What’s My New Year’s Resolution? — Experts Weigh In

Happy (almost) New Year! Entrepreneurs everywhere are getting ready to start the new year with their New Year’s resolution — or resolutions! We spoke to 41 entrepreneurs about what they plan to achieve in 2019 with their small businesses.

1. Volunteer Time

We are going to start donating 10% of our income and providing our team a monthly paid volunteer day. These volunteer days will be taken off as a group. We will be rotating through our team and letting each member pick what cause we are donating our time and money to for the month. This helps our team feel like we are serving a purpose beyond just buying houses and going to work. Our efforts will directly tie into our community. We will be able to spend more time together while learning more about what truly matters to people around us. We believe in investing in our team and this is how we are going to this year. — Shawn Breyer, Owner, Breyer Home Buyers

2. Recruiting New Employees

Any business set on growth needs a solid manpower base, so my resolution for the New Year is to dedicate more time to conduct a highly thorough recruitment process. My current team gel together fantastically, so to keep yielding impressive results, I need to find recruits who fit in perfectly. I am devoted to finding the right people with the right technical and social capabilities! — Will Craig, Managing Director, LeaseFetcher

3. Create A Referral System

For 2019, my goal is to create an experience for my wedding clients that in turn creates a referral system. I would like to see 75% of my business come from a referral whether that be a vendor referral (referral of having a pleasant experience working together) or a client referral (the experience we created for them through their wedding planning). Knowing that I have created a brand that is recognizable to the community and not just on marketing would get my branding to the level that I am looking for my photography business. Photography is about more than the photos we turn over. — Hilary Hull, Owner and Photographer, Hilary Hull Photography

4. Give Back

My New Year’s for 2019 is to focus on giving back. I run a personal finance blog where I write about topics like saving money and making money. In 2019, I’d like to expand to write about another important financial topic: giving to those less fortunate. I also want to start a project of giving involving my blog and business. — Marc Andre, Blogger, Vital Dollar

5. Take Time Off

What I’m really trying to focus on in 2019 are free days. These are days that I take completely off of work. There were only a handful of days all of 2018 where I didn’t at least check in. My goal for 2019 is 52 free days, where I’m able to take a complete day off. — R.J. Weiss, CFP/Founder, The Ways to Wealth

6. Learn Something New

My New Year’s resolution for 2019 is to learn something new at every job. I receive a lot of commissioned work in video, design and illustration and this year I’m going to broaden my horizons. Every time I get a commissions I’ll try an new technique, a new process, a new app or a new piece of software. The way I see if it I can learn more while being paid then in 2020 the amount of services I can provide will have doubled! — Tragic O’Hara, Digital Artist, Tragic O’Hara

7. More Work/Life Balance

I’d like to see a better work/life balance for myself and my team. I truly value having employees who are so committed to their jobs and to the company’s mission, but it’s important for myself and my staff to enjoy our personal lives as well. Family and friends are the most important things in life, and having time with them makes each person a better, happier worker. — Nate Masterson, CEO, Maple Holistics

8. Take More Vacations

My New Year’s resolution is not to work so hard in 2019. I am an attorney in New York City. My financial resolution for 2019 is to dedicate more financial resources and budget towards taking more vacations and exploring foreign countries. Specifically, I would like to travel with my wife to more remote foreign countries twice a year. Japan and Hong Kong are the next planned trips, I hope. This resolution is important because of the emotional and psychological benefits. It allows me to recharge my batteries every once in a while. I am a workaholic, but sometimes one needs to pull themselves away from the office. — David Reischer, Esq. Attorney and CEO, LegalAdvice.com

9. Hire An Assistant

2018 has been a great year for me. I finally left my full-time job and am now working full time running a digital media agency that manages multiple websites (the main one being My Millennial Guide). My small business could run better and achieve more success if I were to reconsider my staffing needs. I plan on hiring at least one virtual assistant in the new year. I feel like I’m spreading myself thin and could benefit from hiring workers to do some of the less important tasks that still take up a lot of time. — Brian Meiggs, Founder, My Millennial Guide

10. Go Full-Time

I run my own holistic practice for marriage and family therapy in Connecticut. The business started in February 2018 and now it is fully thriving! I have recently moved to a large office suite and have a private yoga therapy room, which is exciting! My goal for next year is to hire one integrative therapist or clinician and build their schedule to full-time. — Katie Ziskind, Owner, Wisdom Within Counseling

11. Create New Offerings

My New Year’s resolution and what I plan to achieve in 2019 with my small business and site is to create a course, an eBook, and another product to offer to my audience. I also plan to make more connections with other bloggers, more collaborations, and giveaways. I plan to grow my following across all social media and triple my income. 2018 was a great year for me as I really got things going with my business but 2019 is going to be an even more exciting year! — Daniella Flores, Creator and Author, Daniella Flores

