When we hear business owners and entrepreneurs talk of “banner years,” it is often referencing the positives of the year, but banner years are also marked by the challenges and misfortunes of the year. The years should be more accurately labeled eventful years, because not only are the positives worth mentioning, the negatives are worth noting because they can also teach us something.
As you evaluate the past year and prepare for the new year, examine what impacted the successes and the challenges of your business. Did anything make it a banner year and did you celebrate the outstanding?
If there were negatives that stood out above all else, did you take a close look? Some are found in many other businesses. Here are common culprits. Do they look familiar?
1. Cash flow failed to meet expectations. This will often happen if your business is new and you have no history to point to the past cash flow.. More often than not, entrepreneurs and business owners fail to closely follow the revenue and expenditures on a timely basis and reach the end of the year only to be shocked at how much the company did not make over the year. Of course you may encounter the reverse. Either way, there is the failure to routinely monitor the cash flow, in or out.
2. Technology bloopers. By this I mean that you did not take advantage of the many ways technology could have benefited your company during the past year, either because you were unaware or because you were unwilling to spend the money. For the new year, be sure to include keeping up with the technology that may be available to move your company forward. Consider the services of a consultant and definitely stay on the lookout for conferences, webinars and teleseminars that will keep you abreast of new tech advances related to your business.
3. Regulation hiccups. Like technology, you must stay abreast of any changes in regulation that may affect your business. It doesn’t hurt to stay in touch with your elected officials and certainly consider becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. You will have a better opportunity to learn about any new regulations that might be coming down the pipeline.
3. New business competitors. Let’s face it, while we all know there is plenty of business to go around, some of us will snare the bulk of it. Did you do your homework on any new competition and threats to your business? You must keep a competitive edge in order to be the company that your potential customer turns to. That requires marketing to your potential customer and developing the relationships with them.
4. Staffing challenges. Did you grow your staff or are you still carrying the load of work for your small business? You certainly want to shift much of the “grunt work” to others so that you can step more fully into your role as the CEO and visionary of your company. You must trust others to do some of the work and you must hire accordingly.
I’m sure your business had a banner year, full of success, but the challenges may have been there as well. It is up to you to examine them and to make adjustments to your company so that you remain solvent and viable. If you are feeling overwhelmed, then a consultant from a business like Exceptional may be able to help you wade through the challenges.
Let us know about your banner year.
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Until next time,
CEO/Founder Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions, Inc.