New Year, New You: 5 business resolutions for 2016
We all make personal New Year’s resolutions, mostly along the lines of ‘must lose weight’ or ‘must drink less’ – sound familiar? But how many of us actually think about making resolutions for the business? In this blog, Kirkwood Wilson Accountants gives you FIVE business-minded resolutions to kick-start your year as you mean to go on.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that most of us struggle to stick to them. Those well-intentioned gym memberships might begin with a flurry of visits but they quickly taper off for the vast majority most of us as soon as the results don’t happen quickly enough. Our efforts to cut back on alcohol might last the month of January but how long thereafter before it slowly creeps back into our routines?
Why don’t we stick to our resolutions? Invariably, it’s because they’re not specific enough. We set ourselves purposefully vague targets because then if they fall by the wayside we won’t be overly disappointed. After all, what’s the worst that could happen if we don’t stick to our personal resolutions? We might gain a few pounds (the wrong sort!) or experience a few hangovers.
Business resolutions for 2016
If you make resolutions for yourself, why wouldn’t you do the same for your business? Perhaps you do, but are they purposefully vague like your personal resolutions? In our opinion, the key to sticking to your goals – whether they’re for yourself or your business – is to think SMART. Give yourself Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-related targets for the best chance of success.
Here are five resolutions that every business owner should make for 2016:
5. Measure performance – It’s well worth your time, as a business owner, to assess the previous year’s performance. What worked well and what didn’t? How did the business perform against last year’s targets (you did set some didn’t you?!)? What would you do differently for the forthcoming year? When you chart successes and failures it makes it far easier to improve going forward.
4. Set clear targets – January is a great time to set objectives for the business. What level of turnover would you like to achieve? What are your growth targets? Get really honest about your goals and targets to give the forthcoming financial year some added structure and achievable goals.
3. Involve the team – No business owner is an island, so take the time to discuss performance and targets with your staff. After all, they’re fully immersed in the day to day activities of the business. What changes can you make to improve the running of the business? Has there been useful feedback from customers that will help to optimise your sales? Ask them and act on their advice.
2. Cut out bad habits – What about those bad habits that we all develop? How about ensuring that the VAT return is submitted ahead of the very last day? Or completing your mileage records on a weekly basis, rather than trying to record a whole year at once? As with everything, practice makes perfect!
1. Talk to your accountant – Perhaps the best resolution would be to really talk to your accountant about how they can really help you. Do you need monthly management advice or help with tax planning? Do you need to tackle a difficult issue with succession planning or is it vital that you improve your accounting software? Once again, gaining absolute clarity will be hugely beneficial for you and your business.
So there you are, if you act on these five resolutions alone – and stick to them – we’re sure that by this time next year you’ll be looking forward to another prosperous year of success ahead.