Now Make Real Resolutions

Ten days in, do you know where your resolutions are?

I love New Year’s resolutions. I make them every year and sometimes I make great progress on them. But sometimes they fail. I’m ok with that.

I have come to realize some people feel oppressed by lofty goals and some are energized by them. If a goal is unachievable or difficult, it can be very discouraging and daunting. Others are fine with “aiming for the stars but [only] reaching the moon.”

By now, some of your resolutions have been laid to rest already. Fine. I’d like you to make some more realistic ones.

Resolutions to make now

Rethink your resolutions – instead of yearly, let’s do them quarterly.

  • Make shorter, more achievable goals
  • Finish them in 3 months – that gives you about 10 weeks to finish your first batch
  • Focus on high impact but smaller effort goals

Need some inspiration? I’ve talked to a lot of businesses and there are a few problems that I see again and again. Your business probably has a few of them. Some are too big for a 3-month goal, so look for ways to nibble away at them.

Pick 1-3 max from the lists below and work on it. Set a deadline. Spend a little time each week on them. It’s ok to choose small goals and then level them up each quarter.

First, get your finances in order. Pick one or two of these.

  1. Figure out how to make a report showing your monthly income – often it’s called the “Profit and Loss” report
  2. Review your expenses and reduce them
  3. Start using some kind of accounting software – Quickbooks is popular but can be difficult to learn. Wave is free and has half the features, making it easier. Xero is another popular option.
  4. Clean up your “accounts receivable,” which is the list of invoices you’ve sent to customers but haven’t been paid for

Second, get profitable

  1. Figure out what your most profitable products and services are – these may not be the most expensive! Take the selling price, subtract the cost or effort — that’s the profit.
  2. Sell more of your high profit stuff and less of your low profit
  3. Figure out who your most profitable customers are and get more like that

Third, process improvement

  1. Create a checklist for a common business process
  2. Look for ways to be more efficient – do less and make more
  3. Find a way to delegate — if you’re solo, you may consider having a helper, even if it’s a virtual assistant

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