By David Lazar, special to Overdrive
Now that the New Year is in full swing, how are your resolutions looking? Are you still staying on track, or have you veered off in another direction? If you’re looking for a “resolution replacement,” here are five simple, but very effective, resolutions every small business owner can make on his or her way to an even more successful 2013.
- Take more risks: Naturally, this does not mean that you need to take radical steps to alter your business strategies in the new year, but new ideas are always welcome. Now that you have found your footing and made it through another year as a small business owner, don’t be afraid to test out some of the more exciting or challenging ideas you have been tucking away. Any successful businessperson will tell you that being too conservative in your business plans and actions will usually do more bad than good in the long term. Another successful year of operations should have built up your confidence enough to go out on a limb and try on some new ideas this year.
- Make more time for yourself: If you are working from home, one of the greatest trappings can be that you feel as if you are constantly in the office. And one of the most difficult things to avoid when leading your own business team is devoting all of your time to it. A lot of new small business owners tend to over-dedicate themselves to their tasks, which ends up being counterproductive most of the time. Your mind and body need time to relax in order to function properly. This is why you need to set aside time for yourself, your hobbies, and your friends and family. Many studies have shown that people who give themselves an ample amount of free time to dedicate to other activities often tend to be more successful and productive in the office.
- Get out more: This goes especially for people that work from home, but applies to those who work in an office as well. Getting out more does not only clear your mind, but it also provides you with opportunities to potentially meet new people and discover new ideas. Instead of slithering from your bed straight to your laptop in the morning and staying in your pajamas until noon, get up an hour earlier than usual, take a shower, get dressed, and go out to a local café for your morning coffee and emailing every now and then. If you are meeting with clients, stop inviting all of them to your home or office; set up a business lunch or dinner and get out more. Changing your surroundings can have a great effect on not only your creativity and motivation, but on your mental health, as well.
- Be more disciplined: Many small business owners wrongfully believe that they no longer have a boss to answer to, but in reality, there is still a higher-up in the picture – it’s you. The freedom of not having strict work hours has its positives and its negatives. Not having set working hours often leads to sporadically working day and night, and this type of behavior often results in a combination of being not only less productive, but more stressed out. If you want to achieve the second resolution of making more time for yourself, you have to be more disciplined when working. It doesn’t have to be a 9-5 schedule, but it is always good to make a schedule that works best for you and to stick to it. Having set work hours for yourself forces you to be more productive during that time and also obligates you to take time off.
- Delegate more tasks: There is an old saying in business that you need to spend money in order to earn money. As a small business owner, it is sometimes hard to let go and delegate tasks to other people. It’s not just about the money that goes into hiring new employees, entrepreneurs treat their businesses like children and do not want anyone else raising them. However, your productivity can double just by getting some of the less essential tasks off your plate and onto someone else’s. Don’t be afraid to spend the money on new employees to handle some of the more routine jobs that you are currently doing. It will free you up to focus on being creative and looking towards the future in a more proactively way.
David Lazar is a regular blogger at PDF Converter blog. With a background in journalism, he specializes in writing blogs on a variety of topics, including freelancing, careers, finances, technology and new media.
Categories: Best Practices