It’s the season of resolutions — have you quit yours yet or are you still going strong?
You may have made resolutions to eat less, exercise more, read more books and watch fewer digital screens, but have you forgotten to make a resolution to improve your business?
If so, here are three I think every business and business owner could benefit from:
1. Embrace big data
No matter what size business you have, big data can be a big influence on how you strategise and run your business. More and more, even very small businesses can benefit from big data — whether they use tools and apps that help them understand their own web presence, for example, or look at freely available data on their customers, industry, and sales trends to help make business decisions.
It’s important for every business to know and understand your key metrics: the numbers and data points that determine whether or not your business goals are succeeding. From solopreneurs all the way up to multi-national conglomerates, embracing data to aid decision-making is the number one resolution I would suggest for 2016.
2. Fail Faster
Many businesses and business owners are terrified of failure, but if there’s one thing we can learn from startups and startup culture, it’s that there is a distinct benefit to failing, and failing fast.
In many technology startups, and indeed IT departments in many other industries, the idea is to work in short creative bursts, producing iterative work, and improving on it for each iteration.
The benefit of this method is that you can pivot quickly when you see something that isn’t working or when you discover something that works better. And what works (or doesn’t) could be anything from a product or feature to a marketing message or the customer base you’re trying to attract.
How can you build more agile iterations into your business and what benefits might you see? Failing faster, in many cases, means ultimately succeeding faster, too.
3. Take care of your employees — including yourself
Perhaps you’ve noticed: some of the most successful businesses in the world also have some of the happiest employees (think Google).
You might think there’s no way your small business can compete with onsite masseuses and a free cafeteria with a celebrity chef, but in truth you don’t have to. In many cases, what employees want aren’t more fluffy perks, but more opportunities to engage, feel heard, and take responsibility for projects.
In addition, whether you’re an employee or a small business owner, you’ve got to make your own health and wellbeing paramount as well. Maybe you can resolve to try out new productivity methods, with the ultimate goal being leaving work on time most days. Or maybe you’ll resolve to stand up more, walk more, have walking meetings, or bring fresh fruit or veg into the break room.
Whatever you decide is the right goal for you and your business, taking care of your employees means that the employees are much more likely to help take care of the business.
What resolutions are you implementing in your business this year? I’d be interested to hear your ideas in the comments below.