It’s a new year, and a new chance to refocus, reevaluate and set new business goals for the year ahead. We asked business owners their top goal for 2019 and how they plan to achieve it. Here’s what they said:


Automate key processes

My top 2019 goal for my house cleaning service is to continue to automate, then relax. Creating a system that can operate without me being around has been liberating. This freedom will be gained by using technology to automate repetitive tasks wherever I can, along with having easy-to-understand manuals for my employees so that when I’m not around, they’ll know what to do.

—Greg Shepard, CEO and founder, Emily’s Maids, Dallas


Grow the business

I own an insurance underwriting facility that specializes in niche industries globally. The goal for my business in 2019 is growth. I want to grow my business internationally by 15% this year. My plan is to invest the majority of our capital into expansion so that we have a more visible footprint. I am expecting to invest close to $30,000 on marketing and branding.

—Ashley Hunter, managing director, HM Risk Group, New York City


Boost profitability

Last year was unfortunately our worst year in terms of profitability. We plan to focus on growing our profits in 2019 by reining in expenses and cutting back on the growth strategy I thought we were ready for.

—Steve Silberberg, owner and founder, Fitpacking, Hull, Massachusetts


Spend time more impactfully

My goal is to attend fewer networking events and make better choices about how I spend my timea “less is more” year for me. I plan to participate in more high-impact activities so I have more energy to spend with decision-makers and key influencers. In the past I spread myself too thin and let myself get run down unnecessarily with little to show for my efforts. I am happy to have more time to spend with the people I care about and the activities and causes that matter most to me.

—Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls, Cambridge, Massachusetts


Build up email list

We just recently started a new campaign to build an email subscriber list and have some plans for how we can grow it in 2019. One of them includes a giveaway. I think growing a list of email subscribers is so important because the following belongs solely to you, and they are people who have already shown interest in what your business has to offer.

—Leilani Salgado, cofounder, Arrange Getaways, Chicago


Add new distributors

I am the owner of an ecommerce company that sells Black Forest cuckoo clocks. My goal for 2019 is to develop relationships with new distributors. As an ecommerce company that imports products from overseas, our connections with vendors is critical. I hope to be able to add two new category lines to our website. There are some industry trade shows in Germany that I will be attending to hopefully get those necessary relationships started.

—Bob Ellis, founder, Bavarian Clockworks, Chicago


Pay down debt

One of my top goals is to reduce my company’s debt load. In 2018, I took on some additional sales and marketing expenses that are underperforming and putting a real squeeze on my cash flow. The reduction in cash flow has increased my reliance on lines of credit. I have already renegotiated contracts on the underperforming initiatives and will be out of them completely by the end of Q1. This will free up a lot of cash, allowing me to pay down the debt and be more profitable.

—Barry Kronhaus, president, Worldwide Packaging Group, Lake Worth, Florida


Develop employees’ skills through training

My major goal for 2019 is to create a career path for our home cleaning professionals, allowing them to become team leaders and eventually branch managers. One of my missions has always been to make home cleaning a profession and not just a job. Now that we have five branches, we can begin to offer advancement opportunities to our cleaners. However, for them to be successful, we have to offer them the training and opportunities to develop their management skills.

—Derek Christian, partner, Castle Keepers House Cleaning, Cincinnati  

What’s your top business goal for 2019? Let us know in the comments section below!

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