12. Reach Out To The Media

This year I will be interviewed on television about stepping up in the face of fear. For the past year I have been taking my public speaking consulting business to the next level by reaching out boldly to prospects and the media. Next year, I plan to up my ambitions by reaching out to television producers about stepping up to the challenge in the face of fear. My action plan is to take daily actions in outreach, to leverage the medial attention I already have, as well as to ask for mentorship from the pros. No sense in reinventing the wheel. — Maryna Shkvorets, Engaging Talks Strategist and Entrepreneur, Maryna Shkvorets

13. Do One Thing At A Time

Multitasking isn’t sexy, it’s a myth. My career resolution for 2019 is to hone in on one thing at a time and give it my proper focus so that I can get the best results possible. — Katia Pryce, CEO and Founder, DanceBody

14. Do Well And Do Good

My New Year’s resolution is to live the mantra of doing well and also doing good. I want to increase the number of young professionals who realize that it is possible to be philanthropically involved and still have a thriving business career. Being involved in philanthropic organizations offers a slew of benefits including networking and leadership skill developments. Tapping into that side of you can offer rewards both personally and professionally. — Rhoden Monrose, CEO, CariClub

15. 10 Opportunities A Day

Our one resolution for this year is to make sure that each partner takes 10 opportunities a day to prospect or ask for a meeting. I spent time as a Financial Advisor, and it’s easy to forget the traditional sales habits in this digital world.  But personally asking for 10 connections a day will create momentum for us for sure. — Rob Satrom, Web Presence and Business Development, FeedbackWRENCH

16. Consistency

As a smaller sized business, we haven’t had the need to have systems and procedures to get the job done. Going into 2019, however, having some standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the important areas in our business is going to be extremely important so we start doing things with consistency. This will be a major focus for us in 2019 which we hope leads to better scale, efficiencies, and more organization. — Dustyn Ferguson, Founder, Dime Will Tell

17. Enjoy The Ride

I have so many goals for HerStry and what it is becoming. My goal for 2019 is to make myself stand back when things get stressful and enjoy what I’ve created. I spend so much time worrying about marketing and bills that I often forget to enjoy that I’ve created something beautiful. — Julia Nusbaum, HerStry

18. Manage Stress

My New Year’s resolution is to increase focus on managing work stress. Find a new hobby and schedule more me time. — Jordan Wan, Founder and CEO, CloserIQ

19. Recharging My Batteries

I started a global branding and marketing firm 17 years ago, so if I do not feel good I am not going to be at my peak performance level for my team or my clients. All work and no play is just not a sustainable option. I will try to find new creative ways to multitask that incorporates work and exercise to be more productive in 2019. When you are an entrepreneur, you have to get creative to find balance. I will set aside regular time to recharge my batteries and take better care of myself. Mentally and physically, I will be sharp and in the best health possible to set myself up for success. — Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder and CEO, Mavens & Moguls

20. Automate Work

My New Year’s resolution is to have automated systems that allow me to spend less time replying to emails, and working on repetitive tasks. I can focus on what I truly love, which is taking great photos and spending time with family. I have already reached out to people to outsource work that I don’t need to do myself. This includes rebuilding my website, editing large batches of my images, and using QuickBooks self-employed to automatically track my miles so I don’t have to. Looking forward to finding other ways to save even more time! — Casi Yost, Owner, Casi Yost Photography

21. Spend More Time With My Team

My resolution is to spend more time with people and teams I don’t work with directly. As CEO, a very small percentage of the company actually reports to me. I can become a little detached from the issues and challenges the broader company is facing. I resolve to set up weekly lunches with teams. This will allow me to spend more time talking and learning about different parts of the company. — Harj Taggar, Co-Founder and CEO, Triplebyte

22. Fire Myself

My goal for 2019 is to 4x the traffic to my company web site. I have realized that I am unable to focus on growing the business when I’m being sucked into the day-to-day work like writing content and editing articles. I’ll be hiring or outsourcing most of the content writing and editing. This will give me more time to focus on strategic planning and actually growing the business. — Cynthia Brown, Founder and Chief Editor, Only Top Reviews

23. Break $1 Million

My business resolution for 2019 is to break $1 Million in revenue. We’ve experienced tremendous growth over the past few years. My goal for 2019 is to finally break $1 million in revenue. — Jessica Hernandez, President, Great Resumes Fast

24. No Goals

New year, new me. I don’t plan on reaching any goals. I live without goals. No budgets, no headcount goals, no nothing. Maybe that’s a goal in itself? Goals are good in many situations, but they can also be toxic. They distract us from enjoying the moment. Instead, we dream of being somewhere we’re not. Generally, the idea of having an achievable goal is so natural in our current culture. Previously, I used to live with goals as well. Lots of them. Now, I don’t have goals. It’s liberating, and it frees my thinking, my business and any imaginary constraints that I might have had set for myself with goals. Not having goals doesn’t mean you don’t achieve things. To me, it’s the opposite. — Jens Jakob Andersen, Founder, RunRepeat.com

25. Create A Fun Work Environment

My New Year’s resolution is to foster a more fun and enjoyable work environment for my employees. I’m aware that working for an online reviews website isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. Given this, I’m going to start providing free snacks and beverages for employees and a ping pong table for their use during breaks. I’m hoping these incremental perks will improve the mood and general disposition of employees. In turn, I think this will improve efficiency and the quality of their work. — Matthew Ross, Co-Owner and COO, RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard

