Image by: National Rural
By Lucy Clara
Things are looking up for entrepreneurs in the new year. While they may not be perfect, it’s still good to be optimistic.
Customers are beginning to spend at pre-recession levels and while the economic environment still remains difficult, here are 4 ways to make 2015 a profitable and good year for growth.
#1) Have a Plan
If you’ve had enough of the roller-coaster of your business being very profitable one day and virtually desolate the next, then it’s always good to have a plan. What better way to start off with one than to write it down.
Writing down your goals is simple, but many business people don’t utilize this extremely simple tool when preparing for the direction their business will go. Be specific and determine the route to success.
By developing a plan to achieve your objectives, you’ll map out clear action items. You can even delegate completion dates with the name of the person responsible for each step.
Execute your plan and review your progress regularly. Make your reviews a priority, otherwise you’ll never get o it. Don’t fall into the trap of not making planning a priority. As your business changes, you’ll need to have a plan for everything.
#2) Start with Good People
Starting your business off with good people is always in style. Entrepreneurs often struggle with decisions about what to do about under-performing employees while promoting those that are doing exceptional work.
It’s also especially difficult when a good employee can no longer perform his or her abilities due to outgrowing the job.
Into 2015, reviewing your goals and the steps to take action will help you envision your roles, skills, behaviors and cognitive capabilities your business will need to achieve its goals.
Review your team and their skills and achievements. By doing so you will know who can carry out the skills your business needs to succeed. Asking question as to whether or not your employees have the skill and attributes to complete your plan will help you to weed out anyone that might be slowing your business down. As harsh it it may be, delaying the dreaded process will only hurt your business in the long-run.
#3) Keep Your Cool
There is a famous saying about how doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results, is a sign of insanity. Well it is. Why should you expect anything different from a process that is proven to fail. Sounds pretty reasonable right?
As an entrepreneur, you’ll obvious want to make money, however, you don’t want to drive yourself bonkers trying to do everything. Poor processes breed bad results, so try to implement ways of doing things more efficiently that get the results you are looking for.
Document your existing process. This is one way to ensure consistency across your organization. Look for ways to streamline your process, once you come up with an idea that works. Remove wait time and perform steps in parallel, while eliminating unnecessary steps.
When a problem appears, fix it. Remember the customer is always the priority, they are the ones keeping you in business to begin with. By fixing the root cause of any problem, it will not only make your job easier into the future, but it will improve quality as well.
#4) Measure Your Performance
Periodically measure your performance to see where you need to improve and steps to take. By making good use of your financial statements, you’ll be better prepared on an accrual basis rather than a cash basis.
Develop a plan to track your profit and loss statements that separate the costs of delivering a product or service. Separate your expenses and revenue by the area of responsibility.
Produce financial statements within two weeks of the end of the month. Remember, delays mean problems go unnoticed.
The more your business grows, additional costs, metrics and responsibilities are bound to pile up. In addition to the upcoming new year ringing in with new techniques, there are some steps to take that supersede any year.
By following these tips, you’ll have what it takes to succeed in 2015 and beyond.
Let’s hear some tips from you! Are you an entrepreneur looking to improve your process in how you do business. There’s no time like the present to become more organized. What changes do you plan to incorporate into your business plan to increase revenue to your company. We want to hear from you!