CAPE TOWN – New Year’s resolutions are a tradition to either start something good or stop a bad habit as a means to better your life in the coming year.

In this sense, entrepreneurs should take this opportunity to not only improve their personal lives, but examine and implement ways to improve their businesses this year. 

Whether 2018 was your best year of business yet or one you’d rather forget, any successful entrepreneur will know that there is always space for improvement and business growth. Here are five resolutions for small and medium enterprise owners to consider for 2019:

Revisit and update your business plan

A business plan is your business road map and can be used to check whether the business is on track and where it is headed. It is not just a resource written for an investor then left in a drawer to gather dust – it should be regularly revisited to ensure that you are able to achieve your targets going forward and that the plan is still effective. 

A new year is also a great opportunity to update the plan where necessary and re-share so everyone is on the same page.   

Manage cash flow effectively 

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business and effective management of this will allow more flexibility when there is a need to address any dilemmas during the year, such as late payments or unplanned expenditure. Regularly updating a budget and a cash flow statement will enable you to keep an eye on where money is spent, and allow you to cut back where necessary. 

Create and maintain good partnerships

A new year provides the opportunity to establish new and beneficial partnerships, and cement any present valued partnerships. 

Building relationships with the right individuals and businesses is key to success in any business, due to the long-lasting and powerful effect a favourable relationship can bring. To meet this goal, consider attending more networking events and being more social on social media.

Seek out mentorship

Seeking regular advice and guidance from a mentor can prove invaluable for business growth and personal development. Not only can a mentor enable you to focus on your business objectives more effectively, it can also boost morale. When selecting an appropriately experienced business mentor, look for someone who has experience in the skills you may lack and ensure the terms of the mentorship – time, costs and outcomes – are as clear as possible, to ensure the match works effectively. 

Invest in improving customer experience 

Building a successful business depends on your customers, so it’s advisable to review how you are meeting customer expectations at all your business’s touch points, and invest time and resources to improve their experiences. The process of improvement may involve staff training, defining the desired customer experience and developing a road map to achieve the target set.    

Like many New Year resolutions, this list may seem daunting at first. However, allocating time for each goal you set, along with a realistic date for completion, will assist you in achieving these resolutions and bettering your business in the process. 

Ben Bierman is managing director at Business Partners Limited.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Independent Media.

BUSINESS REPORT