How to prepare your small business for the year 2018?

A new year begins and with its beginning, new hope and new aspirations begin. Small business owners use this time to evaluate themselves, their businesses and accomplishments. Based on this they look forward to making changes in their style of functioning.

small business for the year 2018Every small business has its own method of working. It vastly differs person to person. But there are certain common things that run through them and have their own checklist. Some things included in the checklist may be common but certain small and crucial things are overlooked, that may have a bearing on the accomplishment of the goals in this year.

Given below are few things that you can do to grow your small businesses for the New Year 2018.

  1. Keep your accounts up to date

Every entry of your business transaction should be made. This will help you in analysing your expenditure and earning. A week on week or month on month basis.  You may have to devote some time and energy to it but the trouble is worth taking. It would help you in balancing your creditors and debtors in the most efficient way.

Setting aside sufficient money for taxes, rent, raw material purchase, EMI’s, repair and maintenance.  Staff salary, machine, electricity and telephone bills etc. So that you do not get into trouble for arranging finances.

  1. Interact with your team

The year-end should be time for consolidating your position. For many small business owners, most of the day is spent thinking and working on ways to make the business thrive. In this owners miss out on valuable feedback and spending time with their staff.

As days move towards the holiday season, make sure to take some time off and be with your team. You can initiate a group discussion regarding the company’s state of working. In this process, you can gather feedback. See to that every staff should provide an input. It can be negative or positive. The gathered input can come up with better suggestions and new ideas. This makes your team stronger which will help you in long run.

  1. Prepare a list for business growth

Every businessman strives for growth. Be it a small one or a corporate. But only a few of them take the necessary and planned steps for growth. Let you set the stage for growth.

Take a serious look at your business. Write down in details about all the points which are lacking. Is it finance, skilled manpower, short supply of raw materials etc? Now start noting down against each in your list, what all steps can be taken to improve the position. Take few days time to come to conclusion.

  1. Take help of technology

We are in a time where there is constant innovation. For every business, there are new technologies which are aiding or assisting for better production or increase production. Computer and software are finding gaps in production and inventory management etc.

To seamless and undisturbed team communication Slack software can be used. There can be work or file sharing between groups of employees, whose work depends on each other Dropbox is the most suitable for it. Effective marketing is one of the factors that need to focus; buffer is here for this purpose. You can manage and schedule your time properly with the help of a calendar.

Are you Setting Goals or Achieving Goals?

There is a big difference between setting a goal and achieving a goal. Once you learn the magnificent and wonderful powers of goal and try to achieve it then it changes your life phenomenally.

People surrounding you may say that it will be impossible for you to do certain things or achieve certain goals. They may dishearten you degrade your potential and ability to do a lot of things. It all depends on you, whether you want to be successful or failure.

Achieving GoalsSetting a goal is taking the first step though many feel that it is vital. To begin with, the goal which is set should be achievable and realistic. Most people either set too high or too low goal, which is beyond their capacity or undermines their capacity.

The following are some tips for achieving goals:

  1. One should be very clear about his/her goal

Being the first part of the process, one should be very clear exactly what one wants or intends to achieve within a certain time frame. Your goals can be like losing 10 or 15 kg of weight by year end or earning 10% more than what you are presently earning by next year this time or buying a house worth X amount by the end of five years from now etc. One thing to note is that you created an aim and also included the deadline for completing it.

Focus on your goal. Ponder over it. Question yourself – who, where, what, when, how, and why. When you questioned this to yourself about your goal you will automatically get the answers for your aim and objective of your goal. Your goal will be more meaningful and have more clarity.

Once your goals are set your actions, behaviour and approach to things will start changing in a positive way. You will be able to feel and breathe your goals.

  1. Create a plan for achieving your goal

Now your goal is set, you can now move on to the second step. This part can have far-reaching effects on increasing your chances of achieving your goals. Once your goals are clear and set, start preparing the list of everything you will have to do to achieve your venturesome goal.

The list should contain what all things you need to do to put you in the position for success. For losing weight – morning walk, exercise, drinking water, healthy diet, good sleep, not using the vehicle to cover short distance etc. can be part of the list of things to do. The list can be exhaustive, failing to make a list greatly minimises your expectation of achieving your goal. There can be 100 different things in the initial stage, write them down, seriously write them down.

