The New Year – Time to Get in Shape

Another holiday season has come and gone and hopefully all of your best wishes came true.  Most of us are now focused on the New Year with high expectations and new commitments for success.  And in many cases that includes those high minded New Year’s resolutions that probably include losing a few pounds or maybe just striving to get in shape.  Committing to better health is a great way to start the year whether that includes a better diet, a daily walk or short jog, or maybe even just one less dessert each week.  The key is to just pick something and then stick to it long enough to build a habit that leads to the result you want.

The same process should apply to your business.  The New Year is a great time to stop and evaluate your business activity…to get your business in shape.  Take the time to actually write this stuff down.  What are you doing this week to get one more customer?  Set up a call program or a networking event that fits with your industry to contact potential new relationships.  Set a goal that matches your time availability and then stick to it.  Make a habit of keeping that schedule.  Don’t stop with just new customers.  Take some time to review your banking relationships, your key vendors, and even your process for ordering office supplies.  How much are you paying for rent, for internet access, for bank charges and even overnight deliveries?  Take some time to review your overall business procedures and processes.  Consider new technologies for efficiency and cost savings. 

Remember that this is not just about the bottom line; this is also about your quality of life.  The better shape your business is in the more time you have to get yourself in shape.  As you make those New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to include your business.  Build a habit based on consistency and commitment to the plan.  Just like with getting yourself in shape the key is to just pick something and then stick to it.  If you don’t have a formal business plan this is a great time to commit to building that plan.  If you have a formal business plan this is even a better time to update that plan.  There are tons of resources right on-line and even in person with your local Small Business Development Center to help you build a business plan to help get your business on the track to success.  

Even if you decide to have that extra dessert anyway, make sure your business stays focused on success.  Happy New Year!!! 

From Keith Hall, President & CEO, National Association for the Self Employed (NASE)