We all make resolutions for a new year – even business owners. When it comes to business, resolutions are usually in the form of setting goals or identifying changes to the way things are done to increase the potential for greater success.
Resolutions and goal setting can be just as difficult for businesses as they are in other areas of life. And, just as in other areas of life, any desired change to how things are done in your business can take time and persistent effort. Bad habits that affect your day-to-day operations, unrealistic expectations and owner burnout can all derail your resolutions for positive change if you’re not careful. So, let’s look at some key things to keep in mind when attempting to implement the changes that can make your resolutions reality.
Business owners may be aware of bad personal habits they have, but are often unaware of the bad habits they have formed over time in their business. Part of getting (and keeping) your business on track may mean a number of things have to change. But how can you expect to change habits that can be destructive to your business if you’re not even aware of what they are? Take some time to step outside of yourself and evaluate the way you run your business. Do you have good systems and processes in place to streamline daily operations? Is the financial side of your business in order? Is your managerial style conducive to inspiring maximum productivity from your employees?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then you probably need to seek some guidance and come up with a better plan to move forward.
Know Your Limits
It’s easy to be overly optimistic when setting goals for a business. Our ability to dream is often far greater than our capacity to implement. It’s important to realize that. It’s also important to set goals that are realistic and attainable. Biting off more than you can chew can lead to frustration and cause you to be defeated before you’ve even really begun.
Be realistic about the goals you set – know your limits. It’s okay to have those bigger goals, just identify smaller goals that will eventually get you to that bigger goal and make those your focus for the coming months. By being honest about your limitations in terms of time, energy and resources, you can set goals that are actually achievable.
Another part of knowing your limits is admitting your weaknesses and reaching out for help when needed. If there are aspects of running your business that are areas of weakness for you, there’s absolutely no shame in seeking out expert advice and guidance. There are some great resources in the St. Louis area. Experts 4 Entrepreneurs is one I’m familiar with. SCORE, a division of the SBA, is another. Think about joining a group like E4E to mastermind with other entrepreneurs or contacting SCORE to work with a mentor and get the information you need to reinforce your knowledge and skills.
Spreading Yourself Too Thin
A lot is required to successfully run a business and accomplish your goals. If you find yourself staying at work until midnight or if your to-do list for the day is consistently, ridiculously long, it might be time to re-evaluate your schedule – and your priorities. Often, we’re spread too thin because we don’t distinguish between the tasks that contribute to the success of our business (and meeting the goals we’ve set) and tasks that could (and should) be delegated to someone else or even eliminated altogether.
Look at everything that appears on your to-do lists and set some priorities. Take ownership of the tasks that are truly important – the ones that move your business forward – and delegate the tasks that can be delegated. Cross off the ones that represent activities that don’t contribute to the big picture. Stay focused on what matters to keep you from spreading yourself too thin and experiencing burnout. Put your time and energy where it will move your business forward toward achieving your goals.
Want more strategies for making sure those resolutions go from desire to reality? Contact me today. I have tools and tips that will streamline your business and set you up for success!