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New Year Resolutions to Consider for Your Business

AUTHOR: Sogol Sabbar

Now that the new year has started and you’re starting to make plans for the year ahead, did you make any new year’s resolutions for your business? If not, here are a few you may want to consider to help your business become even more successful in 2018.

Get Organized

During the beginning of the year, many businesses start out well organized and for the most part stay organized for the first couple of months. But by midyear things start to become messy. Stock and inventory start to become unmanageable, and vendor files might get misplaced because they were never filed. Unfortunately, these can be very costly and hurt the success of your business. Here are some things you can do to help you stay organized:

Set aside 5-10 minutes a day to organize your files (paper or electronic)

  • Throw out or delete unnecessary paperwork/files that you've not touched in three months.
  • Create folders and file your invoices, vendor documents, and important customer information.

Take inventory

  • Start documenting how many of each product you have in stock.
  • Throw away old or expired products that you cannot resale.
  • Label and put away your tools and supplies so that you know where they are when you need them.

Manage your calendar and keep track of your finances

  • Make it a habit to keep track of important deadlines, meetings, and events on your calendar.
  • Go over your financial statements once a month to make sure everything looks correct, and if it doesn't, tackle it right away. If you have a financial advisor or accountant, consider setting up some time with them once a month or quarter to go over any questions you have about your personal and business finances. This will help you better understand your business, so you can make more effective decisions, suchas places you may be able to cut costs or where you may be able to take advantage of an opportunity.

Improve Efficiency

Now’s the time to review and assess the many facets of your company.

Automate

  • Think of tasks you and your employees do manually. Is there anything that you wish you could do faster? Could you automate this process with a new software you can implement? With so much technology enhancements available nowadays you are sure to find the right tools to help you automate some of the things you do manually, like scheduling, tracking business performance or accounting.
  • It’s understandable that these new technologies could be costly so If you feel like it is worth the investment in your business, but you need a business loan to help you get it, contact an alternative lender like Select Funding. Once approved we can have the money in your account within the next business day.

Streamline and document your business processes

  • Keep a document of all employee responsibilities and create procedure instructions.
  • Update your employee handbooks.
  • Cross-train your employees to safeguard against if an employee calls out sick or leaves your company.

Listen

  • Talk with your staff and see if some extra training could help them become even more successful.
  • Sometimes as the business owner, you aren’t always on the sales floor, on-site or in the office, so your employees might see or hear things you miss. Ask them about what happened when you were gone and make sure to listen to them and have a productive conversation; they might have an effective solution or idea that could help your business.
  • Listen to other business owners and gain experiences from them. Ask them questions and think about their answer, they might just say something that you’ve not thought about before or stop you from doing something that would’ve been detrimental to your business.
  • We live in a fast-paced world and as a business owner, you should stay up to date on what is going on around you. Make this year your best year yet by listening for new trends, whether it’s industry related, the newest social craze or a new gadget Keeping up with what is happening in the world will help you identify what your next move should be, so you can make a difference in your business at the right time. Take a few minutes each day and enhance your knowledge about the next big thing everyone is talking about and be the first one on the train, if it makes sense for your business.

Invest in Yourself

Running your own business is exciting; you have ideas and you want to hit the ground running. This is great, but remember, don’t let your excitement steer you away from making time for yourself. Just like your employees take breaks and vacation time, so should you. When you don’t free your mind from your business it’s easy to burn out and lose your passion. Here are some things you can do:

Make an appointment with yourself

  • Set a time each day on your calendar for 'me' time and dedicate that time to pursue interests other than your work. Consider interests that use the other side of your brain—allowing you to clear your head. Sometimes things can get frustrating at work and the best way to tackle it is just to simply walk away from it. A 2011 study published in Cognition states that taking a break helps you with goal reactivation. It’s a practice that encourages you to stay mindful of your objectives, and, as the authors of the study report, reliably contributes to better performance.
  • Create a health plan and make your doctors appointments. Almost everyone’s New Year’s resolution includes exercising more, but many fall out of it after the first month. As an entrepreneur, it is especially important for you to stick with your health plan because if you’re not healthy then how do you expect to run a successful business?

Learn a new skill

  • Sign up for a class that could help you with your business. Whether you’re in construction, landscaping, a restaurant owner, retailer, or salon owner, it’s a good idea to invest in yourself with one new skill to enhance your own professional growth.
  • Go to one or more industry related events to network and potentially learn new more efficient ways of doing things.

Stay positive

  • Think about your accomplishments every day and know that you can continue to accomplish more. Having a positive outlook in life and business will bring more positivity.
  • Be proud to be a small business owner and celebrate your achievements. Focus on your New Year’s resolutions and goals this year and stay passionate about what you do.