What better time of year to jot down some goals for your business than at the start of a brand new year.
Now, I’m not talking about the resolutions we all make, like eat more kale, run a marathon, stop binge-watching Netflix. Let’s face it, those resolutions barely make it past January.
I’m talking about goals that connect where you are today with where you want to be this time next year. I’m talking about the goals that fill some gap between what you’re doing today and what you know you ought to do.
Below are some common things small business owners put off until tomorrow. These articles will arm you with the resources you need to make sure 2021 is the year you get through them.
1. If You’re Still Using Word & Excel for Billing
Make 2021 the year you upgrade to a better way of billing. The advantages are easy to grasp:
- You’ll get paid faster
- Your paperwork will be slick and accurate
- Your clients will appreciate the ease and convenience of paying you
- You’ll spend less time on the process
Not convinced? Read: Still Invoicing and Accounting with Word and Excel? 5 Reasons to Stop
2. If You’re Always Wondering Where the Time Goes
First, know you’re not alone. I hardly know where 2020 went. But when I look back I did accomplish a lot. My advice? Figure our your “latte factor” when it comes to time management; those pesky little tasks that eat up small, cumulative chunks of time.
Intrigued? Read: What’s Your “Latte Factor” When It Comes to Time Management?
3. If You Need to Get a Grip on Your Costs
Is every invoice payment accounted for before it even hits your bank account? My friend, you’ve got a cashflow problem. Don’t worry: A little time, some nifty tracking tools and you’ll get those expenses in check and (dare to dream) become profitable.
Committed to get control of costs? Read: Mind Your Expenses: The Overlooked Costs of Running a Business
4. If You Never Want to Have Another Awkward Conversation
Ever sat on a reply to a client a long time and then hit that “send” button with trepidation? Or sent an email draft to your BFF wondering if it’s the right mix of firm, clear but still friendly? Good new: You’re not alone. And we’ve got the guide for you!
Want to learn more? Download Awkward Conversations: Guide for Small Business Owners [Free eBook]
5. If You Want Projects to Run Smoothly
When you hear the words “project management” what comes to mind? Oftentimes, they’re associated with assembling work-back schedules and effectively managing scope creep.
But stellar project management is so much more than that. The projects you take on—big or small—require careful planning and amazing collaboration in order to achieve that “wow” factor. And we’ve got just the guide for you.
Want to learn more? Download Master Project Management: Closing Deals and Delivering Amazing Projects [Free eBook]
6. If This Is the Year You’ll Grow Your Team
You’ve been a one-person operation for a while now, but you’re finally there: You need to expand and start to hire people to support your business as it grows. It’s such an exciting leap for any small business owner to make.
But hiring and leading also create their own challenges. So take a deep breath and make sure you add the right person to the mix.
Need help with hiring? Read Beware of Clones and Unicorns: How to Build a Winning Team
7. If You Want Better Relationships with Your Clients!
Look back on your year. How much time did you spend venting about that scope-creeping client? Or wishing you had said “no” to a particular project?
Here’s the thing: You’re master and commander of your own ship… so take control of those client relationships and make 2021 a year when you do work you love for clients who inspire and challenge you!
Wondering how to find better clients? Read: Stop Clients from Expecting Free Work — Without Burning Bridges and 3 Ways to Find and Land ‘Anchor’ Clients.
Let’s face it, we all have some pesky to-do that we put on the long finger. And most of us make a bigger thing of these things than they are in reality.
So let 2021 be the year you rip that bandaid off. Take a moment to get crisp on your goals. And then go accomplish them!
Let us know in the comments below what you’re hoping to achieve in 2021.
This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been updated.