The arrival of the new year is something of a blank slate for small business owners. Though you’ll naturally be hitting the ground running with a huge list of existing tasks to get through, there’s a real opportunity to make fundamental changes to your business vision that can pay off enormously down the line.
We’ve recently covered some practical tips to avoid becoming overwhelmed when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. This time around, we’ll be looking at a further series of practical tips that have the potential to transform your whole operation when implemented over time.
Each of our suggestions revolves around relatively simple shifts in mindset. They might take a little time to sink in, but the actual steps involved in executing them thereafter are surprisingly straightforward — little hinges swing big doors in this respect.
Let’s kick things off with a classic!
1. Read Work the System.
Pouring over books on entrepreneurship inevitably becomes a passion when you’re establishing your business vision. However, while there are thousands of titles on small business success available these days, sorting the wheat from the chaff can be a tiresome task. Sam Carpenter’s Work the System is very much the cream of the crop, and it’s guaranteed to deliver on practically every page.
The few hours you invest in reading this small business classic will pay off for years to come. You can look forward to discovering a new passion for process and documentation as you flick through its pages, and enjoy substantially fewer sleepless nights if you implement its recommendations in your own firm.
2. Stop trying to be an accountant or bookkeeper.
On the off chance that you have both accounting expertise and a passion for crunching through sales receipts and invoices, by all means tackle your financial admin yourself. For most of us, though, this is a task best left to the experts.
With a focus on just getting money in the door to stay afloat, many small business owners end up avoiding to clearly define their accounting needs, and often shoulder some of the bookkeeping burden themselves.
This is a potentially disastrous trap to slide into in terms of your time management, overall financial health and general peace of mind. If you haven’t grasped this particular nettle to date, make a commitment that the upcoming year is the one where you’re going to get your accounts in order — and don’t try and cut corners by doing it yourself.
With modern tools such as Xero and Wave available, and easy access to qualified professionals via services such as Bench, there’s really no excuse for biting the bullet and getting this business vision right. Your reward will be a new level of financial clarity that will make itself felt across all aspects of your business.
Editor’s note: Need help with bookkeeping? Check out GoDaddy’s professional Online Bookkeeping to keep your finances in order.
3. Block off your first 60 minutes each day.
When you’re a small business owner, every buck potentially stops with you. As you grind your way through the week, there’s going to be no shortage of people queuing up to snatch your time away. We’ve all been in the situation of getting to the end of a working day, only to realize that virtually nothing we’d actually planned to do got done.
Aspects of this are unavoidable as an entrepreneur, but there’s one simple trick you can use to regain some control over your own time (and potentially transform your business vision and output as a result).
This way, you can concentrate on whatever your most important task for the day or week ahead is. In some cases, this is going to require actually starting your day an hour earlier. This isn’t the happiest of positions to be in admittedly, but it’s more than worth actually knuckling down and doing it.
Rather than finishing up your days with a constant nagging feeling of regret, you’ll be facing them knowing you’ve already taken care of your most pressing concerns. It’s a small step, but a very powerful one – commit to it for a couple of months, and you’ll see genuinely transformative changes to your output, focus and business.
4. Join a mastermind group
Being captain of your own ship can be a lonely affair, and it’s easy to fall victim to burnout and become overwhelmed. If you’re struggling with the challenges of small business survival on your own, you’re also not necessarily being exposed to the best information available. There’s a real risk of running up blind alleys and unnecessarily reinventing the wheel (not a great use of time and certainly not a way to positively impact your business vision).
Joining a local mastermind group solves a number of these problems at a stroke. You get support, counsel and a host of expert external eyes assessing your day-to-day business challenges and opportunities. You’ll also benefit from the type of accountability that only sharing your story with others can bring.
A better business vision
A big part of making a go of your own small business is working out areas where small changes can deliver outsized results down the line. Stack just a few of these together, and the overall effect on your chances of success can be truly incredible.
Let’s recap our four suggestions for positively affecting your business vision:
- Discover the power of process and documentation by reading Sam Carpenter’s Work the System.
- Take full control of your financial admin by using the right tools and outsourcing to experts where appropriate.
- Give yourself an hour of power at the start of each day to turbocharge your output.
- Find small business owners who’ll have your back in a local mastermind group.
Are there any particular small changes you’ve implemented in the past that led to transformative results in your business? Share them with us via the comments section below!
Also published on Medium.