Get Out of the Office
If you’re sat reading this in your office or place of work then take a look around. Don’t you spend too much time here? The average Brit in full time employment spends 39.2 at work, and if you run your own business, it’s likely to be even longer. Mobile technology means you can work anywhere, anytime, so take advantage and you might even find that the perspective from your sofa, a park bench or a seat in a café throws up useful ideas.
Exploit the talent of your employees by delegating more of the tasks you usually feel that only the boss can handle. You’ll get a break, they’ll get the chance to shine and you just might learn that the answer to any staffing problems is right under your nose.
Make Your Staff Happy
Take a good look at the incentive schemes you’ve got in place. If you’ve not got any in place (because earning a decent wage should be good enough), then take a good look in the mirror. Decent incentives mean happier staff, and happier staff means a smoother running business.
Make Your Customers Happy
Don’t sit back thinking that providing an excellent service or product is good enough. Your competitors will be doing that, so beat them by doing something extra. It could be after sales service, a free gift or a special offer for loyal customers.
Start Planning Easter, Halloween and Christmas
Annual festivals and the boost to businesses of all kinds which they bring don’t come along too often (the clue’s in the word ‘annual’) and, despite their place on the calendar, tend to sneak up and catch us unawares. That’s why it’s never too early to start planning your Easter promotions, your Halloween themed offers and the next Christmas sales drive.
Find a Mentor/Be a Mentor
You’re never too old to learn or too young to teach. Mentoring other business people, or being mentored by them, is an excellent way of having your eyes opened to new working methods and business practices. By spotting and correcting the mistakes of others, you might well notice a few of your own.
Invest in Your Employees
Most business owners thing nothing of investing in equipment, technology or stock, but tend to forget about investing in the most important asset, their staff. Discover what kind of training your staff feel they need and find ways of providing it, boosting their confidence, work rate and job satisfaction.
Green Your Business
Run a green audit and find out exactly where and how your business could behave in a more ecologically sound manner. Acting on the information will probably save you money in the long run at the same time as playing into a wider Social Responsibility agenda. For increasing numbers of customers, what’s more, the green credentials of a company will play a large part in whether they choose to give you their business.
Improve Your Work Life Balance
Improving your work life balance is something you probably keep meaning to do but never actually get round to organising. Make sure this year is different by formalising the process – blocking off sections of your diary to be specifically dedicated to anything but work. Not only will you enjoy life more, but you’ll work better in the remaining time.
Involve Your Staff in Decision Making
If you start a business from scratch you tend to balk at the idea of anyone else knowing more about it than you. It may be true that nobody knows more, but the people working for you know enough to bring valuable insight to key decisions. Having played a part in deciding any policy, what’s more, they’re going to be much more driven when delivering it.