January is a great time to evaluate your business. Reflect on the last year – the good and the bad – and make changes for an even better year ahead. Typically people make spontaneous New Year’s resolutions without much thought only to forget them or give up on them by mid-January. The word resolution means the act of resolving or determining upon an action, method, procedure; a decision or determination; the mental state or quality of being resolved; firmness of purpose, (thank you, dictionary.com).  It seems most resolutions do not live up to their name, lacking determination, preparation and any actual resolve.

But as a business owner, real resolutions, made with real determination and commitment could be a game changer for you. Pinpointing those one or two areas that need improvement and being intentional about addressing them this year could be just what you need to take your business to the next level.

Here are five resolutions to consider:

Learn one new skill

Variety is the spice of life. Giving yourself a mental break from the day-in, day-out of the same work can spark creativity and new ideas. Learning a new craft or activity that you are interested in can provide an outlet for stress relief. Brushing up on computer or technology skills can boost your confidence and give you new tools to integrate into your business. The key is to find something that challenges you to think differently.

Learn to understand business financial statements each month

Learning and understanding what your financial reports mean and how they can be used to determine course of action for the future is important for any business owner.

“Accurately tracking financial data is not only critical for running the day-to-day operations of your small business, but it is also essential when seeking funding from lenders or investors to take your business to the next level. In addition, keeping tabs of your finances can help ensure your products and services are priced right, identify what your margins are, determine your cash flow and make filing taxes easier,” according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The more you know, the better you will be at making informed decisions. Don’t leave this important part of your business up to a bookkeeper or accountant, put in the extra time to really understand your finances.

Take time off

And when you do, put your work computer and phone away. Stress and anxiety build up without healthy self-care. Taking a long weekend here and there and at least one weeklong vacation can do wonders for your mental and spiritual health. Time away from the nitty gritty details of running a business can be a great way to find perspective and clarity.

Network with other business owners at least once per quarter

Networking provides many benefits to you and your business. Just some of the benefits of networking include the opportunity to: obtain referrals, stay current with industry trends, find new ideas, collaborate on projects, and more. One great way to find networking opportunities is to work in a shared environment. Sharing office space with other entrepreneurs can give you a natural way to find comradery and opportunities to meet new people.

Spend more time meeting with people face to face

In this day and age of email, texts, and phone calls it’s easy to lose a personal connection with your customers and vendors. “Understanding why people do business is more important than understanding what they do, and this kind of understanding is only attainable through in-person interactions,” says Mina Chang for forbes.com.

Real, lasting connections are made in person, talking face to face. You can gain a great deal of trust and add value to your business relationships simply by taking the time to meet in person.

A great way to meet people in person is sharing office space. Huntsville Hub offers a professional working environment to meet with clients and vendors including office space and conference rooms, as well as a shared, collaborative environment that is great for networking and meeting other business owners.

Huntsville Hub offers the perfect environment for helping you stay committed to your resolutions this year. You will find a great community for advice, idea sharing and inspiration with shared office space at Huntsville Hub.