Renew Your Business in the New Year!

Everything has to get done – but do you have to do it?

Small business owners wear many hats, and sometimes it’s hard to remember to take one or two of them off. Think of your many job descriptions, a determine which ones you really like doing. Out of the remainder, determine which you can outsource to a reliable professional. How about a virtual professional? By delegating some of the chores of running a business, you get to actually do what you’re good at and what you like doing. After all, isn’t that why you started your business in the first place?

Make a date – with your business!

Ask any veteran business owner and they will tell you that the key to being successful is planning. Creating a business plan as part of your start-up can help you determine how much initial capital you’ll need, who your competition is, and how to position yourself for the best exposure. Your business plan continues to be important after you’re up and running – maybe even more so. Make a date with yourself once, twice, even four times a year, to review your business plan. Evaluate what strategies worked and which didn’t, review your current operating expenses, and draft a budget based on upcoming expenditures and opportunities.

“State of the Business” address

The president does it once a year, why shouldn’t you? Review your contracts with vendors and suppliers. Do they still meet your needs? Can you renegotiate for a better rate or larger quantities? Then take a look at your customer arrangements. If you have contracts, review them and determine if they need to be updated to include new policies. Do you need to raise prices to compensate for higher expenses? Now is also a good time to inform your customers of these changes and when they will take effect.

Enrich your mind

Is there a new skill that you’ve been wanting to learn, but don’t have time for a formal class? The opportunities to learn online abound – and many are free. Search for free classes to complement your current business skills, such as bookkeeping or marketing. Or maybe just something for fun. Plus, many cities and towns have Adult Education classes for all sorts of things like cooking, pottery and dancing, for free or nominal charges.

Make a date – with yourself!

Small business owners, especially those that work from home, often find it hard to separate their business and personal lives. If you find yourself falling into this routine, do something about it. Once a week, put time on your calendar to not work. Take time off to get your nails done, have coffee with a friend, or just sit and read a book. If you don’t take time for yourself, you just may end up finding yourself burnt out and your work performance could pay the price.

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