Five New Year’s resolutions for small business owners

December 23, 2021   ·   0 Comments

There is no question that the past year held its fair share of challenges. As 2021 ends, it’s an ideal time for business owners to reflect on the progress of their operations over the past 12 months, to celebrate their accomplishments and to think about how the enterprise could advance in the coming year. For entrepreneurs looking for ways to improve and expand their businesses, here are five resolutions that could help ensure success in 2022.

Schedule time to work on your business

Resolve to set aside regular time to focus on the business. At least once a month, review the books, analyze the sales charts, and figure out what has and hasn’t been working. Study the latest market trends and decide if there are new strategies that could be introduced to help promote and expand your business. Pick up the phone and ask a business mentor for advice on a particular challenge you might be facing. Spending dedicated time working on the business instead of in the business will help you to focus your energies on what is generating revenue and dismiss the activities that could be distracting you from your goals.

Make business planning a regular event

Reviewing and updating your business plan on a regular basis will help keep the business on target for continued growth. As the company evolves, many things can change, including the annual projections, number of employees, and financial targets. Monitoring your business plan regularly – and updating it at least annually will help you to assess the company’s performance and enable you to make changes as issues arise and opportunities present themselves.

Create a “to don’t” list

It can often feel as if there are not enough hours in a day to get all the important tasks accomplished.  Instead of focusing your efforts on a “to do” list, make a list of items that you are willing to stop doing.  Here are a few examples courtesy of author Tim Ferriss, of “The 4-Hour Workweek”. (  

  1. Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers — this often results in unwanted interruption and a poor negotiating position. Let it go to voicemail.

  2. Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time — have the desired outcome clearly defined with a stated objective and agenda listing the topics/questions to be covered.

  3. Do not let people ramble — a big part of “getting things done” is “getting to the point”

  4. Do not check e-mail constantly create a schedule around your peak inbox hours and onlycheck it at set times.

  5. Do not over-communicate with low-profit, high-maintenance customers — do an 80/20 analysis of your customer base in two ways – which 20% are producing 80%+ of your profit, and which 20% are consuming 80%+ of your time – focus on retaining the right customers.

  6. Do not work more to fix overwhelm; prioritize — the answer to fixing overwhelm is not doing more — it is defining the few things each day that can fundamentally alter your business and life.

  7. Do not carry a cell phone 24/7 — put your phone down and take a break at least once per day. You might be surprised to find that people do not expect an immediate response.

Improve business skills

While refreshing the business plan, include additional goals for 2022 that will challenge you to refine your entrepreneurial skills. There are many quality learning events and business-related workshops organized by the Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre each year. Led by expert advisors, these sessions present a wide range of business topics that may help you develop new skills or ideas that can in turn, improve your bottom line. Many are offered at no charge. Taking advantage of the local learning opportunities available allows you to invest in yourself and improve your business skills while also networking with other small business owners in the community. Learn more about the Orangeville & Area SBEC and sign up for workshop notifications at

Join a business organization or networking group

Collaborating with other small business owners helps to spark new ideas, refine old ones, and enables entrepreneurs to make great business connections. Whether it’s a group specifically designed for networking or an organization dedicated to a particular sector, getting involved with a business association can be very beneficial for new and existing business owners. There are many opportunities for business networking in the Dufferin region. The Dufferin Board of Trade (DBOT) offers engaging networking events throughout the year which include the Dufferin Women in Business network. Find out more about DBOT at The Orangeville & Area SBEC has recently introduced its own monthly “Forum” networking groups and invites interested entrepreneurs in all stages of business development. The confidential monthly meetings are designed to foster valuable connections, share experiences, and find solutions to business challenges participants face. To learn more, contact Mark Jamieson, Co-ordinator of the Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre.

Mark Jamieson is the Co-ordinator of the Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre. He can be reached at, 519-941-0440 Ext. 2270 or via cell phone at 519-942-6334.

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