As Christmas approaches faster than a speeding sleigh, it will soon be time for even the most hard-working business owner to take time out and spend it with those they care about: to look back and reflect on the year ending, and ahead to the new one about to start.
Running your own business can be hugely demanding, leaving you with precious little time to step back and consider how you’re doing, where you’ve been and where you’re going. But the lead up to the festive season can be a little quieter for some business owners, making it the perfect time to do just this.
In fact, many of the traditional things you will be planning to do in your personal life at this time of year can also be applied to your business.
Here are four things you should try to make time to do:
Reflect on 2018 & learn from your experiences
By looking back over the last 12 months and recognising what you did that worked (and just as importantly – what you did that didn’t work), you will be able to make informed adjustments to your business plan; adjustments that will make a positive impact to your performance in the coming year.
When you’re so focused on moving forwards, it’s very easy to forget the lessons you can learn by looking back. By analysing your successes in a little detail, you can identify and replicate the elements that helped you achieve them.
Look ahead to 2018 & make resolutions
Think about your goals for the coming year. If you want to make changes, you’ll need to do things differently, and that means planning and preparing now.
You’ll probably want to grow your business and increase the profit you make, and there are different ways to achieve this. You could review your pricing strategy and improve your margins, or you could address the efficiency of your sales process, refining it, so you generate more quality leads through your marketing activity, and convert more of them into sales.
But how can you acquire the diverse range of skills you need to do these things?
We bring good tidings. The 2019 Inca workshop programme addresses all these challenges – and many more – and is designed to equip small business owners like you with all the knowledge and know-how you need – including how to introduce a price increase, how to create a winning marketing plan – even how to become proficient at sales and enjoy it!
As you make your New Year business resolutions, remember that they need to be driven by your life goals. You set your business up to give you independence, the freedom to make your own choices and ultimately to live the life and lifestyle you want, so there’s no point in setting a business goal if it’s at odds with what you want to achieve in your personal life.
How a goal achieved impacts on you personally will determine your motivation to make it happen. So, ask yourself what your ideal life looks like. It’s likely to require balancing two essential resources – time and money. Your business has the potential to deliver both in the quantities you need, but to get there, you’ll need to translate your personal goals into business goals.
Celebrate your achievements
Do you take time to celebrate success in your business?
The hectic pace and demands of running a business can sometimes mean achievements go unmarked. An office move or an account win, a new team member or a record profit – every milestone is an opportunity to share success and celebrate with your team.
You don’t have to be extravagant, even small gestures of recognition will be appreciated, motivate your staff – and remind you that your business is moving forward. If you’ve let achievements go by unmarked in 2018, why not use them as an excuse to celebrate with your team in the early New Year?
It’s something we do regularly here at Inca, most recently using our British Accountancy award for Independent Firm of the Year (South-West) and achieving gold status for Investors in People as reasons to celebrate as a team.
All of these things are part of the Plan, Do, Review cycle that is a key pillar of our philosophy at Inca, and something we try to instil in all the businesses we work with.