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The circumstances you complain about are, by their very nature, situations you can change — but you have chose not to.”Jack Canfield (from his book The Success Principles)

Towards the end of every year, everyone is keen on making New Year’s Resolutions. But how many of us were able to stick to the resolutions. Not many; the reason is, most of the resolutions and goals that are set are not always realistic. And when you fail, there is a sense of depression and frustration. This is applicable to business owners also. If you want to increase your annual profit by 10%, you need to have a viable long-term plan that can be broken down into monthly or quarterly plans. January is a good time to re-evaluate and take stock of your business successes and failures of the previous year. Once you have evaluated your plan, make monthly resolutions instead of a list of New Year’s resolutions.

It is worth mentioning that you can achieve your business success and growth by following the process of incremental growth. When you are aiming at 10% annual profit, it is better to set targets for achieving 1% growth monthly. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your month:

  • Set realistic and achievable targets for every month.
  • Never hesitate to brainstorm. Involve your team in planning to achieve your targets. Engage them in such a way that they can come out with creative and innovative ideas.
  • Once a monthly resolution is made, ensure that a copy of it is in front of you and others who are involved in your business. This will help them work towards the monthly goals and you won’t have to micro-manage or nag.

As a business owner, when you want input from your employees, you should throw questions at them. This will give them a chance to brainstorm and come up with new ideas. In brief you should talk less and listen more.

Decide for yourself – Monthly Resolution or New Year’s Resolution
Whether you are a new entrepreneur or owner of an established business, you should have a yearly target and plan. To achieve the annual target, you should break the annual plan into achievable short-term monthly or quarterly plans. This will help you review your business growth and make the necessary changes to the plan/resolution as when required. Therefore, create a flexible monthly business plan to take your business to the next level. We have put together a few things which will help you make your monthly plans.

File your taxes quarterly – Avoid unnecessary strains of paying taxes at the end of each financial year by paying them quarterly. Let this be one of your resolutions for the year 2012.

Understand your finances and create a monthly budget- One of the reasons why many SMBs fail to succeed is due to the lack of control over their finances. Your account registers should be in order. This will help you review your monthly expenditure. When you create a monthly budget, you can keep track of the money you make and spend. There are many online financial tools that will make your work easier.

Keep your records in order – If you are looking for loans, it would be a good idea to maintain an accurate account register. The credibility of your business is established if you maintain records of your finances well. This is one of the things that financiers will look into before sanctioning your loan, not only if you can forecast your business growth.

Good credit scores – Loans will be easier to get if you have a good credit score. The moment your credit score is on the lower side, it can be repaired by clearing some part of your credit card. Similarly, if there are overdue loans or invoices, it’s a good idea to pay them off before approaching for a new loan.

Look out for lower rate of Interest – For instance, if you are paying a high rate of interest for your previous loan, see if refinancing is possible at a lower rate of interest. Refinancing will free some amount of money which could be used to expand your business. Shop for refinancing loans with your local bank or other financial institutions.

Feel free to share your monthly and New Year resolutions and how these resolutions will help you to achieve success in the coming months.

Flickr image by plantoo47

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