Who can believe another year is about to pass us by.
Ok, the term "New Years Resolution" probably makes you think of stuff like loosing weight, quitting smoking, eating better, improving relationships, travelling more etc.
But if you a business owner, like it or not, your business is a big part of your life and needs to be healthy for you to achieve your personal goals.
Is your business in a better place than 12 months ago? Have you improved the way you run your business? Have you achieved a better work-life balance?
Even if your not a ‘New Year Resolution’ type of person, chances are if you run a business, you can’t help but to reflect on the past 365 days and look at what you have achieved and what you need to improve.
So here are my 6 Business New Year Resolutions for 2018:
1. Work On, Not In, The Business.
Big one for most of us. Sure, if your just starting out, it is totally understandable (and right) to be working hard in the business along-side your employees. You need to get an handle on operations and fine tune systems before you can delegate.
But, if your business is more than 12 months old and you find yourself spending 50% or more of your time doing operational tasks because you would ‘rather do it properly myself,' it could be time for a change.
At some point, every business owner must take the big leap from a ‘doer’ to a ‘leader’. This involves stepping back from day to day and slipping into the role of observer.
This change pivots on your ability to delegate to your employees. This is hard if you see the business as your baby, but essential if you want to grow your business and enjoy it’s fruits.
The key is firstly hiring the right people who want to grow and take on responsibility. Secondly, it's about creating the right systems. Lastly, it's time to focus on your own personal self awareness as you coach and mentor your employees on the journey to empowerment and keep a keen eye out for any unnecessary micromanaging on your part.
So assuming you nail this change, what will you do with your time then? You can then focus on the bigger picture, looking at ways to grow your business and improve operations, training and systems.
2. Embrace the Digital Age.
The digital age is scary for most business owners. Websites, SEO, Adwords, Social Media, email marketing, domains, rankings, A/B testing is all enough to make most heads explode. Even as a guy running an ‘online rostering business’ in RosterElf, I have to admit even I’m overwhelmed at times.
But like it or not, your digital presence is increasingly going to be linked to your business success.
Chances are you know you need to get your head around the digital world and develop a clear digital marketing strategy but you lack confidence due to minimal personal understanding.
So what to do? Hire an agency? Hire internally?
It begins with confidence. I always recommend starting with self education first. That way, when you decide how to resource this part of your business, the decision will come from a place where you understand the terminology and the basic principles.
The great news is, there is a heap of resources available for business people like us online. Do a quick Google search and you will learn all the basics of digital marketing in half a day. Take some time early in the NY to watch videos, read tutorials and even have a play yourself setting up basic online campaigns.
Then, once you feel comfortable, look to your current employees and explore external partners and see who feels right, done from a place of power and knowledge.
3. Become More Focused.
This is a biggie for me, and for most business people I expect.
The risk tolerance nature of business people that leads us to ‘give it a go’ tends to also come with a type of brain that can get excited and therefore distracted easily.
Too often we can ‘park’ boring but vital tasks that are not exciting to focus on something that gets our creative juices flowing. So the meeting with the accountant about our tax return gets postponed because we are working on an exciting new marketing idea.
Before we know it, that tax meeting gets put off 10 times as we move from one exciting project to the next.
So whats the answer? To do lists? Calendar scheduling?
Everyone is different so different solutions work for different people.
For me, I have a rule. First thing in the morning I do a top level to do list. Then, I identify the 3 most boring jobs on it, highlight them, and force myself to nail the tasks before 11am. Then my day is free to focus on fun stuff.
Whatever works for you, I am sure revisiting the systems you use to give you focus will pay off. You will be amazed at what can be achieved and the reduction in stress.
4. Seek Technology Tools.
Online tools like RosterElf are growing at a unprecedented rate. More and more, those small but time consuming and repetitive tasks can be streamlined by finding the right online tool.
From rostering, payroll, time and attendance systems like RosterElf to CRMs, booking, training, hiring, financial, stocktake and document storage systems, you can find almost anything to improve your efficiency and reduce costs.
Sure, these solutions cost you money to access but, if you honest with yourself and the amount of time you and your employees will save, it’s normally a no-brainer. With RosterElf for instance, at $1 per employee per week, I recon, our average customer is saving $5 per employee per week. This comes in the form of both time saving and also financial benefits by budgeting effectively and minimising time theft. Thats a 5 x ROI! Not bad.
So regardless of if you are RosterElf customer or not, I encourage you to use 2018 to look at every process in your business and spend some time each week exploring online solutions that can do the tasks smarter and quicker.
5. Improve Communications.
People are business. Frequent issues with misunderstandings among your employees, lack of employee morale and consistently wasting time repeating the same information over and over is a sign that you are communicating ineffectively.
This resolution will help you focus on becoming a better communicator in your business.
6. Stress Less.
I’ve got to be honest. I have a few more grey hairs than at the beginning of 2017. Running a business can be hard. When time are good running a business is one of the most rewarding parts of life but when its hard…it’s really hard. Lots of sleepless night and worrying.
But what I’ve realised this year is there are two types of worries.
Firstly, there are worries we can do something about. Maybe a problem employee, supplier issue etc which can be dealt with.
The second type of worry relates to things we have no control over such as a downturn in the economy or equipment breakdown. These can’t be controlled and are just part of business, and life.
One of my core NY resolutions is to separate these two types of worries and, if I can’t control the outcome, smile and let the worry go.
So there are my NY business resolutions. Some may resonate with you and you will probably have your own.
The end of a year is a great time to stop and reflect. I encourage you to make a resolution list of your own and transform them into goals. Don’t pick 20, just 2 or 3 and focus on these as it's always better to get the satisfaction of nailing a couple of changes than get overwhelmed by an unrealistic list.
As 2017 closes, I wish you every bit of joy and success and happiness, both professionally and personally.
Happy New Year!
CEO/Founder @ RosterElf
Magically Simple Staff Rostering