By David Kiger
There’s less than 48 hours left in 2013, which means many entrepreneurs are already preparing for the New Year. Before you head back to the office, however, take some time to really think about what you want out of 2014. Here are just a few of the New Year’s Resolutions every successful entrepreneur should make.
Get Better with Finances
Even if your business has its own accounting department, it’s important for every entrepreneur to understand the basics of finance. If you don’t remember your college professor’s lectures about balance sheets or liabilities, you can sign up for a class to refresh your memory.
While we’re talking about finances, it’s also a good idea to set a monthly budget, both for your business expenses and your personal life. Seeing how much you spend will allow you to better prioritize your future finances.
If you’re looking to save more in 2014, you can also speak with your financial manager about refinancing any loans you have. Lenders sometimes decrease interest rates after a set amount of time, so that could save you quite a bit.
Spend Less Time at the Office
Another crucial resolution every CEO should make is to spend more time away from work. Clocking 80 hours a week at the office might feel productive, but you’re actually accomplishing less than you think.
Taking an unplugged vacation allows business owners to reconnect with their friends or family or even just spend some time alone. Being so close to something for so long often distorts your point of view. Committing to a few days away will give you a fresh perspective when you return. Trust me, the place won’t self-destruct while you’re gone. Which leads me to my next point…
Hire Dependable Employees
Your employees are representations of your company. Hiring people who regularly show up late or forget to follow through with clients are not only bad for business, they’re bad for your reputation. As you continue growing, only hire employees who genuinely want to help your company succeed. Remember, you want to surround yourself with people who are capable of running the company while you’re gone, not people who need constant supervision.
Keep a List of your Aspirations
This one might be a little corny, but it’s still important. Whatever goals you have for 2014, whether to raise profits or increase brand awareness, write them down. Putting your goals on paper cements them, making it more difficult for you to put them off until next year.
When writing your goals, it’s important to get specific. Saying you want to raise profits isn’t as effective because it’s so vague. Your business can make one cent more in 2014 than 2013, so you’ve technically increased your profit, but that’s not the outcome you originally expected. Instead, give a specific dollar amount or percent increase. Look at your list regularly to guarantee you stay on track.
Get More Social
If you’re one of the shrinking number of CEOs who think social media is for selfie-obsessed teens, this one’s especially important for you. Social media has become an increasingly necessary outlet to interact with customers, grow brand awareness, develop thought leadership and connect with investors.
Further, 81 percent of employees think CEOs on social media are better leaders. Even the busiest business owners must make time to grow their social media presence. If the thought of sifting through hundreds of posts makes you cringe, there are dozens of tools to help you categorize status updates and schedule posts, or you can ask the person in charge of marketing to show you the ropes.