It doesn’t matter whether you had a good year or a bad year in business things can always be improved for the better. If things have gone well this year you may want to look at how you can increase profits for next year. If you have had a bad year and seemed to be struggling along then you need to look at what you can improve for next year that will make it better for you and give you the upper hand you are looking for. Business is hard and I don’t think any of us get into it to fail or struggle. In fact I bet that every one of us have the dream of creating something exciting and making big money while we live a great life. Once you have been in business however you will realize that dream may be just that, a dream. Without the hard work, without the dedication, and without managing and researching the industry you’re in you will have a hard time realizing that dream. As a business consultant I have seen some business owners that just don’t get it, they say they’re investigating getting into business so they spend time going to events, they look for free information, and spend time asking questions, but in the end turn around and do the exact opposite of what they learned. I believe this is because they are taking in the information, but then don’t have the knowledge base of the business to make sensible decisions. When you go opposite of the information given to you from people who know the industry you are not listening very well.
So if you have been in this situation or you need to improve as we all do then the beginning of the year is a great time to start. Just wipe the slate clean, collect all your data from this year and lock yourself in a room for a couple of days and evaluate your numbers. People laugh when I tell them that our business has an Annual General meeting each December when they know it is just the two of us in the company. The meeting is in depth, lasts about five hours and covers every aspect of our business from marketing to finance. We schedule it every year around the end of December because that is a quiet time for us and since our year end is in October it gives me time to gather numbers and finalize reports. It may sound foolish to some but our business has been growing every year out of the gate and continues to do so. We know where we need to improve and each year we focus on improving one part of our business. This is where many business owners go wrong, they try to fix everything at once like a television show. Focus on one area like improving sales this year, improving cash flow next year, maybe the third year you try to reduce interest charges and so on. One year our whole focus was streamlining our bookkeeping to make sure we were up to date at all times. It vastly improved our business just improving that one item. So if you have been struggling or are looking to improve your business as a whole, use the beginning of the year wisely, use it as a fresh start.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant with over 30 years experience in the transportation industry. He is the author of the book “Running By The Mile” and “How to Start an Artistic Business in 12 Easy Steps.” For more information on Bruce’s work please visit his website at www.outridge.ca