will help you achieve a better work-life balance. This could mean booking yourself a couple of holidays to look forward to in 2020 or finding someone to help you out in certain areas of your business, as mentioned above. This article from the Mental Health Foundation also provides a lot of very helpful advice on how to spot the signs of a unhealthy work-life balance and the things you can do to address this.

Measure Your Achievements

Remembering to look back at your goals on a monthly basis will help keep you on track throughout the year. You might even surprise yourself by how much you’re able to tick-off your list in a short space of time. This, in itself, can really help boost motivation and open you up to new opportunities. When one goal is achieved, think about whether there’s another goal you can add in its place. Is there more to be achieved in relation to this goal or is it time to shift your attention to other more challenging aims on your list?

Goals that you set may also need revisiting for other reasons; things may not work out how you expected and so you may have to pause, reassess and adjust your goals accordingly. After all, there’s no point stubbornly sticking to something if it’s clear it’s not working out for you and your business.

In short: unlike resolutions, that seem all but a memory by February, these goals should be something you refer to throughout the year, as you monitor your progress, celebrate your achievements and look for new opportunities.