  1. Work on your plan on consistent basis

The above two steps are important but third and the last step is the ultimate step which identifies goal setting and goal achieving. Many people spent their time and energy looking for a secret formula that will make it easier to achieve their dreams and goals with a minimum of efforts and time.

In practice, there is no such thing. If someone says that it exists, then he is selling you untrue hopes and wish. Looking at all the successful men and women, one can see the trend that they were persistent and consistent with their actions on daily basis daily reading or daily walking or daily excising.

Few things from your list will have to be done on daily basis. Certain things can be done per week or monthly basis. Day in and day out moving towards your goal bit by bit, step by step in a consistent, uniform and regular manner will develop a habit and you know habits do not die.

Do you know how to stay happy at work?

If at the start of the work week (Monday) you have an overwhelming feeling of sadness, anxiety, and/or stress means you might have a case of the Monday blues. If it can happen once in a while then it is OK but too frequent then you should think of changing your job.

This is a sign that you are not too happy or satisfied with your present job. If this is a feature in most of the jobs that you held before this you should see what the problem with you is.

happy employeesIntrospect with your job skills, colleague behavior, job timing etc. Why you cannot be happy at work. Why you are unable to cope up with your work.

Here are few points about how to stay happy at work:

  1. Make priority list

First and the foremost make a priority list of the task you have to perform today. Start your work with the most important task that should be performed. Starting this way you will decrease the burden on yourself as time goes by.

If possible try negotiating for extensions for those works that you think will not get completed today from your higher authorities.

Do not make it a habit of taking work to home. You may need it sometimes during the peak season. Whatever is finished in working hours is finished. And what is left can be continued the next day. Work is a continuous process without any end.

  1. Think positively

Many people are in a habit of seeing only the negative side of what they or others do. Try to focus on things that you really like in your job. Try to include more of positive things in your work. Positive thinking will enhance your work capacity and make you happy.

  1. Combine passion and work

Sometimes it happens that doing the same and repeated work is often boring. Few people get restless doing the same thing over and over again. Find how you can make your job more challenging, interesting and fruitful.

See for avenues where you can combine your passion with your work. Like if you have a passion for seeing new places then you should try for traveler’s blog writing jobs.

Always think how you can make your role more interesting to yourself and others. You can volunteer to improve the skill set of your subordinates during office hours.

  1. Change working routine

Does your company allow you to work flexibly? Then you can choose to work from home one day in a week. This will give you much-needed change from your regular work but this should not mean, time to relax throughout the day.

You will have to show output even if you are away from the workplace. If this option is not available in your office you can talk about it with your manager.  Many office/factories work in three shifts. If your workplace allows you to change your shift, then take the shift you are most comfortable in.

  1. Upgrade your skills

If you feel that you are under-skilled for the work that you are doing. Or you fell your present skills are getting obsolete. Then join some course to upgrade your skill set. Staying ahead in your work will make your job secured. And it will be an added advantage on your CV, in case you want to switch.

  1. Develop network of friends

Meeting people and making workplace friends will help you know the perspective of the company. People will be interested in your opinions and you will be interested in their opinion.

You can also organize an outing or picnic. To get more familiar with persons of other departments who are on the same wavelength as you. This will create your interest in your workplace.

How to deal with a poor performing team member?

team memberA project is divided into a number of groups. Each group is assigned a task, which has to be completed within certain time frame. The team leader is the head of each group.

It is team leader responsibility to see that the task is completed in an effective manner and within the stipulated time.

Team leader assigns the task to all the members of the team. These tasks are usually interdependent on each other.

Team leader monitors the progress of the team on a daily basis. He coordinates, guides and helps the team to achieve the target.

The team consists of members. Some members are good performers and some are not. The team leader should note that if any member seems distracted or bored. Is performance of star member up to the mark?

The team leader should not ignore these early warning signs because this uninteresting or boring performance will influence and will spread to other members. This spiritless performance of one member will have an effect on star performers of the team too.

How should team leader deal with such a situation? First thing is to give it a top priority. If a team leader is busy still he should find time to solve the issue otherwise the performance of the whole team will suffer. He should approach the matter is a considered manner. He should not straightforward lambaste the team member because it will aggravate the problems.

