Quick Tips to Begin the New Year

By Michelle

2013Welcome to 2013! We hope you all had a wonderful celebration ringing in the new year. Now it’s time to take a deep breath and begin putting your new business plan into motion. Before you can do that, however, you have to actually have a plan.

According to Bill McBean, entrepreneur and author, ”The problem with businesses is that we really don’t have a break. One of the most crucial aspects of improving profitability or getting a business back on course is taking the time to evaluate it. Even in sports — as competitive a field as it gets — teams get downtime.” So “watch the game reel” so to speak and honestly evaluate what worked…and what didn’t.

The first set of questions to ask yourself are the following:

  • Did you have a successful year?
  • Where did your business succeed the most?
  • What held it back?

It isn’t easy to be brutally honest in your analysis of your business but the truth is that the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the small business owner to guide the implementation of any improvements that need to happen.

Now take a look at your company’s systems and procedures. Here is the next set of questions to ask yourself:

  • Have they kept up with the times?
  • Are they efficient?
  • Are any employees gumming up the works?

As small business owners we often fall into a pattern and end up stuck with inefficient business processes or, even worse, bad employees.  As McBean so bluntly put it, “if you’re not controlling your procedures and processes, you don’t really ‘own’ your business.” Take stock and be prepared to make the hard decisions and changes necessary.

While you are assessing your business, be sure to thank your best customers/clients. The question is, how do you decide which ones are “the best”?  You may find that it’s not the customers who spent the most but the ones that sent more business your way. However you decide, the bottom line is that you have to keep your customers. Showing your appreciation is one way to accomplish that.

Finally, don’t let all of the talk of economic uncertainty turn your outlook to one of doom and gloom. While it’s important to protect your business, you don’t want to run the risk of letting negativity become self-fulfilling prophesy. If you take the time to fix what may be wrong, nurture what is right and be open to new opportunities you should look forward to a successful new year!

Contact us to discuss how we can help your business move forward in 2013.


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