Whether you believe in resolutions or not, making a list of action items can help you achieve your goals.

Even if you don't believe that New Year's resolutions work, having goals might help you achieve them.

Take the time to reflect on how you and the business have fared in the last financial year and put your thinking cap on.  All those lingering issues with the business that rattle around in your head late at night should come to the forefront now.  In addition, what new ideas have you been thinking about but not yet implemented?

Plan ahead

The first step toward ramping up your business next year is putting a business plan in place.  We know from experience and research that in general, business owners benefit from having a formal, written plan.  If you already have one, now is the time to do a quick review and consider updates to reflect your current business needs and goals.  If you don't have one, set aside time to put one together.

Writing a business plan can help business owners prioritise how to spend their time and money and set measurable goals.  It can also help to identify current or future obstacles so you can better anticipate and avoid potential risks.

Understand your business cash flow

Even businesses with healthy growth and strong sales run the risk of owing more than they can pay in a given month. Every business has unique payment cycles or seasonal trends.  Understanding these cycles or patterns in your business and adapting your plans accordingly can help ease financial stress. 

Spending some time preparing a cash flow projection can help you identify potential cash flow shortages next year.  Look for ways to reduce expenses and increase revenues.  Is it time to shop for new suppliers and vendors, or is it time to boost your prices a bit?  Once you've gotten in the habit of using a cash flow projection, it should give you the added control over your cash flow and a clearer picture of your business’ financial health.

Keep your skills current

Although keeping up with industry news may seem just one more thing to add to your to-do list, there are several important benefits. You'll make better decisions, and you'll spot threats and opportunities early on, which can give you a competitive edge.

Invest in quality training for your employees and don't forget yourself.  New skills and techniques can help make the business more efficient, flexible and innovative.

Take care of yourself

Have you ever been accused of burning the candle at both ends?  This is certainly not uncommon for many business owners who typically wear many hats when it comes to growing their businesses.  Although it is necessary to be busy, you also need to balance this with time away from work.

This should include time for meals, exercise, family, friends, community activities and, most importantly, rest.  You will be more productive and happier if you have time for yourself.  No one can go full throttle for months without experiencing negative effects. 

Learn how to delegate

Many people have trouble delegating.  Sometimes it just seems easier to do it yourself right?  However, if you're bogged down in tasks rather than working on the bigger picture for your business, you'll never achieve growth.  Review all the tasks that you do, think of who else could do them with a little training and work on handing these to others. You'll be amazed at how liberating it is and how much time you will free up.

Automate what you can

Make an effort to leverage technology to automate the mundane daily tasks that sap your time and energy.  There's opportunity for any repetitive work in your business to be automated and the benefits can be huge.  Dedicate yourself to investing in technology that can move towards automation and you'll be on your way.

Stay on track and make yourself accountable

Keep your list of resolutions handy so you can look at them throughout the year.  As soon as you create your list of actions, assign them to yourself or an employee.  Schedule them in your calendar so you actually remember to do them.  If you keep improving your business throughout the year, you'll be surprised by the progress you've made by the time New Year's comes around again.

Still don't know where to start? Contact us at Power Tynan so we can help you on your way and keep you on track.

"Happy New Year"