The champagne has popped. The fireworks have flared. The New Year has arrived. Along with the usual resolutions to lose weight, eat more fruit and vegetables and spend more time with the family (all very important!) now is a good time to resolve to manage your business more effectively.
Here are our 5 resolutions most likely to improve the health (and wealth) of your business.
#1 I will write a business plan and review it regularly.
Healthy businesses don’t just happen by accident. If you are one of the many business owners who have a plan, but it’s all in your head, then make this the year you actually put your plan on paper.
The advantage of writing things down is it forces you to test and clarify your thoughts and ideas. A half-baked idea has a way of puffing up in your mind, but usually withers on the page.
Writing a one page business plan doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. Check out our video series (http://mjabusiness.com.au/video-category/business-planning-video-series/) that walks you through the process. If you want someone to guide you in the process and hold you accountable, then consider hiring a coach. For two weeks only we are repeating our offer for a free coaching session (valued at $660). Click here for details. (Link to Leadpages TBA)
#2 I will get closer to my customers.
In 2017 commit to stop hiding behind email and text messages and actually spend real time with your customers. Not only will this build deeper, more long lasting business relationships, it will also help you to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your products and services.
Talk to customers about how they are using your products. Ask clients for feedback on your service. Understand what makes life difficult for your customers. Who knows what brilliant (and profitable) innovation may result, not to mention what unexpected disasters may be avoided.
#3 I will use technology to be more productive.
If you’ve been shying away from new technologies because the learning curve seems too steep, you can’t find the time or the whole thing just scares the hell out of you, then make this resolution a priority.
Used properly, technology can significantly improve productivity and profitability. You can bet that your competition is using technology, so failure to do so is going to put you behind the game.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Choose one new technology and make a point of implementing it effectively. What you choose will depend on the type of business you are in and the areas that will most benefit from automation or collaboration.
In the area of accounting and administration we strongly recommend you take a look at Xero. You will be amazed how many hours of slogging at the books can be saved. We can help with the implementation if this is the technology you decide to implement.
#4 I will improve my digital presence.
If you haven’t updated your website in over 2 years, you haven’t done anything to make your web presence mobile friendly, you haven’t posted on your social media pages in months or you have not yet considered online advertising in your marketing plan, then it’s time to add this resolution to your list.
If you are feeling lost in the digital world, consider hiring an expert consultant to help you develop a digital strategy.
#5 I will manage my cash flow more effectively.
This resolution is particularly important for business owners with drastic ebbs and flows in their cash flow. But every business can benefit from improvements in cash flow management. The better your cash is managed, the more capital you will have to reinvest and grow.
Take time when you head back after the holidays to consider strategies to improve both incoming and outgoing cash. Do you have adequate credit checks for new customers? Would customers pay more quickly if you offered credit card or PayPal payments? Are invoices being issued promptly? Are your terms of trade appropriate?