Did you make any resolutions for the New Year? Maybe you want to save money, eat healthier, or spend more time with your family this year. Those are great goals!
Now how about your business? Did you make any business growth resolutions to help move your operation forward in 2011? If you did, what did you decide? If you didn’t, it’s not too late. Pattern them off your personal goals for the year and make great strides in both areas together.
- Control Your Cash
Maybe your resolution is to stay on top of your personal finances. You’re going to start recording every single transaction, right? Little transactions, like those last-minute trips to get fast food or coffee, really add up, so you want to watch them carefully. That makes a great business goal, too – after all, keeping detailed records is vital to maintaining an accurate picture of what’s really happening in your business.
Perhaps you’re going to be better about monitoring your finances and investments every month, ensuring your accounts are balanced and growing. Great goal! So how about carefully reviewing your business’s financial statements as well? Don’t have a financial statement? Start one.
Let’s not forget the budget. Did you made a New Year’s resolution to stick to your personal budget? You’d better believe you need one for your business as well!
- Don’t Overextend Yourself
If the economy is struggling, prices on big-ticket items like houses and cars might be going down. That makes it tempting to go ahead and buy one. But just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean it’s good for your bottom line, right? It’s like shopping at the warehouse stores. Sure, you can get 1,000 hot dogs for a bargain, but then you’ll have to eat 1,000 hot dogs…
Once again, the same goes for your business. You might be tempted to staff up or invest in inventory and capital assets. Perhaps it’s a good idea and a good deal, but be sure you consider carefully first: are you overextending? If the decision puts you at significant financial risk, especially in a sluggish economic time, then that “good deal” might actually be a bad move. Resolve yourself not to overextend.
- Learn Something New
Is this the year you’re going to learn how to text your teenager, get on Facebook or finally optimize your LinkedIn profile?
Well, you’ve heard it before, and it’s true – your business needs to stay fresh, too, and learning to use new technology can be of great benefit. Perhaps this is the year to put social media to work for your business. Or how about video conferencing or cloud computing? If you’ve heard of a technology that you think might help your business, but you’re hesitant to dive in all the way, use your New Year’s resolution momentum to get your toes wet. Find out what it’s really about, ask other business owners how they use it and their lessons learned, do an online search. Whatever you do, don’t save it to become next year’s resolution! Many technologies offer inexpensive ways to improve your business’s visibility and bottom line. You can try many of these free, at least for a trial period, so what are you waiting on?
January is nearly over and many people are beginning to let their resolutions slide. So should you really add resolutions now? Absolutely! By pairing your business growth resolutions with personal resolutions, the momentum from one can help you with the other. You and your business will both benefit. Regardless of whether you’ve “achieved” them at the end of the year, progress is being made, and that is truly the essence of any resolution.