It’s a new year and your inbox is flooded with tips and tricks to Make this the Best Year Ever! Sometimes, especially after a busy holiday season, we respond with a Bah Humbug to all of the cheery, positive messages. Maintaining that Scrooge mentality is a sure-fire way to make sure 2024 is anything but the Best Year Ever. Let’s explore some of the ways you can sabotage your year.
Ignore Your Numbers
This is the most common mistake I see business owners make. They ignore their finances until it is time to file taxes. Financial statements can be difficult to understand, and sometimes they tell us things we don’t want to know. You believe that if you work hard, you will be rewarded, right? That may not be true if you haven’t stayed on top of your expenses, sales numbers, and pricing. Regular monitoring is required; otherwise, you may be headed towards insolvency.
Make time to look at your numbers regularly. Meet with your CPA or bookkeeper monthly. They will explain your financial situation and be able to spot trends so that you can take corrective action right away.
Maintain Complete Control
You are the expert, on everything. Yours is the right and only way to do it. Eventually you will get it all done. You have gotten burned before so you trust no one. Your team is there to tell you that you are correct and reinforce your bad decisions rather than pointing out when something is not going well. Collaboration is for people who don’t have your level of expertise, right? You ignore feedback from your team and from your customers because they don’t have your vision. This is a great plan for the person who wants to pay others and do all of the work themselves, leaving no time for anything outside of the office.
Micromanaging your team makes them feel that they are not needed and is de-motivating. They will perform poorly because they know you will redo what they have done, do the work that they did not do, and they will still get paid. Take the time to train your team, delegate tasks, then recognize the efforts made. Feedback is not meant to be criticism, it is input from a different perspective than yours. Always be listening.
This is what has worked in the past so why change now? That market trend is just a fad. Customers should adapt to you – not the other way around. You can’t be expected to keep up with everything, right?
Like it or not, things change: buying habits, technology, marketing messages and platforms to name a few. You may not use the latest apps; however, lots of your customers and prospects do. Keep up with your industry and market and adapt accordingly, or be left behind.
Consistency is overrated. Let’s try something new to keep things interesting! We gave that last strategy a whole 5 days and didn’t see results so change it. Constant change in policies and strategy keeps everyone on their toes, right?
Change is going to happen. Controlled, planned change is easier to manage and often gets better results. It also minimizes frustration for everyone.
You work better under pressure, so go ahead and procrastinate. You are great at putting out fires. It’s a little stressful to leave everything to the last minute but no one will notice a little dip in quality or if you deliver a few days late, right?
Advance planning always pays dividends. Set yourself and your team up for success by setting a plan and deadlines, and then sharing them with the people involved. A happy customer is a repeat customer and calm employees tend to stick around.
Keep Goals as Vague as Possible
It’s a lot safer to keep your goals vague, that way you are likely to achieve them. If our goal is to increase sales and we went up $100 last month, we met our goal! Setting specific goals means a lot of tracking and measuring and holding people accountable. You don’t have time for that. After all, you aren’t trying out for the Olympics, right?
If good enough is good enough for you and your family, keep your goals vague. If you want to grow your wealth, yourself, and your team you do need to set SMART Goals. That is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound. Yes, it is more effort. It will also get you more results.
We are at the start of a New Year. Don’t sabotage yourself and your success. Look forward to having a successful year, get your team on board, plan and then pay attention to how things are going adapting when necessary.
Happy New Year!
Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY