I hate New Year's resolutions. I admit it.
So many go unfulfilled and then you feel even worse about not meeting a certain goal.
But I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a step back and reevaluating how you run your business.
If you don't, it could be another ho hum year.
|Bob Fila / KRT file|
To help you craft a 2008 to do list, I'm including these great resolutions for entrepreneurs by a New York City consulting firm called Citrin Cooperman.
They make a lot of sense. Do with them what you will.
1. Work "on" your business, not "in" your business. (Don't get overly caught up in the day-to-day details of your business every day. Give yourself sufficient time – one day a week, for example -- to work on the macro issues that affect your business and will ultimately drive the business forward.)
2. Reevaluate your relationships with key vendors to ensure you're receiving the best value. (Businesses grow and change over time; the vendors chosen five years ago may have been the right ones at the time, but perhaps it's time for a change.)
3. Create a 2008 budget, which forecasts the upcoming year's revenues and expenses and analyze these projections as appropriate, typically on a monthly basis. (The budget should be detailed enough to project revenues by client as well as new sources of revenue, as well as costs by department.)
4. Create a trusted circle of advisors and use them regularly. (Some entrepreneurs may want to appoint a "Board of Directors," while others may opt for a more informal group of outside advisors with keen business acumen. The point is to avoid going it alone. Bounce ideas off this group to receive independent advice.)
5. Track the sources of new business, such as referrals, marketing efforts, word-of-mouth, etc., more diligently to get a better handle on the sources of your new business. (Most business owners have a sense this, but without monitoring it closely, it's impossible to take appropriate actions to enhance these new business streams.)
6. Assess where your strategic plan; and if you don't have one in place – create one. (Many businesses have three- or five-year plan that gets crafted with care. Unfortunately, business owners often get lost in the day-to-day details of running their businesses and don't revisit this plan. Consequently, they can't make the decisions they need to stay on course.)
7. Commit to a monthly review of sales generated by products and/or services offered by your firm. (Strong sales in one product can mask weak sales elsewhere and drag down overall profits. If information is tracked, decisions can be made as to whether improve slumping products or eliminate them from the mix.)
8. Set up a schedule of meetings with your key business advisors, such as your banker, accountant and attorney. (You may want to meet with your banker quarterly to review your capital needs; your accountant monthly to review revenues and costs vs. budget projections; and your attorney twice yearly to review risks.)
9. Business owners should update estate trusts and family tax planning strategies, including the maximization of pension plan deferrals. (As families grow or change and new tax laws are put in place, trusts and tax strategies need to be amended appropriately.)
10. Reevaluate your firm's major policies, procedures and operations. (What seemed good policy five years ago when the business had 12 employees is most likely no longer appropriate for your 100-employee organization.)