The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on what’s working in your business, and to set some goals for the year ahead. As you kick back over the holidays, set aside some time to think about your recent achievements, and any current challenges. Think about your work style, too. If you’re like many small business owners, you may be guilty of bad habits that can hold your business back, such as:
- Taking on too many roles and responsibilities
- Not giving yourself enough time off
- Difficulty separating your work and personal life, and
- Micromanaging staff and responsibilities.
This article will help you commit to a few important tweaks to your business that will help you move forward in the year ahead.
Start brainstorming on paper
Grab a pen and paper and give yourself enough time to answer the following questions. You might want to write through each question, or, if you’re a more visual thinker, sketch out a mind map. Either way, putting pen to paper will record your thoughts, and can lead to insights about your business that might surprise you.
Now ask yourself:
- What is your vision for your business? Has it changed?
- What areas need improvement? Don’t just think about sales and profits. Think about your team, clients, systems, and personal satisfaction.
- Which areas do you want to prioritize? How can you address any issues?
- What excites you about your business? How can you ignite that passion and maintain the motivation to seek out what challenges you, and brings you happiness?
- What parts of your business do you dread? How can you offload these tasks to someone else – a manager, staff member, or virtual employee?
Once you’ve brainstormed answers to these five questions, try to come up with five clear resolutions that will help take your business where you want it to go.
Of course, you may think of more than five changes you’d like to make. Stick to five as your guideposts for the new year, so you aren’t overwhelmed. Then take all those great ideas you generated, and include them in your next business plan update.
If you’re one of the many entrepreneurs out there who wears too many hats, and doesn’t schedule enough time off, consider how you might improve productivity and save time. One possibility might be as simple as changing your bookkeeping practices.
For instance, if you’re still using an outdated accounting system, you may be habitually spending unnecessary hours tracking expenses. You also run the risk of misplacing business receipts you’ll need at year end to claim deductions. An accountant can help you get organized with an improved system to streamline your daily financial management. This may include technology—such as a cloud-based accounting solution—paired up with proven best practices.
Time management is a major concern for most business owners. Better bookkeeping is just one way to save time so you can focus on what really matters: business development, customers, and sales.
What changes are you looking forward to making for your business, to pave the way for a successful year ahead?