THE BLOG

Achieving Small Business Success in 2014

01/16/2014 09:46 am ET | Updated Mar 18, 2014

As small business owners and entrepreneurs usher in the New Year, many are evaluating their business in 2013 and making resolutions to achieve the best 2014. According to Manta's End-of-Year Small Business Wellness Index, nearly 75 percent of small businesses reported a successful 2013, and 83 percent of small business owners say they are optimistic that 2014 will be even better.

With a belief that business will continue to flourish in the new year, entrepreneurs and small business owner's New Year's Resolutions are grounded in propelling their business with new plans and priorities. To help small businesses achieve success in 2014, here are a few tips business owners should consider to fulfill their resolutions throughout the year.

Align Your Personal and Professional Vision
This year, establish a vision for your business that is aligned with your personal vision. Your personal health and professional health impact each other, so it's important for you to maintain both with goal setting. According to Manta, the top professional goal for small business owners is focusing on marketing efforts and the top personal goal is exercising more and maintaining a healthier diet. Achieve your vision by aligning these goals and then setting achievable, measurable tactics around each that can be tracked throughout the year.

Create Your Own Advisory Board

This year consider developing your own Small Business Advisory Board. Don't worry, it's not as difficult as it sounds. This can be in a more traditional format with knowledgeable experts, or you can create your own virtual boardroom through input from online forums, reading industry expert's blogs or joining online community groups.

Small business owners say they rely on a variety of resources for business advice, including other business owners (27 percent), industry experts (20 percent), customers (16 percent), the Internet (14 percent), friends/family (13 percent) and other sources (10 percent). If marketing is one of your top priorities like nearly half of small business owners polled, then finding an online community or expert specialized in marketing can advise you on how to best create a strategic marketing plan that meets your 2014 goals. You don't need to have all the answers.

Give and Grow
Giving back to those in your network -- whether employees, other small business owners or loyal customers -- will help you grow your own network and business. Exchanging business advice, developing strong employees and enhancing your relationship with loyal customers is important and will be the fuel that will make your business thrive. Investing in those most important to your business is an important investment for the future of your company's growth.

By establishing a vision mapped to strong goals that are supported with guidance from your Advisory Board and those who are most important to your business, you and your business will be set up to accomplish a healthy and wealthy 2014!