I’m a cheerleader for women and an accountant bursting with personality.
Make 2020 the best year for your Business
The start of a new year is traditionally a time for us to review the year that was and set some good intentions for the year ahead. We’ve all been there. We’ve all vowed to lose weight, give up the booze and exercise more. If you are like me, you’ve also probably failed miserably before Australia Day. But, new year’s resolutions don’t need to be restricted to your personal life. The new year is a great opportunity to look at our businesses and see what we can improve on from the previous year.
So, here are some of my top tips for making 2020 your best year yet.
“If you don’t understand your numbers, how do you know how your business is tracking?”
Prioritise looking at your numbers regularly
If you don’t understand your numbers, how do you know how your business is tracking? Now, not every business owner has a background in finance and that’s okay. But a basic understanding of the important bits will go a long way to helping you build a successful business. The quickest and easiest (and least time consuming) way to track your numbers is in an accounting system. Look at the big ones like Xero, Quickbooks, MYOB or Reckon. Wave is also a free option if you are just starting out. If you can, have a bookkeeper or accountant to set this up for you properly from the start.
Set some SMART Goals
I am going to increase profits by $100000’ is just as likely to happen as ‘I am going to quit drinking coffee’ is. Both unrealistic and in coffee’s case – completely unreasonable! When you are setting goals for your business, make sure SMART Goals.
- Specific – What will you do?
- Measurable – How will you evaluate?
- Achievable – Is it possible to accomplish?
- Relevant – Will it improve your business in some way?
- Timely – When will you get it done?
What does a SMART goal look like?
A SMART goal for a hairdresser might look like this:
Goal – Increase profit
Specific: I will increase my revenue by increasing my prices by 2% and rent a chair in my salon to another hairdresser.
Measurable: I will increase sales over the next 6 months by attracting 5 new clients per month.
Attainable: I will utilise my social media to network, collaborate and promote my business. I will also improve my customer relationships by offering referral discounts.
Relevant: By renting a chair to another hairdresser, it will help cover the costs of the monthly rent.
Timely: I will have increased my profit by the end of financial year.
Remember, goal setting doesn’t solely need to be financial-based. It can be focused on employee retention, business efficiencies, improving dispatch operations. Absolutely anything!
Share your goals with your team
If you think you are superwoman and can do this on your own, you are kidding yourself. Behind every good business woman, is a team of incredible humans (both employees, friends, family, and mentors) helping her achieve her wildest dreams. Sharing your goals with your team makes them and YOU accountable. Just remember, be sure to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements with those who help you achieve them. Gratitude is important.
Learn to Delegate
One of the most difficult things for a business owner to do is to let go of the control. I know – I’ve been there too! But, as your business grows and your expertise is needed in other areas of your business, you really won’t have a choice. Take a really close look at your daily tasks. Challenge yourself to come up with at least 3 that you can delegate. Invest the time in training your employees on how to do these tasks. If you don’t have employees, look at outsourcing. So, if you are hard up for ideas, here are some that can be delegated quickly and easily (and you might just find someone who does them better than you!)
- IT Support
- Website Updates
- Data Entry
- Packing & Shipping
“Remember, you DO NOT work for your business. Your business works for YOU.”
Look towards more Collaborations
Make no mistake, I absolutely love collaborations and I don’t mean the type where you share your database contacts with someone else. By collaborations, I mean you work with other businesses (often with the same target market) and utilise each other’s skills or services to provide value to each others clients.
Some examples might include:
- Hairdressers, beauticians, photographers, fashion houses, florists
- Accountants, lawyers, financial planners, insurance brokers
- Cafes, caterers, event planners
- Real estate agents, conveyancers, cleaners.
Can you refer work to each other? Work on a project together? Deliver a workshop together? Sell each other’s products? Think outside the box. The options really are endless.
Just remember, if you head in the collaboration route, make sure it is a win for all parties.
Collaboration over competition wins every time.
Review your business boundaries
Do you take work home, answer calls or emails outside of normal trading hours or agree to unrealistic time frames from your clients or customers? If the answer is yes, then making this change needs to be your number one priority. Remember why you went into business in the first place. I bet it was for more flexibility to work the hours you want and to do the things that you wanted to do. Remember, you do not work for your business. Your business works for you.
Schedule time in your calendar for YOU
The biggest mistake I see in business is the fact that business owners are so tied to their business, they very rarely manage time off for themselves. But, you need to remember that if you were an employee working full time for someone else, you would be entitled to 4 weeks paid holidays per year. Why should working for yourself be any different? If you can’t manage a week or two, aim for a long weekend. It can (and should) be made possible. Take the calendar out now AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!