For many Entrepreneurs and small business owners the New Year and end of the previous one can be the busiest and most stressful time of the year. Most of the time you are too busy worrying about the upcoming year that you forget to take a moment and breathe.
There are so many things to think about as the year ends and the next one begins that it can often be hard to find your footing. Remembering to take a step back and truly think about everything that needs to be done for the coming year can help you be more successful.
Every year there are things you need to go over and think about to make your business run smoothly. Whether that be budgeting, making a yearly plan, setting sales projections, or simply brainstorming marketing ideas, it can all seem very overwhelming.
Before you start feeling too overwhelmed, here are our Top 5 Ideas for a Successful Entrepreneur to start off the new year:
Let’s start off with something very simple. As you approach the end of every year, you need to remember to look back on the past year and reflect. Take some time right before the holiday break or as soon as you get back, to review the major statistics from the previous year.
Take a look at everything from budget to sales to team motivation, everything counts. Looking back on the previous year may seem obvious or unimportant, but it can be the most important part of moving into the new year. By looking back at everything you did right and wrong from the last year you are then able to move forward into the new one with a better plan.
Reflecting is a way of improving, because how can you improve if you don’t look back and think about what you have already done. Finding out where you went wrong will allow you to fix that and make improvements for the future. It goes the other way as well. Finding out what you did right can also help you improve, by either repeating what you have already done or further improving upon it to make it better for the future. Reflection is always important but when it comes to making sure your business runs better, it can be the most important thing of you do.
2. Think Long Term
Thinking long term, like reflecting, may seem obvious, however it is also often forgotten. Too often people only think in the short term, “I need to get this done this week” or “This project is due at the end of the month”. However, they forget to think in the long term, and it can cause them to run into problems further down the road.
As the new year begins try and make a long-term plan for the entire year. Make a three-month, six-month, nine-month, and twelve-month plan as soon as the new year begins. Layout everything that needs to be done by those time periods for the entire year, that way you can avoid issues down the road. With a small business everything can move either very slowly or very quickly and sometimes things can change instantly. So, making sure you have a plan for the entire year if not longer can allow you time to plan or correct for those changes. It also ensures that you stay on track for the year and aren’t veering off course for side projects or minor details that are unimportant. Your plan for the year will allow you to stay focused and have a clear outlined goal going forward into the new year.
Going over your yearly budget is something everyone must do, but it can often be lost under everything else to do. Often it is easy to slip into a pattern of simply repeating everything from the previous year, but we often forget that things can change. Going back every year and looking at your budget from the previous year as well as your profits and what you expect for the coming year is a great way to improve your business.
Sometimes it can be easy and maybe even smart to reuse the same budget year after year. But sometimes we need to take a step back and re-evaluate. Our business won’t always make the same amount every year in sales and other things like expansions and progress can also affect what our new budget needs. Taking that extra time to go over everything from the previous year and planning out a new budget for the coming one can greatly improve the success of your business. You don’t always have to have a big budget, but it is smart to have one and to make sure there is room to wiggle if the plan needs to change.
4. Team Building
As the new year begins and the old one ends everyone is coming back from their vacations and starting to get back into the swing of things. Often many small business owners forget to check in on their team as the year begins as everything is taking up so much of their time. However, checking in or even having a team building day can greatly improve moral for the coming year and help everyone get back into the flow of work.
Your team is the most essential part of your business, because without them you have no business. Making sure that they are okay and happy can help your business run smoothly and create an overall better work environment for everyone. Take the time at the end of the year or the start of the new one to check up with your team, see how they are doing, where you can improve, or what they need to be happier. Ask them questions and make improvements to help them and yourself. A lot of times our teams have some great ideas on how to improve the business that often go forgotten or unknown because we forget to ask. Make sure you are taking the time to ask and genuinely implement those improvements; you will see a big up-take in morale with your time.
Take the time when you get back to plan a team building day. It will help everyone get reacquainted with each other and the workplace. Allowing everyone to just have a day when they get back to just relax and blow off some steam and have some fun can greatly improve the work your team does for the new year.
Often, we forget that our teams need breaks too and time to improve, and that their improvement and happiness affects us and the success of our business. You aren’t the only one experiencing stress from the new year, your employees are too. Remember to give them the time to relax and readjust to working again and the new workload for the year. So, take the time to ask them some questions, check in, and give them sometime to cool off and get back into the swing of things as the new year begins. This will make everyone happier and healthier.
With all the craziness and stress that comes with the new year we can often get overwhelmed with everything we need to do and forget about ourselves. The well being of the business will always come first especially in the new year when everything is up in the air and all over the place. However, your well-being also needs to be a priority. Yes, your business is your number one focus, but how can your business run smoothly if you don’t.
Take the extra time in the new year to think about what you need personally. Take a break or a day off and just relax. Take the time to focus on yourself and what you personally need to run at 100%. If that means taking a day off and going for a run or hitting up a spa than that’s fine as long as you are working on yourself. We often forget that we matter too and that our mental health and physical health can play a big role in our success. If we aren’t running at 100%, how can we expect our businesses to.
As the year begins take some time to catch up with friends, go to the gym, have dinner with family, or simply read that book you’ve been putting off. Simply do whatever you need to in order to make sure you are happy and healthy. There will be a noticeable difference in how you work and how your business works when you take the time to self-improve and self-care.
Take some time to plan for self-care, block in dinner dates, days off, or work outs it’s all up to you. Just make sure you are taking the time to set aside time for yourself and your loved ones, that way you are keeping yourself happy and healthy. Often it can seem selfish to take time off for ourselves rather than focusing on the business but you need to remember you matter too and if you aren’t happy your business won’t be either.