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2020 Business Resolutions

Being accountable, sticking to plans and kicking goals

I don’t know about you but running your own business can be a very lonely place.

Very rarely do we have a support network around us that really understands the issues that arise, the things that keep us awake at night which consequently affects the relationships we have outside of work.

There is so much to do and it can be easy to be consumed by the work that needs to get done, let alone worrying about the money in the bank to pay creditors, wages and then, maybe, even yourself.

“Pretty certain this wasn’t what we signed up for when we dreamt up our business plan many years ago.”

The challenge is, we are in so deep that it can be difficult to see how we can change our circumstances.

We all know that we need a plan – something that maps out a set timeframe or our whole year so we know where we are going, allowing us to measure performance. Having that plan in place allows us to deal with the issues we currently face and plot a path for sustained business growth and profitability. Business people know this is critical; it has been shown time and time again!

As Accountants who work specifically with business owners, we interact with and help hundreds of clients who own businesses. Some do very well, and others don’t!

When you start looking at the characteristics of the businesses that do well, we see that they have two things in common: a strategic plan and a mentor that assists in clarifying the murky detail. This would not be alarming to the majority of successful businesses and even to those that are struggling to make ends meet.

In our view, it is imperative that you take the time to plan and, if you don’t have a lot of time, then at least focus on the following four things:

  1. Strengths / Weaknesses / Opportunities / Threats (SWOT) Analysis
  2. Customers – Who and where are they?
  3. Target Markets
  4. Financial Forecasts

By giving attention to just these four areas, you will be able to build an action plan to implement change and improve your position. Your action plan should be broken down into quarterly time increments. The challenge will be holding yourself accountable and getting all the work done as well as focusing on your business.

Quite simply, you can’t do everything. Share the projects with your team and empower them to drive change in the areas that you are targeting.

To gain a different perspective, every business owner needs to find someone that they trust, who understands you and your business and, most importantly, will be honest with you.

Their input will be invaluable. They will be the key to holding you accountable and making sure the plan is implemented. Only upon effective implementation will you start to see positive change, a change in your team and how they operate, the customers you attract and, finally, the financial performance of your business. 

Dwight D Eisenhower said, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” This is an investment worth making.

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