Wednesday, 5 June 2019

10 tips for a healthier business

If you have business goals, do you find it strange how we can slack about for the whole year, and then - lo-and-behold - at the beginning of a new financial year we suddenly decide to mend our ways, or turn over a new leaf, or stop procrastinating? 

Then, of course, we are more than able to slack about for the rest of the year just so that we can make the same resolution again on the next tick of the annual clock.

If we know why our resolutions fail, we can work our way around our problem behaviours. Often our goals are simply too hard to achieve or are set with too short a time-frame. We try to tackle too much at once. We also tend to be too hard on ourselves, thinking that a small backslide means we have failed totally and we should abandon what progress we have made. 

So, like how to eat an elephant, with all new tasks and projects, we need to plan what we are going to do, in smaller, more easy-to-complete bites. A little bit of planning out what needs to be done for the coming year can actually make it easier to keep some of our goals on track. 

Try these ideas:

  1. January: Strategic Plan. Review it, and create a task reminder in Outlook to check progress next year
  2. February: Mission / Vision Statements. Check they are still consistent with your strategic plan. Create a task reminder in Outlook to check them again next year
  3. March: SWOT Analysis. Look to your organisation's future. List your strengths and weaknesses, analyse your market and research opportunities and threats
  4. April/May: Business Plan. Update it and put a task reminder in Outlook to check progress each month. If you don't have a Business Plan, actually write one - incorporating your SWOT analysis. If you don't know how to write a Business Plan, do a course, get some books out of the library and get some mentoring to help you complete it
  5. June: Budget. Set up your budgets for the year, run them past your accountant. Be realistic and ensure they fit with your business plan. Create a task reminder in Outlook for next year
  6. July/August: Procedures & Policies. Have your staff review them - have NEW staff review them. Update your master policy list. Does it cover all eventualities? Test: if a key staff member walked out tomorrow, could you hire someone new and have a smooth transition? If not, get your organisation's knowledge down on paper where it can stay with you, not walk out the door. Create a task reminder in Outlook for next year
  7. September: Invest in Yourself. Go and learn something new. There is no better way to grow your business than to pick up some new ideas from someone fresh
  8. October: Give Something Back. If you aren't already involved in a sponsorship or some kind of volunteer programme, have a think about what might suit your organisation. You can use the link for PR, or keep it quiet - whatever suits you best. Think about a charity, sports group, school or voluntary group. Volunteer for one of the Chamber of Commerce's committees or join Rotary
  9. November: Team-Building. Take your people somewhere to show them your appreciation of their efforts this calendar year. Spending quality time with the people who actively support and achieve your goals pays great dividends. Create a task reminder in Outlook for next year
  10. December: Review the Resolutions. See what you managed to achieve and how close each item was to completion. Celebrate your achievements; analyse why others didn't work, and LEARN from your past mistakes. And, create a task reminder in Outlook for next year!

OK. All ready for a new financial year?


Sam

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