No one teaches you how to run a business, which means a lot of it could be trial and error. Some fixes are quick and easy, some you just learn from your mistakes and make a note for next year.
Like new year planning. There is a surprising amount of work that goes into the year-end and new year for small businesses. You may think you have everything checked off on your list, only to find halfway through the year your marketing strategy did not account for X, Y, or Z, or your budgeting strategy was not as flexible as you needed it to be.
These are small lessons we can learn as our experience grows but there are some tasks service-based businesses can complete from the very beginning to make sure they make the most of their new year.
In the following article, we will discuss how to give your business a fresh start for the new year. These tasks are intended to help you reset and create a clear mind to plan for the exciting year ahead.
Take Time Off
Wait - the first thing is to not work? Yes.
Part of creating a fresh mindset for the new year is ensuring you do not feel burnt out from the start. The holidays are an excellent time to take that time off and truly unplug. Work to put processes in place so you can limit time checking email, catching up on work, or getting ahead of projects.
Some ways to help ensure you have that time include:
Let your clients, customers, and team members know when you will be out of the office.
Setting an auto-response on your email that explains when you will be back and who they can contact in case of an emergency.
Deleting apps on your phone that relate to work, like email! This can only be temporary if you need it later.
It may feel like you can take on all the work and get ahead will pay off but as a business owner, there will always be more work to be done. Be sure to give yourself the time you need to rest so you can come back more energized.
Review Your Calendar
Another meeting that should have been an email? How much of your calendar is taken up by events that fell flat or did not produce results? Did you find you were more efficient during certain times of the day or when you practice time blocking?
Reviewing your calendar can provide you with a ton of information - just like reviewing your financial statements.
Group all the events of your year into 1 of 3 categories:
Did not produce results / not efficient use of time
Productive but could be done more efficiently
Great use of time / generated results
Once you are more aware of your activities that move the needle, you will have an easier time saying “no” to events that do not serve your business.
Review Your Financial Statements & Reports
Just like reviewing your calendar, you should also review your financial statements, preferably with your bookkeeper.
This is an excellent time to ask questions and develop a deeper understanding of what happened in the previous year. With an experienced bookkeeper, you can utilize tech to view reports that show trends you would otherwise not be able to see as easily.
To learn more about bringing tech into your review process, check out how we can help here.
Focus Your Attention
Whether you call yourself the business owner, founder, or CEO, you likely want to keep an eye on all your departments. This is important in making sure systems are running smoothly together.
If your service-based business has focused heavily this past year on marketing, consider switching your focus in the upcoming year to process management or communications among your team members.
Do some research to figure out what points of friction are occurring within your business and proceed accordingly.
Survey your clients and team
Speaking of research - one excellent place to begin is by surveying your clients and team members. This can help guide your focus for the new year.
Ask your clients about your services, communication, and the quality of your work. Ask your team members about processes, expectations, and workload. Review the results and for items where you can improve (and are possibly mentioned more than once) turn your focus to improving those areas of your business first.
A fresh start begins with a fresh perspective. This means making sure your service-based business has the clarity and information to make the right decisions.
If you are looking for support on starting this next year strong, consider scheduling a consultation with a member of our team by clicking the link below: