The Road to Absolute Perfection by Bill Valway
by Bill Valway
January 7th, 2015

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Businesses

I look forward to the beginning of each year. It gives me some time to reflect on the year before and set goals on what I need to focus on based on what I’ve learned.

A lot changed in 2014 for AP Tinting. Our media division expanded, giving me new insight on online marketing strategies, our workforce grew making me realize how much I needed to learn legally and I made a lot of new connections through networking that have proven extremely rewarding.

What do you hope to accomplish by the end of this year? For me, there are 5 New Year’s resolutions I think every small business should focus on for 2015.

  1. Join a Business Organization or Networking Group

Business organizations or networks are great for sharing ideas and strategies related to your market or industry. Local small business organizations, such as BNI give you the opportunity to network with other leading companies in your region.  Most areas have a community-based business council or rotary, which is another excellent way to develop your business as well as improve you standing in the community.

Larger organizations specific to your industry are great for learning about the next big things, new strategies and ideas. Attending conferences and engaging in learning opportunities are huge benefits; however, your membership and events could be costly so be choosey.

  1. Learn More Legally

Don’t find yourself in a bind. With federal, state, and local laws constantly evolving, you’re going to want to make sure you know your rights. Even if you have a lawyer, you can never be too safe, especially if your small business plans on growing. More Employees = More Liability. Make sure you know your rights, rules, and regulations as an employer.

  1. Perfect Your Website & Online Marketing Strategy

Did you know Google processes over 40,000 searches per second? Online traffic continues to grow more and more each year. Are you making the most of your online presence?

5 Most Important Factors in a Website:

  • Responsive Design – ensure your website adapts well to all devices (desktop, tablets and mobile devices).
  • Keep It Simple – Make sure your products/services are clear, your contact info and location are visible and a contact form is easily found.
  • Good Content – Don’t take this lightly. Google values good content and rewards quality with better PageRanks. Take your time and do your research. If you’re stumped, ask an SEO professional.
  • Mixed Media – No matter how good your content is, too much can get boring. Make sure you have a variety of text, images, and video.
  • Call To Actions – Make your message clear – “Call us today!” or “Get Your Free Quote Now!”

Make sure you’re getting the most out of your website. Construct an online marketing plan and track your results in Google Analytics!

  1. Take Advantage of the Social Media Craze

The advantages of social media are immeasurable. Followers and fans can follow your social media account for free based on an interest in what your company does. Once you get them there, make sure you keep them engaged.

Consistent and engaging posting is key to keeping your audience in tune to what your company does. Some topics that make great posts for example are:

  • Recent news in your industry
  • Latest awards and recognition of your company
  • New products or services
  • Events for/related to your company

How you use social media for business differs based on your industry and the market you’re after, but it has proven effective in every industry. Consult a social media agency if you have questions about a strategy specific to your industry. Most are willing to give you advice at no charge.

  1. Keep Learningvalway

As a business owner, manager, or employee – never stop learning. As Alvin Toffler said, you have to be able to “learn, unlearn and relearn.” Whether it’s new things in your industry or not, learning will forever be extremely important to bettering yourself and the company you work for or own.

Attend conferences and workshops, explore online classes and watch tutorials and instructional videos. I personally am a member of Vistage, the world’s leading executive leadership organization. I learned early on that if I hang with people that have more wisdom than me and remain teachable, I can greatly accelerate my abilities as a leader and CEO.

Whether you choose to follow these 5 New Year’s resolutions for small businesses or not, make some goals for 2015 and revisit them throughout the year. Wishing you a successful 2015!

Bill Valway is the president and CEO of.

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  1. Bill,
    Your thoughts are right on point and very timely.

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