Every business owner hopes to achieve on-going business success. The start of a new year is traditionally a good time for business owners to get ready for a fresh start.
Here are a few tips to help you set the stage for business success in 2020 and beyond.
Be clear on your goals
If you’ve had the chance to read our recent post on reviewing the past year’s work, you’ll probably have put some thought into whether you’re achieving what you set out to when you went into business. For the best chance at business success, be clear on what it is you want to achieve.
Do you want to scale up during 2020? Diversify your service offering? Expand into new locations? Maybe you’re looking to take a step back from the business and hand the day-to-day running over to your team. Whatever your goals are, both business and personal, spend some time thinking about why they’re important to you and how you can achieve them.
Write a business plan
Once you’re clear on your goals, write a business plan, or if you already have one, give it a tune-up to make sure it still reflects what you want for the business.
Studies have shown that business growth is 30% faster if there is a business plan in place. A business plan can help you communicate your goals to those who can help you achieve them – your team – and can help you stay focused throughout the year.
Your business plan needn’t be a large, complex document. It just needs to answer some basic questions such as:
- What are your goals for the business?
- How do you plan to achieve them?
- What resources will you need?
- What challenges can you see?
Your business plan should be an active document that you review frequently and refer to for guidance. If you’re unsure about how to go about writing a business plan, it may be worth working with a financial planner or accountant.
Review your staffing levels
Do you have enough staff to achieve the goals you’ve set down in your business plan? Is it time to think about taking on an apprentice, or some more experienced staff? What about cover for sick leave and holidays?
Being too short on staff may mean you need to turn away the business you need for growth. While hiring staff can seem daunting, it’s important to invest time and money into it, to build the team you need for business success.
Do a skills audit
Your business success depends on the skills of the people providing service to your customers. If your industry tends to have a quieter period at the start of the year, you can use this time to look at what additional skills or knowledge your staff may need, and book appropriate training.
Don’t neglect your own professional development, either. As a business owner, it’s all too easy to keep motoring on with the skills you set out with. But all industries change and develop. Consider subscribing to relevant trade publications, to keep up to date with new products, tools and techniques, and to hear about industry events, legislative changes that could affect your business, business opportunities, and much more.
Check your tools and equipment
Make sure all your plant and equipment has been serviced and is in good working order for the new year. Replace any items that may have been broken or lost during the year, so everyone has what they need to get the job done.
Do a spring clean
Use any holiday season down time to give your office and premises a thorough clean. Get rid of any piles of old paperwork, and clean up any areas that typically collect debris, such as the area around your outdoor garbage bins or where you store offcuts. If your kitchen is stocked with mis-matched, chipped coffee cups, think about buying a fresh new set.
These sound like simple things, but having a good clean-up can re-energise everybody who uses the area. It also sets the tone for the new year. If you have customers who visit your premises, you’ll want to keep the place looking tidy and organised, but it’s also important for your staff, as it shows what standard of work you expect.
Allow time for personal projects
Succeeding in business is usually a marathon rather than a sprint, and to keep your energy, enthusiasm and focus up, you need to be living a balanced life. That means making time for things other than work, whether that’s family, friends, travel, or hobbies.
Not only does spending time away from work recharge your batteries – it can also give you ideas and inspiration to take back to your business. So, make sure to plan regular leisure time throughout 2020.
Author – Heather King
Technical Content Writer