Owning a business can be stressful even at the best of times — and when there is a lot on your plate, anxiety and depression can soon set in. It’s important to plan ahead as much as possible and set different goals for yourself throughout the year, not just for the sake of your business’s success, but for your own peace of mind and mental health.
The first thing to do is sit down and make lists for all the items you need to take care of now — in other words, the tasks that simply cannot wait. Think about your employees and their needs, the organizational and software systems your company uses, and the people outside your business who you depend on, such as vendors and freelancers. Consider making upgrades, work out budgets and schedules, and write down every upcoming event and project deadline on a calendar so that you can see where your time needs to be spent the most.
Here are a few more of the best tips for getting prepared for a great year.
Get Your Marketing in Order
Take a look at all of the marketing channels you’re spending money on, and evaluate which are effective, which aren’t, and how you can be allocating your dollars in a more meaningful way. But don’t stop at the channel level. Even within certain channels, there might be some adjustments you can make. If we’re talking social media, for example, look at performance across different social media platforms or targeting choices within just Facebook. Look for ways to hone your strategy.
Think about your employees
One of the most important parts of your business is the people who work for you. Plan for performance reviews, and schedule them during a time when your business isn’t slammed. If you feel you’ll need to let someone go, this is a good time to do it, as you’ll be able to focus your energy on finding a replacement and training them when business isn’t booming. Treat people fairly, and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing when it comes to promoting the right people.
Prepare for tax season
Most of us dread tax time, but if you’re well prepared you won’t have to. In December or January, gather all your receipts and paperwork; if you have a lot to work with, separate them into different envelopes by category to stay organized. Check the IRS website to make sure there are no extra forms you’ll need; if there are, there will probably be an additional charge when you take them to the preparer, so keep that in mind.
Look at your business with a strong critical eye; is your computer software up to date? Does everything run smoothly on busy days? Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your company and work out a solution to upgrade things, from the biggest to the largest.
At this time, it’s also helpful to look at your vendors, freelancers, and other people outside your business that help you keep it running. They may have competitive pricing you should know about, or they may be looking for ways to reduce costs that will affect you. Schedule a brief meeting with these people to let them know you’re involved and make sure you’re on the same page.
If you’re on a budget, you don’t have to spend a lot of money upgrading your business and the tools you use every day. But it’s a good idea to take a look at your computer system, company phones or cars, filing systems, and software to see if there are small changes that could be made to make things run more smoothly. These things affect both you and your customer, so ensuring that they are up to date and running on the latest technology will only help you in the long run.
Guest post by Jason Lewis: Jason Lewis is a personal trainer and caregiver to his elderly mom. He enjoys sharing his fitness knowledge on his website.
Photo via Pixabay by StartupStockPhotos