As we say farewell to 2009, it is a perfect time to reflect on the successes and failures of your professional and personal life this past year. Have you considered what changes you want to implement for the coming year?
As women entrepreneurs, it is important to look for ways to improve work-life balance. As we welcome the New Year, take some time to reflect on your business’s progress and make plans on how you want your business to grow. Want growth? Here are 6 New Year’s Resolutions for Business Success!
Set Specific Time Management Goals
Why do you want to set specific goals to manage your time effectively? Well, setting simple goals will force you to plan your time wisely, thus, allowing you to get a sense of achievement and reduce work and life stress. For example, if spending time with your family is important, try working fewer hours on Friday so that you can honor that goal.
By scheduling your time based on your goals, you can assess if your goals truly align with the core values, both professionally and personally. If you find that your goals are out of align, then you are able to identify key areas that need adjusting before they get out of control. A must read book by Brian Tracy that helps you to set goals in all areas of your life is, ‘Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals.’
One of the most successful ways to promote your business is through networking. You are in business to grow, so make networking a key part of your marketing strategy so that you position yourself to connect with the right people.
Networking is a lifestyle in which you need to incorporate onto your “To Do” list. By networking, you are developing your social skills by engaging or interacting in an informal gathering to communicate with others for mutual assistance or support. By acquainting yourself with other business owners or executives, you are building meaningful relationships. There are many organizations that you can become involved in such as the Chamber of Commerce, Business Network International (BNI) or a professional organization related to your industry.
Understand your finances
This is extremely important for the health of your business. As a growing business, you need to be diligent about your finances. The NUMBER ONE reason that businesses fail is due to lack of control over finances. Some experts suggest reviewing your profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flow reports on a monthly basis. To manage this, there is accounting software such as QuickBooks specifically for small businesses. Also, hiring a CPA or bookkeeper can be a wise investment.
Learn how to delegate
As your business grows, so should your ‘tight grip’ on controlling every aspect of your business. The worst thing that you can do is become a slave to your business. This attitude can cripple you! I know this first hand; as a former owner of a building maintenance company; I was president, HR generalist, payroll specialist, trainer, janitor, sales woman and more! It took me a while to realize that not only could I not effectively wear every hat, but in order to grow and regain my sanity, I had to trust others. It is important that you delegate non-core business tasks to your staff or consider outsourcing. Play on the strengths of others. The lack of delegation will stifle your growth, or worse, cause you to run your business and yourself into a pit fall.
Prioritize your day
It is essential that you start your day with a ‘to do’ list. It doesn’t matter if your business is small or if you run a large corporation, having a daily plan will keep you on track in effectively running your business. Start your day by scheduling uninterrupted time to plan and create your list of tasks for that day, and rank your list in order of priority. For example, if you have 10 tasks on your list, of those, how many do you need to complete? Can you save the least important tasks for another time?
Please note: If you don’t accomplish all the tasks from your ‘to do’ list, it doesn’t mean you are having problems managing your time. It simply means that you only have limited time per day to get everything done and you may be trying to accomplish more tasks than you have time in the day.
To manage and prioritize my time, I rely on Microsoft Outlook’s calendar and task manager to plan my personal and business schedule. I then sync Microsoft Outlook to my Black Berry PDA. This helps me to stay on task and set priorities for my daily activities. Find what works for you and make it a daily habit to have a productive and organized day!
Last but not least…
If it’s not working, drop it quickly
Don’t waste your time or invest any unnecessary energy nursing something that isn’t working for your business. Time = Money and in our current economic crisis, both are a very precious commodity that a small business can’t afford to gamble with. Move on and don’t look back!
By incorporating these simple yet effective strategies into your plan, you can position your business for significant growth. Here’s looking at a great 2010!
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting and coaching firm. She is currently employed as a Project Director, business coach and consultant for the Women’s Business Center, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She also serves as a volunteer SCORE counselor, an organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. She is also a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA’s Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneur’s, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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