Five New Year’s resolutions every business owner should make
3 January 2017
While most resolutions revolve around people’s personal lives – exercise more, drink less, eat healthily – New Year offers the perfect time for business owners to reflect on the year – good and bad – and focus for the year ahead to ensure business growth. Here are five resolutions we recommend business owners to make this year.
1. Plan ahead
In order to focus on growing your business your first step should be to put a business plan in place. If you already have one you should give it a quick review to ensure it still reflects your current business needs and goals. If you don’t have one in place then set aside time to create one. A business plan will help you to prioritise, set measurable goals and establish a pathway to achieving them.
2. Work with company data throughout the year
If you don’t review your key operating metrics on a regular basis then it can be difficult to foresee any difficulties, or areas which may require changes, before it’s too late. Consider investing in data analytics and IT which will allow you review all the necessary metrics and generate reports at the click of a button. Break down your overall objectives for 2017 into “milestones” (or mini goals) and use the data to track your progress and make tweaks where necessary.
3. Automate where you can
If you have a number of repetitive, time-consuming tasks look into whether you can use technology and workflows to automate these. This applies to all areas of the business and examples include new customer welcome emails, invoice processing, client management, payment reminders and service update notifications.
The potential benefits automation can bring to your business are huge. Greater customer – and employee – satisfaction, increased efficiency. Dedicate yourself to investigating technology that can move you toward automation, and you’ll be on your way.
4. Get the best out of your time
As a business owner, you should regularly ask yourself how you can maximise the return from every hour you put into your business. Is your time best spent taking on elements of every area of your business – IT support, bookkeeping, design, sales, marketing – or would it best if you focused on leading and growing the business. If you often find yourself mired in paperwork or constantly flitting between departments, then consider delegating some of these tasks. Look for candidates, internally and externally, who can take responsibility for key tasks. Engage with your team members to understand their strengths and how they would like to develop to ensure the right responsibilities are delegated to the right people. As your staff grows in experience, your business will grow as well.
Relinquishing some of the required tasks of your business can be difficult when you feel you should be taking care of everything yourself, but don’t be afraid to outsource. It’s an absolute must if you plan to grow, and these individuals or companies will provide support so you can focus on what brings in the money.
5. Focus on the long-term, not the short-term
Stop focusing on the immediate bottom line and look at long-term success and sustainability. Short-term goals may deliver immediate rewards and satisfaction, but when you focus on the long-term you can work towards real growth in your company. You might not see immediate returns but acting with the long-term in mind means that you will make proper investments in your time, money and organisational structure – and you won’t be stuck firefighting or regretting hasty decisions.