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new year 2019

BUSINESS

7 Things Entrepreneurs Should Do at the Start of the New Year

Entrepreneurs are, in general, just as excited as most people are about the arrival of a new year. For a lot of them, it’s the closest things they can get to starting on a clean slate. Even if there’s unfinished business from the previous month (or day) to be done, January comes with a chance to approach these and other tasks with renewed energy.

It’s alright if you’re feeling pumped up about building your enterprise this year. But don’t let it all fade with the passage of time. Put the positive energy to good use while it lasts; channel it into setting things up for a great twelve months of business, and fill up the slowly proceeding hours of January with productive moves.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you may consider doing these seven things to make the new year a good one for your business.

 

  1. Set Goals

What would you like to achieve this year? More sales? A larger office space? Make your business more widely known? Whatever it may be, they’ll be a tad easier to aim at if they’re spelt out and defined in detail at the start of the year. And when you document your aims, be sure to add an actionable plan for attaining them.

It’s also important that you’re able to measure the degree to which you’ve achieved your goals. So, if you have the rather vague desire to “increase sales”, you should note what quantities you’re talking about. Are you targeting 20% growth in sales, 400,000 kg more purchases from your stores, or 1,000 more units than was bought off your shelves in the previous year?

  1. Spruce Up Your Work Space

Your office might need some cleaning and spatial rearrangements; if the start of the year isn’t as busy as other times for your business, you could take it as a chance to clean your space and change the positions of your furniture and equipment. This, plus a little bit of repainting (if it’s needed) could give your work environment a brand new look that impresses your customers and inspires you to get going with the year.

  1. Repair and Replace Furniture and Equipment

It’s one thing to change the way things are arranged at your office; it’s quite another to have them in the right shape for the work that’s to be done with them. What’s the point of having a fine interior if it’s stuffed with worn out couches and malfunctioning machines? Fixing issues with your equipment or replacing them outright will ensure that you’re able to work efficiently.

  1. Improve Yourself

While you set about trying to put things in order for the next dozen months, you may also want to take some courses that’ll help make you a better entrepreneur. If you can’t afford paid courses, you may go for the numerous free online modules on entrepreneurship and various aspects of marketing and sales. They should give you a lot to fill any ‘free’ time that pops up in the legendary slow business days of January.

  1. Stock Up On Inventory

Admittedly, this isn’t necessarily tied to the time of the year you’re in. It’s more dependent on what your business needs are, and what demand is like. However, if you do have the means (and if purchases are stable enough for you to predict sales beforehand), it might be a good idea to have the supplies ready before orders begin coming in thick and fast.

  1. Get Your Books In Order

There are several reasons why you want to access your accounts at this time of the year. First, you’d want to have a good view of your business’s financial state before launching forward. If it’s not a very busy time of the year for you, it probably gives you just the sort of ‘clearing on the calendar’ that you would want for a proper assessment of the enterprise’s performance in the past several months.

You’ll need your financial records- including indications of tax deductions -to be in order before filing your tax returns. While the actual tax filing may be done within six months from the end of your business’s financial year, you’ll want to be sure that you have everything taken care of before the deadline arrives.

  1. Build New Connections

For reasons we’ve explained here, you shouldn’t let off on marketing your brand at this time. Even if the actual cash generating stuff doesn’t happen in January and February, you can approach your networking efforts with a long term view. The work you put into building your ‘relationship capital’ at this time could pay off pretty handsomely in the not too distant future.

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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