I have a confession to make…I am a bit terrible at keeping New Years Resolutions.
It has developed to a point where I sometimes question the value of sitting down and drawing up a list of resolutions which will inevitably be broken by the end of March. The biggest problem in the process is making the distinction between a wish list and a list of actionable activities which will improve yourself.
Business owners spend considerable time over December and January strategizing and planning how to grow their business. To me, this is a more impactful exercise because it forces one to look beyond a wish list and make realistically achievable goals. I recently read an article on the Entrepreneur website which lists 10 resolutions entrepreneurs should make every year.
Understand your finances
The article points out that you should never think that understanding the basics of accounting is unnecessary just because you have an accountant or even your own accounting department.
The thing is, all entrepreneurs should familiarize themselves with at least accounting basics since this will help them:
- make financial predictions by examining future revenues, future operating costs, and assets needed to service future demand.
- pay off your bad debts
- lower your expenses as much as possible (both personal and business)
- measure the progress of your business so that you know whether or not you’re hitting targets.
- get your personal credit up as personal credit is a factor in getting business loans.
Improve your health
The article asks: how do you expect to effectively run a business if you’re exhausted and burnt out?
You need to be healthy mentally, physically and emotionally. Give your immune system a boost. When you eat healthy and exercise, you are more productive and happier. That means you’ll have fewer sick days and get tasks accomplished on time. Good health habits help you avoid chronic diseases including hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
Become a stronger leader
The article points out that one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face is being an effective leader. This means delegating tasks, rallying the troops when morale is low, creating an environment that welcomes creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking, never losing sight of where you want your business to go.
Get more social
The article points out that, if for some reason you believe social media is unimportant, I’ve got some bad news for you — you’re 100% wrong. Social media is one of the best ways to engage and interact with customers, spread brand awareness and connect with influencers and investors in your industry. If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account that is dormant, spend the next year being active and optimizing these channels. It’s expected.
Spend less time in the office
Working 60 hours per week might work for someone like Elon Musk, but for most of us, that’s just isn’t feasible or desirable. Spending almost every waking minute in the office is a surefire way in getting burnt out and losing sight of why you became an entrepreneur.
Make time for yourself, friends and family. Step out of the office from time-to-time to clear your head, refresh and improve your overall health. Trust me. The place isn’t going to burn down just because you took a vacation or a long weekend.
Keep up with current events
The article points out that paying attention to the news keeps you cultured and assists in starting conversations. It provides entrepreneurs with insights into their markets so that they can make more informed decisions. Remember, we live in a small and connected world now. What’s going on around the world impacts your business.
The Entrepreneur article points out that hiring the right people is crucial for business owners. They’ll bring out the best in you and your current team. They’ll help your business grow because they’ll be your biggest brand advocates. And, low turnover keeps costs low.
Hiring isn’t easy, but attracting and retaining talent that fits in your company’s culture greatly increases your chances of success.
Be more empathetic
The article points out that empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions; and the ability to share someone else’s feelings.” It is one of the most beneficial traits an entrepreneur can possess. Communicating empathetically with customers, employees, shareholders and investors helps your business succeed. You’ll understand what’s important to them and they will appreciate that you care enough about them to make that a priority.
Take some classes
The article points out that whether it’s attending a class at your local college or participating in a free online course, learning a new skill such as accounting, marketing, programming or public speaking will make you a more well-rounded and productive entrepreneur. Here are a few amazing financial books to help you learn a bit more.
Remember why you became an entrepreneur
The article adds that regardless if you’re in a rough patch or enjoying substantial growth, never forget why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. For most of us, we had an idea to make the world a better a place in our niche. Take the time next year to remember why you embarked on the entrepreneurial journey. Use that to guide you going forward.
Charles Phiri is an Associate at Indalo Business Consulting and is an Experienced Business Rescue Practitioner.