The beginning of a new year is an excellent opportunity to take stock of your health and your happiness — and ALSO your business. Here’s a look at some top habits and practices many small business owners can benefit from in 2018.
Have a plan, and stick to it
When you step into your office every Monday morning, it’s important that you understand the objectives & goals that you need to accomplish throughout the week and then map them out. Unexpected events, large and small, will arise to pull you off course, but you need to come back to your original plan for the week, or next week is going to be even worse.
Stay on top of your financials
Surprisingly, most businesses don’t review their financial statements every week. A weekly dive into these statements and cash flow of your company is a very important practice that all business owners should do rigorously and consistently. It’s also vital to ensure your business infrastructure is outfitted with appropriate checks and balances. This is particularly true in terms of determining who can authorize cash flow in and out of your organization and ensuring invoices are always sent out in a timely way.
It can be tempting to follow the old adage that doing something right requires doing it yourself. A small business owner is forced to be a CFO one minute and a human resources director the next, but if you become consumed by these roles, you will lose the ability to see the bigger picture. Identifying those one or two trusted employees to whom you can delegate key tasks will make you a better leader and your business more successful.
Be deliberate in your transactions
Too often, companies have roller coaster experiences when not strategic in selecting their customers. It’s always difficult to turn away a sale, but sometimes that might be in the best interest of your business. A unwavering and diverse customer base is crucial to long-term success, and it’s important to remember that the bottom line is far more important than that top line.
If you’ve been putting off social media, not even starting to explore which network is the best platform for your business, there is no better time than now. Over 30% of internet users say they use social networks when looking for more information about a brand or product. Get your social media game in order and resolve to get your business out there.
Partaking in professional organizations, networking groups and conferences, whether inside or outside your industry, will teach you best practices and generate new ideas. In addition, it provides an important opportunity to network with your peers, share trials and tribulations, and learn from the experiences of your fellow business owners. Keeping in touch with this network of peers is good for you and for your business.
Be an example
A small business owner sets the tone for the entire office. The boss’s attitude, work ethic and professionalism are greatly infectious. As you are setting expectations for high performance, it’s important that your employees understand that you expect at least as much from yourself. Your team will be inspired by your work more than your words. So develop good practices, lead by example, and have a happy, healthy and thriving 2018.