How did your business do in 2013? If you’re like most small business owners in Manta’s latest survey, the answer is “Very well, thanks!” Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of entrepreneurs polled in Manta’s End-of-Year Small Business Wellness Index report that their businesses flourished last year. What’s more, a whopping 83 percent are optimistic that 2014 will be even better—an increase of 5 percent from last year.
But small business owners aren’t just wishing and hoping for a better 2014. They’re setting lots of goals to make this year a success. The top goal (cited by 40 percent) is finding new ways to promote and market their companies. Other top goals include improving customer service and getting new business (21 percent), networking more frequently (9 percent), launching new products or services or enhancing existing ones (14 percent) and delegating more to employees (5 percent).
Success isn’t all about the numbers. Small business owners finally seem to be recovering from a period in which the economy was stressful for both business and personal reasons. When asked if their business affected their overall health in 2013, 65 percent claim business had no impact on their health. How did they keep business stress from getting to them? The top stress-relievers are exercise (36 percent), taking vacations (25 percent) and getting more sleep (14 percent).
That doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement, however. When it comes to personal goals, improving personal health was the top goal for business owners, with more than one-third (34 percent) saying they plan to exercise more, eat healthier and get more sleep in 2014. Other personal goals include saving more money (19 percent), improving personal relationships (19 percent) and helping others (15 percent).
How can you make sure that you achieve both your business and personal goals this year? One thing I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is that you can’t do it without a support system. Small business owners in the survey apparently agree—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) and friends or family (13 percent).
Make a SCORE mentor part of your business and personal support system if you don’t already have a mentor. Visit www.score.org to get matched with a mentor and get free business advice 24/7.