Starting the Year Off Right: The Small Business Owner Guide



Preparing your business for another year


1. Evaluate business performance in the previous year


The start of a new year offers an opportunity to small business owners to take a good look at their company. Due to all the unique situations and scenarios associated with day-to-day business management, there’s really no perfect guide to running a business.


Here’s where the past can help shape the future, there’s nothing like learning from your experiences and using them to help you adapt! This is why, at the start of this year, you should consider sitting down for at least an hour and really thinking about your performance in the previous year.


Think about the obvious connections in business, sales, revenues and costs. But also dig deeper into customer relations, employee relations, life-work balance, etc. This will help you tremendously when it comes to forming the specific goals and plans for this year.


2. Set up SMART goals


We’ve talked about the importance of evaluating past years performance in order to accurately plan for the future. Without goals, there would be difficulty in analyzing progress in your business. Planning for the year should take the form of that are SMART.


Specific


Your goal should be clear, and as specific as you can make it. It’s been found that specific goals have a greater probability of being achieved, so keep that in mind!


Measurable


In order to be able to measure progress towards goal completion, you should strive to make your goal measurable. Doing so will allow you to verify whether or not you are on track to reach your goal throughout the year!


Attainable/Achievable


Making sure your goal is attainable and achievable is essential to prevent being overwhelmed throughout the year. When brainstorming and writing down your goals, ensure that your business realistically has the capacity to achieve the goals. Don’t set a goal that’s going to make you feel like you’re getting nowhere when really its just unrealistic for the timeline.


Relevant


Of course, you should set goals that are relevant to your business and its success. More specifically, set goals that are in line with your business vision!


Time-bound


It’s been said that a goal without a deadline is nothing but a dream. Setting timelines for each and every one of your goals is so important to maintain accountability and focus in achieving the goal. It’s okay to set short- AND long-term goals for your business, in can be extremely beneficial. Think about setting overarching goals for the entire year, but also consider smaller deadlines, maybe on a monthly or even weekly basis, in order to work towards your long-term year goal.


4. Tracking daily tasks


Time management is something many people struggle with, but it’s also something that is absolutely vital for maintaining a good work-life balance while growing your business. Consider really dedicating some time to researching some time management skills that work for you! Finding some will serve as an asset to


5. Delegate tasks – focus on managing your business


One of the lessons we have learned throughout our own small business experience is the importance of delegating tasks. Not everything needs or should be done by a business owner/manager. Delegating tasks allows for the focus of a small business owner or manager to be on the overarching responsibilities of a business.