Have you ever noticed the influx of people at gyms come January? After a month or so of holiday parties, a gym membership can seem like a great idea. As the new year begins, many people are filled with good intentions and create resolutions to help them better themselves. While it’s true that quite a few of these enthusiastic gym goers fade away by February, the concept of making New Year’s resolutions is not something to scoff at.
Your start up or small business may not have indulged in one too many cookies over the holidays, but if you look closely, there are probably a few things you would like to work on in the coming year. So, take a moment and make a few New Year’s Resolutions for your company in order to help it improve this next year. Not sure where to begin? Read on for eight ideas.
Finances are a large topic, but we can assume that most business owners would rather make money than lose money so we want to do our best to make that happen. Even if your business is staying in the black, and you feel like you have a pretty clear picture of its financials, there is always room to tighten up.
1. Create a Financial Forecast
If you haven’t done so already, you want to be sure that your company has a financial forecast for the year or longer. It is recommended that you actually have at least 2 forecasts created: a positive one and a conservative option. This will help you to make adjustments and be flexible as things pop up during the year.
2. Make a Budget and Look at it!
Afterwards, use that financial forecast to create a yearly budget for the business. Already did that? Great! Then, make it your resolution to look at the budget monthly instead of putting it away to be pulled out at the end of the year. Examining the budget regularly throughout the year can help you to avoid any big “uh oh” moments at the end.
3. Cut Unnecessary Expenses
On a smaller scale, make a resolution to examine all of your company’s expenses, especially small, seemingly insignificant ones. Do you have a snow removal company or lawn maintenance? What about your phone service? Do you provide brand name coffee in the break room? Can any of these expenses be cut out, or could you research for a less expensive service provider? Over time, little expenses can add up, so make it your resolution to see where you can cut.
4. Consider Outsourcing or Hiring Other Employees
For those of you with your hands in everything, a great financial New Year’s Resolution is to work on stepping back. Doing everything yourself can seem like it is the cheaper option, but often it is not. If you are spending hours of your time doing tasks that someone else could do, consider hiring another employee or outsourcing the work.
Organization and Direction Resolutions
If it seems like the direction of your small business is unclear and your employees are a little murky about the goals of your company, now is the time to clarify that. Does your company have mission and vision statements? If not, make it your New Year’s resolution to write one. “A mission statement is intended to clarify the ‘what’ and ‘who’ of a company, while a vision statement adds the ‘why’ and ‘how’ as well” (Lindsay Kolowich, HubSpot).
5. Write a Mission Statement
Writing a mission statement is important because it can help with hiring, decision making, and making sure that everybody is on the same page. The mission statement should be clear, and it should guide the direction of your company. According to Glenn Smith, “Mission is to the company what a compass is to an explorer, a map to a tourist, a rudder to a ship, a template to a machinist.”
If your small business or start up already has a mission statement it never hurts to go back through and examine if your company seems to be working with that mission statement. Do the daily activities reflect the mission? No? Then, you either need to make changes to get the business back on track, or consider revising the business’s mission.
6. Write a Vision Statement
Vision statements, though similar to mission statements, look to the future, and what the company hopes to look like and accomplish. As with a mission statement, having a clear company vision can help with day-to-day tasks and decision-making. If you and your employees aren’t sure what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, or what the long-term goals are, make it one of your New Year’s resolutions to define that in solid mission and vision statements.
Employees can make or break a business, and hiring a new one is both a commitment in time and money. That is why, in 2018, you should make the resolution to only have the best employees working for you. You want skilled employees, of course, but that isn’t the only important factor.
7. Examine Employee Attitudes and Work Ethic
Your employees should bring positivity and creativity to their position and have a similar mindset and values to you. Their work should also be representative of those mission and vision statements that we talked about. Take a look around. Is anyone a drain on the company? Not just financially, but also emotionally? Try making some changes to tweak that person’s position, but if it doesn’t work- don’t be afraid to cut ties.
8. Clean up your Hiring Practices
Azadeh Williams of Quick Books a warns against “hiring too softly.” This refers to simply hiring based on personal connections and not putting time and research into finding the best person for the job. Doing this, he says, “…can have devastating consequences for your business in the long term.” Hiring employees can be a hassle, but this year, take the time to do it the right way.
Be picky about who you work with as one of your New Year’s Resolutions. Having a skilled team with a positive attitude can make all of the difference.
Whether or not you keep up your gym membership this year, make 2018 great with these New Year’s Resolutions for you small business or start up. Do you have any other resolution ideas? Feel free to leave them in the comments.
Contact Lucid Books for more information about your business’s financial situation and goals this upcoming year.