New Years Resolutions for Business Owners
Are you ready to turn over a new leaf this year? Here are some New Years resolutions for Business Owners.
A new year brings hope of new beginnings, doing better and becoming better. Business owners are a competitive bunch (mostly with themselves) and are always looking to improve. As the calendar turns from one year to the next, here are some New Year's resolutions that will make you and your business better.
1. Invest in Yourself
I deal with many owners that do not spend any time or money investing in their own professional development. Most say they are too busy to devote any time to themselves. That may be true. Or partly true. But in today's fast-paced business market it's easy to get left behind if you don't make an effort to keep yourself current.
Professional development doesn't mean being away from the office on a week long retreat. It can simply mean reading a professional development book for 30 minutes before bed, listening to business podcasts on the way to the job site, or taking some industry on-line training courses from the convenience of your office. Any effort that you make to become a better business owner will be well worth your time.
2. Get a Mentor or Accountability Partner
Study's show that having a mentor or an accountability partner increases your chances of sticking with a resolution or achieving a goal by considerable margins. So it's wise to seek out someone that you trust that can come along side you and help keep you on track. In business, there is no shortage of distractions and unforeseen events that we can use as an excuse to take our eyes off our goals. We all need someone that will keep us accountable to our goals and keep us focused on what we need to do to achieve them.
3. Make a Plan
Most businesses that I work with do not have an active, working strategic plan in place when I first meet them. It's no wonder that so many businesses and business owners are struggling to get on top of their industry and their business. Without a plan to follow, the days blend into weeks and the weeks into months, but nothing seems to change. We all need a strategy. We all need a plan to follow. When it comes to strategic planning, "just do it."
4. Clean and Organize Your Office
Do you like walking into your office everyday? Is it neat and inviting or is it covered with miscellaneous items and old paperwork that needs to be filed? This applies to electronic files like emails and word documents as well. How much time do you waste sifting through piles of paperwork or scrolling through hundreds of emails to find the one that you were looking for?
Time spent sorting through office clutter is simply wasting your most valuable asset. Your time.
5. Fire that Problem Employee
Yes, I know that sounds heartless, but it's in your best interest and the best interest of your company to remove any employees that are not productive, not positive or not responding to your coaching and mentoring. Of course, you need to ensure that you follow employee termination rules when doing this, but for the sake of this list, I am assuming that you have been documenting all performance issues and have not been able to track any improvement.
If there is one thing that is stressful, and I know this from personal experience, it's employees that simply won't or can't work hard, fulfill their job responsibilities or be a positive team member. It simple isn't worth dealing with this problem long term. Your time and energy is much too valuable of a resource. Cut your losses and move on.
6. Don't Keep the Dog, No Matter How Cute He Is.
Many businesses have a 'dog' in the business. What I mean by that is that they offer a product or service that doesn't earn the company a profit. So that non-profit generating product or service is a 'dog.' There are many reasons that we keep these dogs in our business. Sometimes we are sentimental with them because they were our first product or service that we offered when we started our business. But now the market or technology has changed and has made that product or service that was once a star, no longer viable. This year get rid of the dog and focus on what makes your business money.
7. Make a Budget
Yep, I know it's boring. But it's also necessary. As a business owner you have to be on top of your revenue and your expenses. Sometimes its difficult to control revenue, but we have a fair bit of control over our expenses. So set a budget and stick to it so you know where your money is going.
8. Tell Your Story
Story telling is a powerful tool to help you build your brand. Our customers want to know why you do what you do, how you got to where you are, what you are good at and what you are passionate about. So use your social media platforms to tell your story and your businesses story to help drive customer engagement and increase customer loyalty to you and your brand.
9. Survey Your Employees
Your employees are on the front-line of your business. In some respects, depending on the size of your business, they may know more about parts of your business than you do. So why not tap into this resource of knowledge by asking your employees how the business can be improved. Try and find at least one of their suggestions to focus on and work toward implementing a plan for improvement of that one item. Your employees will appreciate being consulted which normally means more employee engagement, and your business will benefit by becoming more efficient.
10. Get Healthy
Unfortunately some of the business owners that I meet lead unhealthy lifestyles. This can mean anything from poor eating habits, lack of sleep and exercise to a host of other life choices that make it difficult to be at the top of your game mentally, physically and emotionally. As the leader of your business, you need to be at your best everyday. And that is hard to do if you simply aren't feeling good or lack energy. This year, commit to making one change that will improve your personal level of health.
Wishing You Health and Prosperity this Year,