The enthusiasm is starting to wane and the realization set in, that starting a business is very hard work. Your family and friends have heard your story and shared their best wishes for your success. The fact that you are starting your second year means that you have had some success in growing you new venture, but now is the time to review what you have done and make the necessary adjustments to insure continued growth.
If you are like many new businesses, you did not have a written plan against which to measure your progress. Now is the time to set the standards for future growth. Take two days for working on your business instead of in your business. The following items should be reviewed and set into a plan for next year and then reviewed and implemented every year.
BUDGET: Go over your income and expense, in detail, for the previous year. Using a highlighter, mark those expenses that were not necessary. On the income side, detail the source of your income. Was it one client, or many. Was your income increasing every month. Who were your best customers and are they repeat customers.
Marketing: Every business does some type of marketing. Is your source of business one that you brought in by your establishing new relationships? Did you rely mainly on friends and family? Are you in a good walk by or drive by location? What dollars were spent on marketing and what were the results? Were marketing efforts made year around or just when business was slow.
Time Management: As owner how do you spend your time? What does a typical day look like? What does a typical week look like? Write down what you do in a day and for a week. “I don’t have time” is one of the frequent excuses I hear from business owners. Those without a time management process are very busy, perhaps putting out “fires” or trying to figure out what to do next. For this coming year, establish a time management program which will allow you to spend more time on your business than in your business.
Mentor and Business Support Group: Find a mentor who will work with you in the three above mentioned areas and who will help you hold yourself accountable, too the plan you create. Next, establish a business support group to help grow your business.
By doing this exercise you are creating a business plan in the most critical areas for your next year.. Yes, it is a lot of work but very necessary for profitable growth.
“To make a promise – and to accept full responsibility for the delivery of that promise – requires control, the kind of control that only a process-oriented company can hope to exercise.”
Have a great day!