The new financial year is a great time to set New Year’s Resolutions for you and your business.
Resolutions aren’t just for making you accountable to join-and go to-a gym. They can be very useful in the realm of small business, helping you focus on goals and aspirations for the year ahead. Here’s nine goals to set for yourself in 2018.
1. Work with key company data throughout the year
Implement systems that will help you detect issues as they arise, so you can take action quickly. Preparation of monthly management reports is a brilliant way to track your progress – this only works if you actually review them though, don’t tuck them away in the filing cabinet! Set aside time each week for business planning. Not only will this help you avoid costly mistakes and stay on track, you’ll feel more focused and relaxed.
Small business leaders have fewer colleagues to share their concerns and bounce ideas with. Your accountant can be your virtual CFO, consider meeting regularly to help understand and interpret data – it is their domain after all.
2. Take a “new and improved” approach to your whole business
Resolve to better your facilities, including buying new equipment, hiring new entry level and management staff and nurturing your business.
3. Get to know your clients
Understanding your clients is key to improving your product or service. Learn what you customer actually needs. What are their pain points? What are their goals and objectives for the year ahead?
4. Look for modern solutions
Let your salespeople analyse customer data and target the warmest leads. Traditional cold calling is an outdated approach with variable success. Make the move to social media and take advantage of email and online marketing. Don’t lose the human touch though; we’re social beings after all. Some of the best relationships are formed in a face-to-face meeting so interact with your customers in person or by phone too.
5. Grow – Invest in your own success
Focus on improving yourself and you’ll naturally achieve all of your business and personal objectives. What you choose to learn may be directly related to your business or completely unrelated. Learning something new will add to your skills and add a new dimension of interest to your life – another important part of achieving a healthy work-life balance.
6. Be the mentor your team needs
As the person leading your company, recommit to your role as mentor and a person who empowers those who work for you. With the hectic pace of being in business, we sometimes lose sight of how important it is to support our team. Remember, if you look after your team, your team will look after your customers and your customers will look after your business.
7. Look after yourself too
Ask yourself, “Is my company ready for someone other than me to do X?” As the CEO, how can you maximise the return on each hour you invest in your business. In other words, how can you best spend your limited time?
It’s easy to delude ourselves that we need to do everything– eventually this will affect your health. Delegation is key to a healthy work-life balance. Allow your team to grow in experience and skill levels and your business will grow as well.
8. Don’t let a fear of failure hold you back
Fear of failure is nothing new and as humans, we have become so comfortable with it that it seems normal and okay. However, when we stop sharing our thoughts and ideas because we do not think they are good enough, we begin to limit our creative potential.
A great example of this is Walt Disney. He was actually fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination. He later started several businesses, all of which failed and left him broke. Today the Disney Corporation brings in millions of dollars every day. This is just one example of how pressing on through failure led to great success.
9. Give Something Back
It always feels good to be part of a great cause – so get creative and find a charity that you love and share the love. It can even be as simple as donating $1 from every purchase a customer makes, serving on a committee or being a volunteer in the community. Nothing will seed and grow goodwill for you and your business better than giving back to your community.