Every New Year provides the opportunity for a fresh start – and this is especially true for a small business owner.
Most small business people get to take at least some time off during December and January to recharge their batteries.
So what are the New Year business resolutions that could turn 2019 into a bumper business period?
Learn To Delegate and Do More of It
Small business people are amongst the worst at convincing themselves that they need to do it all. This leads to inefficiencies and tired and overworked business owners who can never find the time to spend on the critical planning and growth areas of their business. Start by delegating some of the small tasks to others and see how it starts to free up your time. If you can get this area right, you’ll have a better business and a better work-life balance.
Promote Your Business Regularly and Consistently
The task of attracting new customers and keeping the existing ones happy is often at the bottom of the To Do list. Promote it up the order and work on creating a marketing plan – either by yourself or with the help of marketing professionals. Then, remember Point No. 1, when you identify marketing tasks that need to be followed through, delegate wherever possible.
Make Business Planning a Weekly Event
Analysing what is working and not working and analysing progress towards your goals should not be just a one per year or half year job. The business environment is ever-changing and you need to be constantly assessing your progress and planning ahead. This is one way where you can avoid making costly mistakes.
Learn Something New
New skills can help you grow as both a person and a business leader. Sometimes these new skills can be directly related to business. Others can be totally unrelated to business, but just designed to give you important time and head-space away from business. Plus you’ll potentially be a more interesting person to talk to at dinner if you have interests that are outside of your business.
Join a Business Organisation or Networking Group
These can be helpful as a source of new business, but also as a source of business ideas. They can either be specific to your industry or draw on people from different backgrounds. Both these mixes can be helpful. Do your research prior to joining one of these groups and make sure what it’s offering can help you achieve your business goals.
Give Back To Your Community
Small business is always part of a community. It’s likely that many of your customers are involved with the same schools, churches, charities and other community groups as you and your family. Always get involved for the right reasons. People will recognise your efforts and goodwill will grow. Some small businesses often decide to use this type of volunteering as a group effort – something that will bind the team together away from the day-to-day pressures of being in business.
Put Time For Yourself In The Calendar
The success of a small business always depends on the input of the owners. Happy and healthy owners make better business decisions and are more likely to have the energy, commitment and foresight to run a long term, profitable business. Don’t look at it as goofing off or being lazy – look at it as investing in yourself for the long term good of you, your family and your business.
It’s relatively easy to plug big numbers into a budget forecast and come up with a fantastic projected result. But there is nothing more deflating than seeing those forecasts not met month after month. You have to set business goals that will stretch you and your team – but they have to be realistic, even if they are not easily achievable. Otherwise, you are just running your business on pipe dreams.
Don’t Just Make Do – Get a New One
Re-look at your business after a rest and see if you can identify any road blocks to productivity. Whether it’s old, unreliable equipment, or team members who are just not suited to the roles they have been given – it may be time to consider replacement. The cost of replacing things that aren’t working is sometimes much less than the long term costs of struggling on with inefficient equipment or team members.
Drop What’s Not Working And Move On
Whether it’s outdated sales methods, computer systems or unreliable suppliers/contractors, don’t continue spending time trying to make the unworkable workable. Make a change and move on, because almost inevitably when you do you will find something or someone who is a better fit for your business.
So what are your New Year’s Business Resolutions going to be?
Will they be the ones that make a real difference to your life and your bottom line in 2019?
Source: Ward, Susan. Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions For Business Success. The Balance Small Business, August 22, 2018.