We’re a few weeks into the new year and for all too many of us, our resolutions may already be a thing of the past.
But, in order to have that business success that we all strive for, it’s important to keep working towards our resolutions and goals all throughout the year.
So, to help keep you motivated, here’s a refresher of a few important New Year’s resolutions for your business that should have your continued focus throughout the year:
Resolution #1: Have a plan.
While there’s never a wrong time to plan out what you want to achieve and the steps it will take to achieve those goals, the beginning of a new year is a perfect time to set those priorities in place. One of the biggest mistakes that I see entrepreneurs make is working on whatever they feel like at the moment or small, unimportant tasks, rather than working towards the big picture goals that are necessary to move their company forward.
Not having a plan in place is like trying to drive to a new location without GPS or a map. You might get to your destination eventually, but it will be a heck of a lot more difficult and will take much longer than necessary. So, take the time to map out a plan for your business. You may need to take a detour or replot your course from time to time, but you’ll have a much smoother journey.
Resolution #2: Make (and stick to!) a budget.
Much like you need to have a business plan mapped out, you also need to map out your finances. Though this may seem obvious, I know so many entrepreneurs and business owners that don’t run their business with a basic budget. If you are spending money blindly without knowing how much you’re spending, what you’re spending it on or if you’re even getting any ROI (return on investment), there’s no way that you can maximize your success.
Again, you’ll need to adjust this as you recognize expenditures that are unnecessary, those that need more money and those that just plain don’t work. It may feel like a super popular product is your biggest money maker, but without running the numbers and seeing what your profit margin really is, you may find out that it’s actually costing you money instead! You need to have that baseline budget in place to measure against, so that you can really see what is working (as well as what isn’t!) in your business.
Resolution #3: Focus daily on growth.
As entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s so easy to get bogged down with the minutiae of daily tasks that are unimportant and don’t do anything to move your business forward. So, make it part of your daily routine to dedicate a block of time solely to growth activities. You need to consistently focus on growth activities, such as those related to marketing, partnerships and networking.
And, keep detailed records of your activities, so that you can properly assess which of your efforts are working, which need improvement and which aren’t worth your time. For example, if you’re spending hours a day on social media marketing and networking, but it’s not translating into sales and clients, you will need to tweak your approach, message and platforms accordingly. Without keeping track of your specific activities and time spent, you’ll never reach your growth potential.
Planning, budgeting, keeping records and data assessment are all crucial resolutions for keeping your business on the path to success throughout the year and beyond.
Carol Roth is a national media personality, "recovering" investment banker, dealmaker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation.
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