Make An Early Start On This New Year's Business Resolutions
It's hard to believe that 2017 is just around the corner. Although January 1st is the official date to kick off any New Year resolutions, the end of the year is a great time to reflect on your business and plan ahead. With this in mind we thought we'd put forward some potential New Year resolution ideas to put into practice ahead of time to get a head start on the coming year.
By taking some time to look back over 2016 and lessons learned you can apply them to 2017 to build on your successes and learn from mistakes. Think about how you want your business to develop and how you can make this happen through some of the ideas below.
As part of your review think about how your business has progressed over 2016, what went well and what could have gone better. Not all of your services or products will be best sellers. Look at what sold well and what was left on the shelf. Go through all of your suppliers and contractors and look at what relationships worked well and provided the best ROI for your company.
Having identified the "good" from the "not so good" resolve to stop the service, product or relationship and move on. You may need to do some product research or look for a new supplier but it's better to take the step to cut now than to make losses because it was easier to go with the flow.
Set Goals and Plan
Setting goals is all about moving your business in the right direction. It's important to set goals that will stretch yourself and staff but which are achievable rather than unrealistic goals that can never be reached. Realistic goals will move your business forward and leave everyone feeling productive and positive.
Planning is also vital as it will help you keep track of your goals; what is working, what isn't working and what needs to be changed. Planning will help you adjust your goals and set new directions. Set aside time each week to review, adjust, and move forward.
No one can do everything. Everyone is tempted to try to cover every job themselves. No matter the size of your business there are too many tasks and jobs to do to be able to cover them all yourself without leaving you feeling overtired, unable to concentrate and jobs being left undone.
One of the many tasks businesses consider outsourcing is business travel. By delegating to a hotel booking partner you'll free up staff time, make savings and take control of your business travel and travel policy.
The art of delegation isn't easy but get it right and it can free up your time and be the key to a much better work-life balance.
From old equipment to outdated software, so many things can hold a company back. You may have been "making do" but is making do getting the job done?
From an old computer which is so slow it takes twice as long to get the work completed; to the old printer that constantly keeps breaking down to the outdated software that isn't really helping your workflow or processes will all be holding you back.
If the examples above ring true, then it's time to invest and to replace old with new, wherever possible. Although the initial outlay may be significant you should start to reap the benefits in the longer run when tasks are completed quicker and staff are freed up from work where old hardware and software was holding them back.
Look at all of your business processes and consider which of them could potentially be automated. If you can automate the mundane repetitive tasks the benefits can be huge in freeing up staff to deal with work that needs more thought and creativity.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to cut back or stop marketing their business when times are good (or even bad). Too often promotion is at the bottom of the to-do list. However no matter how well your business is doing you still need to attract your next customer so make promotion a priority. Consider:
- Social media. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are great ways to promote your business to targeted audiences.
- Articles or blogging. Well-written articles on topics related to your business are an excellent way to attract people to your website and to raise your profile.
- Press releases. Consider putting together a press release when you have a new service or product to promote.
- Brochure. Brochures are also a great way to market your services and products. Make your brochures and other marketing materials available at events, presentations or on your website as a 3D page turning brochure.
- Present. Give a seminar or presentation at your own event or as a guest speaker at another related business event (and don't forget to hand out your marketing material).
- Partner with another business. Look for business partners to promote your products.
- Join a networking group. Networking with other businesses is always a great way to promote your brand. You should look at networking partners as ambassadors for your business.
Achieving A Work Life Balance
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is like maintaining a good relationship; you have to keep working on it. It's important to take some time for yourself so that you can recharge and come back to work refreshed and ready to give work your all.
"All work and no play" is a well-known saying and it's true - working without taking a break can leave you mentally and physically exhausted and of little use to yourself or your business. Take time out to do some things you enjoy. After all if you won't invest in yourself who will?