What Are Your New Year’s Business Resolutions?

They say “Better Late Than Never”, so even though we are half way through March, it’s not too late to do some soul-searching for those elusive New Year’s resolutions.  I would call it setting goals for the new year where others may call it resolutions.  Whatever term you use it starts with you the owner.  The Globe And Mail published a great article on five resolutions for small business entrepreneurs that I think captures the key elements required to enhance your profitability.  The best part is they won’t cost you a dime other that some time.  Find out what they are!

Increasing profit doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend more money on advertising, purchase more inventory, renovate your showroom or increase your sales staff.  It can be as simple as paying closer attention to the key elements of your business.  Here are five ways to build more profit without spending a dime.

  1. Quiz Your Staff:  Conduct periodic meetings with your staff, individually and in small groups, and ask them what part of their work responsibilities they wish were easier or not required.  Most people don’t like to complain, at least not to the owner/boss.  You might be surprised at the feedback you receive and how easily you can make changes to alleviate these concerns.  Your staff are in the trenches so they will see things that you may not.  By addressing these issues you can make improvements that will often end up in cost savings and certainly improve the quality of your staffs work environment.  A happy employee is a productive one.
  2. Mind The Books:  I have written about this in a number of articles before, but it is certainly worth revisiting.  Most owners hate bookkeeping and financial analysis because they find it tedious, annoying and it only results in a bunch of meaningless numbers that provide little excitement.  This thinking could not be further from the truth.  Your numbers are a window into how your company is performing and they don’t lie.  Make it a point this year to close your month-end quickly and then review your profit and loss and balance sheets monthly.  I guarantee trends will begin to appear and profit killing issues will jump off the page.  The most important part is that you can address issues before they become significant problems by paying close attention to your numbers monthly.
  3. Delegate Yourself Out of a Job:  It is human nature to think we can do things better than anyone else.  You may think you are getting things done faster and avoiding mistakes but it is unsustainable.  Get out of the forest and start looking at the trees.  You will be much more focused and can strategically build your business by stepping out of the trenches and seeing the bigger picture.
  4. Run Your Business as if it is for Sale:  When you want to sell a house quickly and for the best dollar you will do things that you don’t normally do on a day to day basis.  You might hire a professional stager, you will clean and vacuum every day, make sure all systems are functioning and in good order, paint a few walls and de-clutter some of those so called prized possessions.  As an entrepreneur you should do these things every day regardless of whether or not you are in the market to sell your business.  Looking at your business from this perspective helps you manage better and maintain the appearance your want to present to your customers.  It will also help you identify things that can be improved.
  5. Make Money:  You love your business and have spent your life working long hours to develop a company that will provide a good living for yourself and your family.  Then why not spend some of those long hours obsessing about profitability.  It’s okay to make money and lots of it, but you have to dedicate yourself to building a business plan that addresses all those key elements required for profitability.  Have you set a profit objective for the year and established what sales, margins and expense control it is going to take to reach your goal?  How are you going to attract and keep great employees if the company is just breaking even?   How are you eventually going to sell your business if you are not adding profit to the equity of the company each year?  Where is your return on investment if you are not making a profit?  These are questions that can all be answered through financial management and business planning.

None of these resolutions will cost you any money but are guaranteed to pay huge dividends if incorporated into the management of your business.  If you need or want help setting goals for your business or building a business plan, contact me for a free consultation.

Reference: The Globe And Mail – Chris Griffiths, Dec 25,

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