The team leader should try to find the basic reason of non-performance by the member. Why a star performer is not giving promising results. Here is how the team leader should go about it.

  1. Find the main reason

Be open and straightforward, and tell your team member that you have noticed a sharp drop in the performance. The member may react inadequately or unfavorably to the announcement.

But team leader should be calm and gentle. He should try to find the real reason for underperformance and not the superficial one.

  1. Recognize the problem

If a member or employee who has served few years in the organization, it can be the case of mid-career crisis. If the member shows no sign of interest in his work then his performance may drop suddenly. Not ready to take new or challenging work. Feels exhausted or has mental fatigue.

  1. Give a patient hearing

The team leader should give a patient hearing to what member has to say. Let him completely finish his side of the story before you say/ask something. Better give him more ear than your tongue. Put up with a simple question so as to reach the root of the problems.

  1. Monotonous nature of work

Sometimes it so happens that the member is bored of monotonous work. He may need more challenging work than what he is presently doing or he needs to upgrade his skill set so as to fulfill his task at hand. His promotion has been overlooked for quite some time.

  1. Extend a helping hand

A team leader should try to judge if he has been assigned work which is overloaded or he needs time to relax. The member is fed up with monotonous work and needs more challenging work.

Talk with the member and let him know that he is a valuable resource for the team and for the project on the whole. Talk regarding his likes and dislike of his present role. Evaluate his work profile. And if possible make necessary changes. See to it that you do not talk much about his personal life.

  1. Measure progress

As a team leader, you can do a lot of things but ultimately it is the results which should show. If there are no results all the efforts will go in vain. So be sure to track the progress of each member of your team on a continuous basis. Be sure to share feedback with all the members.

If the whole team is active, it will enjoy the task assigned to them. The task can be completed cheerfully and on time.

Do you know today how to become a better person tomorrow?

If you want to improve tomorrow, you will have to ask right questions to yourself today.

Self-introspection or self-reflection is the key to all personal development. People inclined to think that they will have to read right self-help books or attend seminars. But actually, personal development can happen anywhere, anytime and in any moment.

betterThere may be few things that might be holding back. To get to the root of the problem, you will have to ask right questions to yourself.

Many go for self-reflection at end of the year or month or week. To look back how things went, analyzing, what worked and what did not. Above all what one has to improve upon in next year or month or weeks, so on continue growing? That helps to become a better a person tomorrow.

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself, at the end of a year or month or week.  It will prompt you to think about how you can continue to improve.

  1. What were you doing a year ago?

Though it may seem absurd question it helps to look at the thing in better perceptive. Your answer can be something like. A year ago, I was living in Delhi. Doing 9 to 5 job.  Unsure of the future. Today I am living in Mumbai. Working with fast-moving people. (And things like that).

  1. Do you enjoy how you have been spending your time?

Do you enjoy your day to day work? No amount of money or external rewards will make you feel more satisfied and fulfilled.

On looking back do you feel like a burden? Then you would like to offload your burden in coming year or month or week.

  1. With who would like to spend most of your time?

Your friends or people with whom you spend most of the time rub on you.

Are you spending time with people who enrich your life or are a drag on you? That is are people asking from you more and giving you less. Segregate these people and spend more time that enriches your work and life. This will help you to be a better person tomorrow.

  1. How is your money spending?

Money is the thing that motivates you. It helps you do those things that you want in life.

The old age saying “money saved is money earned” which is very true even today. Many people see only the earning part and neglect the saving part.

Go through your accounts to see how your spending habits are. If you can control those impulses of spending money, you can become a better person tomorrow.

  1. Five points that can balance your life 

a) Career: What you do to earn your living? Do you wish to change?

b) Fulfillment: Are you connected with yourself and ground realities?

c) Community: Are you surrounded with people, those who enhance and inspire your interest, learning, etc.

d) Personal health: What you eat, how you do exercise, fitness etc?

e) Relationships: Family, close friends, casual people.

These five points should be checked on regular basis. Maybe you are spending too much time with family and friends and neglecting work. Or you are so busy in work that you are neglecting family and friends. Do ponder how much time you are spending. You have to balance all the five points so about become a better person tomorrow.