Break-out the horns and noisemakers (and a lot of adult beverages) — we finally made it through the year! 2020 was like looking both ways before crossing the road, then getting hit by a JUMBO AIRLINER! It felt surreal, like we were living in a movie!
Last year was certainly a tough one, especially for small businesses. Quarantine and social distancing guidelines essentially moved the business world completely online. Businesses were forced to make unexpected adjustments to navigate unprecedented circumstances. Undoubtedly, your business began and ended the year with a very different set of experiences, objectives and challenges.
Well, the calendar page has finally turned. 2020 is now officially in the rearview mirror. Unfortunately, however, a simple date change is not a magic cure-all for the woes of yesteryear. The next few months are likely going to be challenging. As you look forward to a “new normal,” first give yourself a pat on the back. Running a business during a pandemic and societal strife hasn’t been ideal. But on a positive note, you’ve probably come away with some business survival skills that have made your business stronger. Hopefully these resolutions and business tips will give you a rush of inspiration, and serve as a springboard to help get you moving in a good direction. You’ll want to think carefully about where you’d like your business to be a year from now, and how the resolutions you make now can help get you there.
- CHALLENGE YOURSELF
One of the most important aspects of a successful New Year’s resolution is really challenging yourself. When a goal isn’t difficult, we’re about as engaged as watching the grass grow. Furthermore, making an easy resolution just to provide yourself with a sense of accomplishment will ultimately not have a dramatic impact on yourself or your business.
Instead, demand more of yourself. Set a goal that’s not so easily attainable. Challenging yourself forces you to focus and harness your energy. Studies show that successful accomplishment of a difficult goal gives you a similar adrenaline rush to that experienced by people who cross the finish line at a marathon. This will have a better effect on your business and yourself in the process.
- LEARN HOW TO DELEGATE
It’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking we need to do everything ourselves, but you don’t have to do it all! That’s why you hired employees!
Quite often, people don’t delegate because it requires giving up control. Plus, it takes a lot of up-front effort. How do you let someone else do certain tasks, while making sure it’s done correctly? The answer is strong communication and quality training. Make sure your employees are trained enough, to the point where they can take-over some of your duties. The next step is to clearly communicate the goals and objectives so you don’t end up micromanaging. Start with a few simple things and try delegating them. This builds trust in your team and helps you start to let go of the little things. Make sure to set agreed upon deadlines and schedule follow-ups to ensure no balls are being dropped. This will enable your team to help and contribute, and more importantly, it will free you up to do the things that only you can do for your business.
- DON’T JUST MAKE DO
Is there a business tool or piece of office equipment that’s hampering your success? Is there something that’s making your professional life harder? Whether it’s an outdated machine or the need for a new employee, stop putting it off and make a change. The drag of “making do” just isn’t worth it. Also remember – all sales methods aren’t going to work; all vendors or suppliers aren’t going to be perfectly suited to your business. If a technique, product, or business relationship isn’t working, stop using it. Don’t invest lots of time and energy trying to make the unworkable workable. Move on and something better will emerge.
- MAKE BUSINESS STRATEGIZING A WEEKLY EVENT
Planning is essential if you want to cultivate a growing business. Operating a small business can often times be overwhelming and chaotic, and it’s easy to get pulled into the minutia of day-to-day operations. Strategizing allows you to take a step back and review what worked and what didn’t, while adjusting old goals and setting new ones. So why strategize only once a quarter or once a year? Instead, set aside some time each week to review your strategies. This will help you stay on track and allow you to have a better hold on your business.
- LEARN HOW TO MANAGE CASH FLOW MORE EFFECTIVELY
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business. In fact, a prominent study from U.S. Bank found that 82% of startups and small businesses fail due to poor cash-flow management. This is a great resolution for small businesses who (1) have drastic ebbs and flows in their cash flow, (2) have been unable to create enough capital to invest back into the business, (3) don’t really understand the day-to-day finances of the business.
By the way, we at PFC would be happy to help you with this last resolution!!! 😊