As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 is at our doorsteps, it’s the perfect time to reflect and plan. What am I most proud of this year? What lessons did I learn in 2017? Popular New Year’s resolutions usually consist of working out more, managing a better diet or picking up a new hobby. When it comes to your small business, how do you want it to grow in the new year?
Create time to strategize
Running a small business requires wearing multiple hats daily. One minute you can be discussing social media metrics, then shuffling to a meeting on tax changes, and ending the day with your lawyer. A typical day consists of barreling through your to-do lists, putting out business fires, and jumping from meeting to meeting. It’s important to block off time to think. If you can’t see the forest for the trees, it’s time to take a step back. Planning for the future is vital and perspective is key to planning well. If you are in a leadership role, make sure you have a clear plan laid out for your employees and the future of your business. Small business leaders get caught up in reacting, that they neglect to block out time to truly allow in-depth thinking.
Cut costs to optimize cash flow
A zero-based budget works for some businesses. During this exercise, every expenditure needs to have a justification. Does this expense need to be eliminated or can it be reduced at all? Instead of automatically building a budget based on prior year, time is carved out to build a budget based on current needs and new opportunities. Chances are, when it comes to logistics, profits are being pushed out the door with your packages. This doesn’t have to be the case. Share a Refund performs a comprehensive audit on shipments to secure all eligible refunds and eliminate lost money.
Make technology a top priority
An upgrade to technology can cause an increase in business. Slow internet, outdated websites, and sluggish supply chains contribute to customer dissatisfaction. Review your current state of technology and map out a plan to implement technology that increases efficiency and improves the customer experience. What area of your business can use a technology makeover that would be an easy win to establish at the beginning of the year? Share a Refund is a shipment audit and recovery service that saves you time and money. The best part? Share a Refund only makes money if you do. No startup fees or ongoing subscription costs. Just a split of the savings.
Invest in myself and my employees
Investing in your employees’ skills and talents send a clear message that you value them. If you want your employees to continue to play an integral role in a successful workplace, offer a variety of development opportunities. Businesses use reverse mentoring, in-house training, guest speakers and offsite team training. Investing in your employees keeps them engaged at work and when it comes time for promotion, they have the skills necessary to make a move in their chosen career track. As employees become more proficient and efficient, it saves you money in the long term.
Don’t neglect yourself. You are like a car. When you run out of fuel, you can’t go anywhere. Enrolling in some courses to fuel your learning will bring fresh insight and reinvigorate your time back at the office. If you ever feel in a slump, taking a course or hiring an instructor to teach you a specific skill is like providing wind for your sails.
Share your goals with your team
Measurable and actionable goals keep business moving forward. Once you’ve set your goals for the new year, communicate the final goals with your employees. Know what you are aiming to achieve, so that some of their goals feed directly into yours. Invite employees to take part in the goal-setting process. When you give your team seats at the table, they feel more confident to own their career. Open communication leads to greater transparency. Greater transparency inspires trust.
What are some New Year’s resolutions that have been successful at your workplace?