The Christmas-New Year holidays are a time to unwind, refresh and recharge your batteries. It’s also a time to reflect on the year that was and make some resolutions for the year ahead. Many of us do a personal stocktake at this time of year, but what about your business?
The challenge for many small business owners is that they don’t feel they can take a break. Or if they do, they’re plugged into work 24/7 via their mobile devices. The problem is that not switching off can be bad for your relationships and wellbeing.
The constant juggling of commitments to family, friends and your business can be stressful, especially over the Christmas holidays, which is all the more reason to step back and take stock.
Australian business coach, Jon Dale points out that you need to make a conscious decision to switch off the phone at certain times of your down time – for your own good.
If you want your New Year’s resolutions for your business to be more than wishful thinking, they need to be SMART. As in specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to review your risk management strategy to reflect the rapid growth in your business.
Start by investigating your level of insurance to ensure you’re adequately covered. Make an appointment with your Steadfast insurance broker to review and update your cover.
Business coach Dale suggest setting a time frame to achieve each of your goals, then tracking and monitoring your progress, you are more likely to be celebrating your success this time next year.
It’s also important to undertake an annual SWOT analysis to identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Dale suggests you begin your review by asking what kind of business you want to build, what’s happening in the business now and what’s getting in the way or frustrating you. Once you identify any problems you can begin to build a bridge between what’s happening now and what you want to achieve.
When you are asking these questions and devising remedies, it’s helpful to break your business down into marketing, sales, operations, administration, you and your team. “In terms of building and growing a business, you can think of just about everything in one of these six areas”, says Dale.
It’s also helpful to share your goals with your staff so everyone knows where the business is headed and what you are trying to achieve. These goals should also be incorporated into your business plan where they will become objectives. If you haven’t got a written plan, you’ll find a template and tips to get you started, here.
Making time for change
If you know you have trouble sticking to a plan, then enlist some help. You could try one of the many goal setting and tracking apps available. Some will also track your team or multiple teams.
If you prefer the personal touch, then you could sign up with a business coach. Their job is to act as a sounding board, helping you develop your business plan and stick to it. In other words, they bring accountability into the process.
Alternatively, you could buddy up with a mate, a business partner or someone from your industry to hold you accountable. Psychologists often suggest using this strategy to get people to maintain an exercise routine, and it’s no different for your business. Dale says you are more likely to stick to your business plan if you’ve made a commitment to another person.
Taking time out over the busy summer holidays is never easy, but it’s worth it. Research shows that stress blocks creativity, mental clarity and the ability to focus, all of which are crucial to business success.
So this holiday season, make sure to take time out to reflect and review your business plan. Also make sure that your business insurances have kept pace with your growing business. In time, your family and employees may thank you for it.
Article reproduced from Steadfast ‘Well Covered’