Cast your mind back to when you were setting up your business...
... full of big ideas, excitement, enthusiasm. The world was your oyster. Did you know that our biggest ideas come in the first 30 to 90 days of a project? Yet after that, what happens? Many of us, for many reasons, go off the boil, bogged down with the day-to-day tedium of running a business. Yet we can’t stand still, we have to keep on going.
So, as 2019 rushes in, it’s time to sit down and seriously consider what direction your business is going to take by goal setting and looking at your business practices. By setting goals and implementing more coherent and intelligent working practices, you are motivating yourself to reap the benefits of a healthy and prosperous business.
Set Achievable Goals
Every business needs goals. However, having too many make them unachievable. Forget setting 20 or more; concentrate on 5 priority areas for your business – both short and long term. Once you've accomplished a goal, not only are you motivated, but you can set another. Remember – make sure your goals are methodical in terms of the order in which things need to be done, achieved and secured.
In order to set your 2019 business goals you need to review the past, present and future. What were your 2018 goals? Did you achieve these? On reflection, were they workable, achievable, challenging and realistic? Look at areas what worked well for you. Importantly what areas didn’t? Use this information to carefully consider your 2019 goals in order to achieve success.
Flaunt Your Goals
There's no point having goals if you don’t remember them, or stick to them. Display them up around your workplace, remind yourself and your team of what they are and how you can achieve them.
The Importance of Great Customer Service
One essential business practice should be maintaining and improving your customer service levels. It’s great customer service that not only drives growth but aids retention and referrals of new business.
Schedule A Day To Work On Your Business, Not In it
Whether it’s one day a week, a fortnight or month, it’s vital you take the time to focus on your business, away from the day-to-day operations of running it – they are two very different things. Take this valuable time to focus on expansion, new product development, trends, alternative cost effective suppliers etc.
It’s not just your customers who need to be aware of their trends, you need to know what is going to impact your customers too. Try and be one step ahead of the game. Can you branch out and adapt your offering to better suit their needs next year? This will also give you the upper hand against your competitors.
Don’t underestimate the importance of social media platforms. Flexible, cost effective and instant; having a social media presence will allow you to speak to your customers - whether that’s new product launches, altered operating hours or an informal ‘happy weekend’ message all gets your company name at the forefront of customer’s minds.
Regular and Correct Invoicing
Cashflow is the lifeblood of a business – remember that! So that means invoice as soon as you have finished each and every job. The sooner you invoice, the sooner you’ll get paid. The sooner you are paid the more cashflow you have to grow and expand!
Yet make sure that each invoice is correct – the right billing address, proforma references, addressee details, VAT registration etc. Any errors will delay payment.
Our brains will not be nearly as productive if we are hugely overworked and tired. Owning and running a business is more than a full time job, but you need to take a break. It’s not lazy, or a sign of being less dedicated than your peers – it’s actually proven to be more profitable and productive in the long run!
So, grab 2019 with two hands. You can do this - with a few simple changes you can look to enhance your productivity and profitability. Good luck and have a New Year filled with health, happiness and spectacular success!