The start of a new year is a great time to take a step back and look at your business from the outside in. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past year and see where adjustments and improvements can be made—whether it’s a small change like choosing new book keeping software, or a big change such as hiring your first employee. Here are our top 5 New Year’s business resolutions to make in 2020.
1. Revisit your business plan
We all know how important a business plan is to any business, but most of us probably also know just how easy it is to leave it on your shelf and forget about it. The business plan you spent hours working on suddenly becomes your office dust collector, only to be remembered when you’re doing some spring cleaning. Well I have some news for you, a new business plan is the new black. Ok, that doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but you get my point.
Start the new year fresh, with a new plan and outlook for your business. Whether your business is just one year old, or has been around for 10 years, make sure your business plan reflects the stage your business is actually in right now. If you’re going into your second year of business, take a look at what your outlook was in your business plan. Are you on track? Are you exceeding your goals? Or perhaps you need to make some adjustments in order to meet your goals.
Let your business plan provide you with the direction you need to help it grow by reviewing it regularly and adjusting it as needed.
2. Set realistic goals
It’s all too common to set yourself huge goals when you first start your own business. In fact, for those of us who have never started a business venture before, it’s almost guaranteed that the goals for our first year will be unrealistic and unattainable. Whether this is a result of inexperience, inability to make an accurate projection, or other external factors, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that for 2020, you set yourself some goals that you can actually reach. Setting yourself smaller goals (e.g., quarterly, monthly) throughout the year will make it easier for you to make adjustments and help you reach your ultimate end-of-year goal.
3. Keep learning
We’re all on a mission to become better business owners—after all, that’s why we’re part of Startup San Diego isn’t it? To make it easier to continue to learning and improving your skills as a business owner, make sure you set some time aside for these opportunities. Whether you set aside an hour every week to attend a seminar, or a few minutes each day to read an industry journal, be sure to put some time aside in your calendar for this.
Trends change, business changes, audiences change—without continual learning and training, our businesses will get left behind. Dedicating some time in your schedule for keeping up with these changes will help your business grow and stay relevant.
Many small businesses start off with a sole proprietor, a single owner, and in many cases, this is the way the business stays for years. However, if you want your business to grow (and I mean, really grow), you’re going to need help. We’ve all heard the saying “Work on your business, not in your business,” but how do you actually do this? It’s pretty simple—delegate.
Ok, maybe it’s not so simple. You do need to find someone to delegate to (i.e., employees) and you’ll need to deal with all the other things that come with having employees, but in the long run, having people to delegate to is going to help your business grow much faster than it would if you were on your own. Another hurdle you’ll need to get over is having to transition from a “doer” to a “leader.” One of the hardest things about transitioning to a leadership position is trusting others to take care of all the everyday tasks you’re used to doing. So make sure you find people you trust who you can truly delegate to.
5. Take care of yourself
How many hours on average did you work each week last year? I’m guessing it was over 40 hours. 50? 60? Chances are, you probably can’t even make an accurate guess because as a business owner, you’re constantly working on your business. There’s no 9 to 5 for us, it’s more like 6am to 6pm…then 7pm until 10pm…and then some. When you work on something you’re so passionate about, it’s easy to spend most of your waking hours on it and it’s hard to take a break.
But think about it this way, you’re much more effective when you’re at your best. And you’re likely at your best when you’ve had a good night’s rest and you’ve been able to clear your mind. Make sure you don’t sacrifice your personal life for your business as this could in turn have a bad affect on the business itself. Your business needs you to be at your best, so take care of yourself in 2020.