With New Year's Eve parties over and firmly fixed in our rearview mirrors, most small business owners are settling in to the 2014 groove. Some are armed with resolutions: commitments to grow their team, improve processes or expand operations. And while resolutions are great, we thought it'd be interesting to share a few of our own unresolutions: commitments to stop doing the things that prevent us from growing, improving and expanding. Here they are...
- Stop leaving things to chance. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s the truth! When you leave things to chance, you're surrendering control. And that's where goal setting comes in to play: set annual goals, but more importantly, define the tactics required to achieve them so that you're not leaving things to chance.
- Stop working with bad clients. What makes a bad client? It varies. Sometimes it's the intangibles (i.e., the relationship just doesn't jive). Other times it's more quantitative than that. They pay late. They're not profitable. They require excessive time spent. These are bad client traits. And even though you feel like these clients are good, they're not. Stop working with them.
- Stop burning out. Working yourself to the bone does not always mean successful productivity. In fact, it often leads to burnout. And no one cares about your humble brag on Twitter ("Soooo tired. That's what I get for working 95 hours this week.") Stop burning yourself out for no reason and get more efficient with your time.
- Stop trying to do it all yourself. It's likely in your entrepreneurial DNA to want to do everything yourself, but the truth of the matter is, you can't. Sure, the success of your business depends on you, but it also depends on your allies. We're talking your lawyer, your accountant, your bookkeeper... heck, even the cloud. Lean on them and you'll free yourself up to do what you do best: grow your business.
- Stop saying "yes" to everything. In the early stages of entrepreneurship, you feel like you have to say "yes" to everything. "Yes" to a new client, regardless of who they are, your bandwidth or their profitability potential. "Yes" to every networking session. "Yes" to every volunteer opportunity. Well unless you want to burn out for real, you have to stop saying "yes" to everything. Doing so will allow you to focus on what you're great at; what you're passionate about. Everything else? Second priority.
So what are your 2014 unresolutions? Tell us on Facebook.