While the new year is not quite upon us, many small business owners will be more than aware that staying ahead of the game is the key to survival, which makes now the perfect time to reflect on the past year and begin to set your new year’s resolutions, or goals, for the year ahead.
To help get your 2015 off to a successful start we have put together our top 7 new year’s resolutions which business owners may wish to consider.
1. Be more efficient
As a small business owner you will have systems in place for all aspects of your business; however these may be in place for a number of years and it is advisable to review your systems to identify improvements to allow efficiencies to be achieved. It may be something as simple as re-organising your office or purchasing a new software system which will enable you to easily identify the customers who are not paying on time which will in turn increase your cashflow. Therefore a review of the internal systems within your business would be advisable with the objective of achieving more efficiencies.
As the business owner you need to concentrate on what you do best, which should be the product or service which you provide. This is sometimes not as easy as it sounds for business owners, as handing over control of any aspect of their business can be like handing over a child, but it must be done to progress! While you may have brought your business from humble beginnings to a thriving business, you cannot do everything. If you relinquish some of the day to day operations it will free up your time for the more important aspects of your business such as increasing sales, revenues and number of customers.
3. Review your finances monthly
Understanding your monthly finances is vital to any business owner. If you gain an understanding of your profit and loss, balance sheet and cashflow you will be better equipped when making decisions for your business. While you might outsource your financial function to your accountant it is advisable to have monthly management meetings with them so you also understand your company’s finances. This resolution can also tie in with resolution 1 above for example, reviewing your debtors listing each month should facilitate better cash collection.
4. Attend at least one networking industry event
This is probably something that every business owner vows they will do each year, however never get around to it. Networking is key in business as it will introduce you to customers, suppliers and competitors alike, who are all looking to share and learn from each other. This is also one of the more cost effective changes you can make in 2015 as many of the events run by your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Firms Association are free!
5. Invest in social media
More and more business are investing in a social media strategy. We are living in an ever increasing global market, dependant on social media. Even if you are a small business owner you have the ability to increase your market share through social media! Social media can be daunting, however it need not be. See our recent blog Social Media as a Strategic Tool for Owner Managed Businesses for the pros and cons of Social Media.
6. Make time for yourself and your family.
Running your own business is very time consuming and more often than not will come first before all other things. However, it is a good idea to have a balance by making time for both yourself and your family. As Walt Disney once said, “A man should never neglect his family for business”. As a business owner you are responsible for your own motivation, productivity and more importantly your well-being. Make time in 2015 for the little things such as a dental appointment, your child’s school play, catching up with friends or even just reading a book. You may not realise the business inspiration you can achieve during your down time as your eyes will be opened to many other things.
7. Plan for your retirement
No matter what your age, it is never too early to plan for your retirement in the most tax efficient way, especially if you are planning to retire early! When looking at retirement it is advisable to speak with a professional, along with your accountant or tax advisor, as they will know your business best and can assist with your exit strategy. Always keep in mind that you cannot go on forever buy maybe the business you have created can continue through someone else. When planning for your retirement you should be looking for that person who you can trust to continue your business and reputation after you have exited.
One last resolution for 2015 is to be proud of your achievement in creating a business, employment and providing your customers with a great product or service!
If we can be of assistance to you in 2015 to achieve some of the above mentioned resolutions or goals please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.