As a visionary entrepreneur, it can be easy to get wrapped up in exciting projects and initiatives, overlooking the mundane details that are needed to run a scalable business.
As a responsible business owner, there are certain steps and goals that you should plan to achieve as early as possible. If any of these are still on your to-do-list, consider adding them to your 2013 ‘resolutions’ and make them a priority.
Bookkeeping – as an entrepreneur, it is essential to know your numbers; income, expenses, profit, margins, etc. The only sure way to accomplish this is to maintain accurate bookkeeping records and keep your business finances separate. This will also help you budget for seasonal shifts, capital improvements, and growth.
Legal – It is vital to complete a risk assessment and make sure that you are properly protected by establishing the right business structure (LLC, Inc, Sole Proprietorship, etc) and purchasing appropriate insurance coverage. It’s also important to be sure that each of your business interactions are outlined in clear, concise contracts.
Filing– clearing your clutter and setting up systems for client forms, receipts, training material, communications, and other important information will only improve your efficiency and effectiveness.
Plan – it’s important to have a purpose laid out, usually in the form of a business plan. This does not need to be elaborate; but you should have a document that states what your business does, why you do it, what sets you apart, and outlines financial plans. Your annual strategies, marketing initiatives, and key business decisions should all reflect back to this ‘master plan’.
Schedule– in order to improve effectiveness as a busy entrepreneur, it’s important to manage your time according to priorities and deadlines. Example: set aside 1 hour on the 5th of each month to record and review your expenses.
Tip: Look at the following areas of your business and determine your weaknesses. Then add these weaknesses to your 2013 plans.
Operations – the order in which tasks are completed and systems are utilized
Finance – bookkeeping and budgeting
Marketing – branding, social media, website, events, printed material, etc…
Technology – knowledge and use of advancements
Administration – the systematic, routine tasks that need to get done
Make a point to read blogs and articles, take classes, and even find partners to assist you with your weaknesses, so you can continue to improve your business
If you’ve been pushing aside these (less exciting) basic functions, consider making this the year you clear them off your plate and set yourself up for more successful growth.
Please comment with suggestions or additional items that can be added to this list.
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