Posted: 8th January 2018
As we take down the Christmas decorations and turn our attention to New Year’s Resolutions, it occurs to me that there’s more than one type of treadmill we’re all keen to avoid. The obvious is the sort that can be found lurking in gyms everywhere – but there’s also the metaphorical treadmill – the never ending workload that we were pleased to leave behind at the end of 2017.
Feeling refreshed after the festive break, you’re probably resisting routine and dreading the sinking feeling that comes with downloading your Inbox. As a small business owner, the start of the year is a great time to think about your business aims, as well as your personal ones. Do you want to grow your business in 2018? Do you want to take a step back from the day-to-day running of your business and enjoy a better work-life balance?
If you really don’t want to get back on that treadmill, have a think about what you could do differently this year. Here are 5 top tips to positively impact your business in 2018:
1 – Get your books in order
All small businesses experience peaks and troughs in workload (and cashflow!) and this can make it difficult to see how your business is performing. By understanding your current financial position, you’re better placed to make good business decisions. This is particularly important as the financial year end approaches. Depending on your situation it might be a good time to make capital purchases of computer equipment or phones, because these are business expenses and will help to reduce your taxable profit.
2 – Have a one page plan for the year ahead
It’s really useful to produce a top level overview of what you want to achieve in your business over the next 12 months. It only needs to be a page long and doesn’t have to go into detail, but it’s a handy reference point and when you feel bogged down by day to day tasks, it will help to keep your priorities at the forefront of your mind.
3 – Avoid the pitfall of trying to do everything yourself – what could you delegate?
Looking back to last year, what were the tasks that just didn’t get done? Which non-chargeable tasks did you begrudgingly carry out when you could have been earning more profit for your business? As a business owner it’s important that you spend as much time as possible working ‘on your business’ rather than ‘in your business’. Start with a blank sheet of paper and brainstorm which tasks don’t actually need to be carried out by you. Imagine the time you could save if you outsourced these tasks to somebody that specialises in business administration. Making this change could really transform your business in 2018.
4 – Network, network and network some more
We hear it all the time and we know we need to be out there meeting new people and making new contacts, but when we’re really busy it’s easy to justify putting off the networking for another month. But there really is no substitute for meeting with people face-to-face, and particularly if you work on your own at home, getting out and about is good for your sanity! Make a list of all the networking groups in your area and decide which would be most beneficial to you and your business. Sometimes it’s a case of trying a few groups until you find the one that suits you. Put the meeting dates in your diary and stick to them!
5 – Organise some breaks throughout the coming year
As well as looking at the time commitment required by your business over the coming months, plan some time away from business too. Use your time off as motivation for getting things done, and don’t wait until you’re desperate for a break before you think about planning one.
By taking these 5 suggestions on board, you’ll give yourself and your business a great chance of success in 2018 – but as with all New Year’s Resolutions, there’s just the small matter of sticking to them!
I’m here to help
If you’d like some help working out what you could delegate in your business, please contact me.