26. Regularly Promote My Business

Promoting my company has slipped through the cracks. I need to attract new customers, so I need to make promotion a priority. One of my top New Year’s resolutions will be to create a marketing plan and follow through. — Zondra Wilson, Owner, Blu Skin Care

27. Delegate More

When you start a small company you have to be a jack of all trades. However, as the main driving force behind the company, not delegating has the potential to hold you back. We’ve built an amazing coffee subscription, but I still find myself spending too much of my time on operations. I could use that time on strategy and growth. If I don’t focus on growth and strategy, no one else will. I’ll be monitoring my time, reviewing my daily and weekly schedule, and ensure that there are at least 2 hours a day committed to growth and strategy! — Suneal Pabari, Co-Founder, The Roasters Pack

28. Spend More Time On Social Media

My New Year’s resolution is to spend more time on our social media channels engaging with our customers and audience. Specifically, I want to focus on Instagram and YouTube. I want to connect with our fans by sharing our story, learning from our fans and hearing from them what they want to see more of and which products they want us to carry in the future. — Liat Tzoubari, CEO and Co-Founder, Sevensmith

29. Stick To A Plan

My New Year’s resolution is to make a plan, be patient, and stick to it. Sometimes I make a plan, but change it quickly if I don’t get the results I’m looking for immediately. Even a good plan sometimes requires a little time before the rewards are reaped. There’s an African proverb that goes: “Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far”. This is what I plan to practice in 2019. — Omobola Imoisili, CEO, Feyi Fay

30. Help Others

For 2019, I’m focused on being passionately on fire with my purpose and helping others. I want to be able to share my passion and knowledge to help others reach their dreams through my blog, YouTube channel, and my book “Lotus on Fire.” I plan to serve, serve, and serve my audience in 2019. — Ashley Deluca, Owner, Ashley K Deluca

31. Practice Meditation

I plan to improve my mood, wellbeing, and creativity by practicing meditation more in 2019. I plan to work out more consistently so I can be in better shape both physically and mentally.Joe Auer, Founder, Mattress Clarity

32. Reducing Carbon Footprint

In keeping with our focus on environmental sustainability, we are analyzing our carbon footprint. The goal is to offset our carbon emissions in the coming year. We believe it’s important for each of us to look at the impact we’re having on our planet and continue to make improvements every year. — Beth Gerstein, Co-Founder and CO-CEO, Brilliant Earth

33. Maximize My Time

It’s no secret that running a small business can take over your life but there are a few ways to maximize your time even better. For instance, I plan on utilizing my waiting time and turning it into learning opportunities. In practice, my goal is to always keep audiobooks and business podcasts handy. That way, I can always make the most of my time even when I’m stuck in traffic. — Solomon King, CEO, Glacier Wellness

34. Master My Emotions

My New Year’s Resolution is to better understand my emotional compass. As I master my emotions, I get to respond rather than react. This makes me a better leader. Cheers to emotional intelligence! — Haj Carr, Founder and CEO, Truleline

35. Believe In My Business

My resolution is to believe and have faith that my business will succeed and be profitable. I will be relentless with online marketing, grassroots marketing, and engage in networking. As a hot sauce company, I want to gross $80,000+ and be able to fulfill my mission. My mission is to use a percentage of proceeds to purchase holiday gifts, birthday gifts and fund birthday parties for homeless and displaced youth. — Shannie Vaughn, Owner, Pembertons

36. Reconnect With Clients

My 2019 New Year’s resolution as a small business owner is to reconnect with existing clients. I have not had interaction with them recently. I would also like to focus on finding my niche market or group business. — Chris Hornick, Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist, Dream Vacations

37. Show Clients Love

My plan is to focus heavily on my existing client base by showing them the love. I will do this by making more consistent personal contacts and even throwing a Client Appreciation Party. It’s much easier to maintain a client than to find a new one. I feel like I am at a position where I can afford to take my foot off the pedal a bit and spend more time focusing retaining existing business. — Rhonda Day, Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist, Dream Vacations

38. Learn More

My New Year’s resolution is to focus on the balance between work and play. I want record breaking sales and to expand my product knowledge. — Carol Nunnery, Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist, Dream Vacations

39. Build On Success

In 2019 I plan to continue to build on the successes I had in 2018. I plan to achieve this through staying connected with my current clients and growing my client base. Growth will come from increasing use of social media, such as Instagram, and networking. — Chris Caulfield, Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist, CruiseOne

40. Delegate

We’ve grown our client base and hired talented team members this past year, 2019 is more about focusing on the bigger company goals. I want to take our agency to the next level by expanding our service offerings and investing in the research and development side. — Alisha Chocha, President and Co-Founder, YourMarketingPeople

41. Build Organic Traffic

In 2019, I plan on focusing and doubling down on building my organic traffic to my website. I will be trying to create more keyword focused blog posts. I want to build a community of readers through my social accounts and my email list. — Nick Le, Founder, Gridfiti