New year's resolutions every small business owner should make
Lilieth Dilworth, Lily's Beauty Barn owner, serves a customer.

THE new year – 2023 – has begun. We are fresh into January and with that comes the inevitable: new year's resolutions. For some, that means eating more fruits and vegetables, going to the gym, reading more, learning to cook, you name it. Hopefully, as we approach the end of January, everyone is still dedicated to the mission. For small business owners and entrepreneurs, these resolutions are especially important.

The new year presents opportunities for businesses to set goals, strategise, and stay accountable throughout the year. Whether it's opening a new location, diversifying your product offering, or becoming more hip to new options, like accepting digital payments with "Di Money App", Lynk, business owners can take advantage and make the most out of the new year by being clear and precise about what their goals are and how to achieve them.

Lilieth Dilwoth of Lily's Beauty Barn knows a thing or two about the entrepreneurial scene in Jamaica. For the past 10 years Lily's Beauty Barn, operating out of Shop 1 Savannah Plaza, has grown from strength to strength, making a name for itself in the local beauty industry. Guided by the pillars of excellent customer service and teamwork, Lily's Beauty Barn is a one-stop shop for beauty supplies – from hair care, skincare, and nail care to cosmetics, in-house make-up services, and a delivery service and supplier to other industry service providers and practitioners.

Having run a successful business for over a decade, Dilwoth knows the value of planning ahead and setting smart goals and objectives for her business and her team.

"As a business owner, defining your goals cannot only help you and your team to visualise success for your company, but it can help you to drill down on the 'what' and the 'how', and really track your company's progress. Setting realistic goals makes a huge difference for the performance, growth, and success of your business and your team," she shared.

Here are Dilwoth's top 5 tips for small business owners planning for growth and success in 2023.

1) Digital, digital, digital – We live in the age of social media. It is so important to establish a strong, engaging, and consistent presence there, especially when trying to reach a younger audience. That is a key channel to use to let people know about any and everything relating to your business – your service or product offering, specials, opening hours, participation in events, or pop-ups. Social media really is becoming the new Google, so staying on the cusp of digital trends and maintaining your digital presence is key.

2) Branding is key – It is critical to be acutely aware of the fact that you operate in a space with other players in the market. In order to stand out and make a bold impression, branding is extremely important – from your logo, team uniforms, flyers, pull-up banners, graphics, and all other collateral. Also be mindful that your brand extends beyond the physical items and things people can see, touch, and feel, your brand also has everything to do with customer service and the experience people have from the moment they walk through the door, call, WhatsApp or direct message (DM) your business until their transaction is made. Everything counts.

3) Build your database – Your database of customers – your contacts, your tribe, your community – is one of the most important things you can build. Be sure to collect contact information for the people who stop by your store, engage with you on social media, or visit your website. Add them to your contact list to receive e-mails, special offers, notices, catalogues, and WhatsApp communications. This will outlast social media.

4) Ensure you are equipped with multiple payment methods – The reality is that people don't always walk with cash, sometimes you won't have enough change, and card machines can be slow and unreliable. We always ensure that we can adequately facilitate the most convenient method of payment for our customers so you never miss a sale; in fact, we've recently added Lynk as a payment method so that we can accept cashless from our customers' phones for instant transactions that are safe, convenient, and reliable.

5) Reassess your financial goals – The beginning of a new year is a good time to look back on the previous year to see how you either met or fell short of your financial goals. Focus on the strengths of your business and turn your resources toward growing in those areas. Depending on how your year went, you might be feeling confident to take more risks in the new year. Reviewing your budget and identifying where you can cut back on expenses can free up resources to put toward new ventures.

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