As a business owner, whether you set formal New Year’s resolutions for your business or not, now is a good time to think about what you want to accomplish and where you want to be with your business at the end of 2018. Maybe you just started the business and want to grow sales by 30%, or perhaps you’ve been in business for years and need to figure out how to keep your products or services fresh. Whether you’re in year one or 20, the tips below can help any business kick off the New Year right.
- First things first: Determine what you want to achieve in the New Year. Call it a resolution or goal — just get it down on paper so you and your team have something to work towards. Be realistic. Don’t set yourself up to fail by having an out-of-reach goal that will not be achievable during the year. But don’t make it so easy that you reach the goal within the first few months. And make sure the goal fits in with the overall mission of the company.
- Identify where not to focus: Is there a product or service you should eliminate this year? Now is a good time to figure out if it still makes sense to offer a product that does not sell well. Is there a process that you do because you’ve always done it? Figure out if there’s a better way to do it, or see if you’re duplicating efforts.
- Set up target timelines: Now that you know where to focus, you’ll want to keep track of your progress and make sure you’re on target. This could mean checking monthly or quarterly to figure out if you need to adjust the plan to achieve your goal by year-end. Measurement has a way of bringing about accountability.
- Get help: You can’t do everything, especially if your plan is to grow the business this year. Delegate some of the workload. If you don’t have internal people, outsourcing is a great option.
- Reward yourself and your team: Don’t forget to reward yourself and your team. Schedule some time on the calendar for a massage or a walk in the park for yourself. Remember the target timelines? If the company hit the target during a quarter, take the team out to lunch. These little things go a long way in showing your appreciation for your teams’ hard work and dedication throughout the year.
Happy New Year!
Gary W. Fleming, CPA