The secret to turning resolutions into reality…don’t do it alone.

Many women in business use the break between Christmas and New Year to reflect on the year that was and set goals for the year to come. What’s your New Year Resolution? Is it to lose those pesky five kilos? Spend more time with your family? Grow the business? Reduce debt? Do a better job at managing cashflow?

Whatever your goal, if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve resolved to achieve something amazing this year. Good for you. Change is almost as good as a holiday and the new year is a perfect time to make a start.

Sadly, the statistics show 80% of New Year Resolutions with fail by February (the second week of February to be specific!). Whilst change is great, unfortunately it’s also hard work. Really, really hard work. That’s why, even though many of us wake up on 1 January convinced this year we will make big changes, very few of us actually achieve our resolutions.

The secret to turning resolutions into a reality … don’t do it alone.

If this year is all about shifting those last five kilos, team up with an expert like a personal trainer. Use their knowledge to create a plan that will see you drop a dress size (and stick to it).

Planning to double your revenue this year or launch a new product range or employ more staff? Team up with an expert like a business coach to set your goals. Use their knowledge to build a plan (one that’s realistic and achievable) and ensure you stay on track with monthly accountability sessions.

The Acceler8 Program is a financial education and business growth program exclusively for women in business. Our aim is to ensure you have more money, more time and less stress in your lives.

To ensure this year is your best business year ever, we recommend you make one or two of the following New Year Resolutions. We can hold you accountable through our mentoring program and make sure you keep kicking those goals.

1. I will pay myself a proper wage
Are you paying your staff a market based wage but not yourself? Sadly, you are not alone. Almost 60 per cent of the women in our business coaching program aren’t paying themselves a market salary. Sometimes this situation continues for many years despite their business thriving. Your #1 resolution for this year should be to ensure you’re getting paid what you’re worth. To compensate for all the time (and personal funds) you’ve invested in building your business. Wondering how you turn this idealistic resolution into a reality? You need to build a budget, see resolution #2.

2. Lock in a Budget for your Business
Start the new year on the right foot with a budget for your business. 90% of small business owners don’t have a budget which is actually your road map to achieve any business goal. A budget is not something you set and forget. Things change in small business all the time. Building a budget is step one, reviewing and re-forecasting your budget each quarter too is critical to ensure it’s still relevant.

3. Manage your cashflow weekly
Cashflow is the number one issue facing small business owners. If you plan to grow your business, having a system for managing cashflow is going to be critical to achieving your business goals. Best practice is to forecast at least 12 weeks in advance. This will show you when and how much extra funds you will need. There are lots of short-term financing options available to small business (even those who have not been in business for very long). Be careful, however, there are very high costs associated with securing emergency funding for a cashflow crisis. If you manage your cashflow on a weekly basis, you will see a crisis coming well before it hits you. This gives you plenty of options to manage the cashflow gaps and be proactive about your cashflow planning.

4. Generate more sales
Business women often think they need more customers to generate more sales. This is not always true. The biggest impact on your business’ profit (and really we should focus on increasing profit not sales) comes from getting your pricing strategy right. If you set prices based on a ‘gut feel’ or ‘what my competitors charge’, then you are probably giving away your profit. Have you factored in all the costs associated with delivering your goods or services? Research shows a four percent increase in price is not noticed by most of your customers. The impact on your profitability is very obvious. Before investing in a costly marketing campaign, consider lifting your prices. This will deliver an increase in sales revenue without needing more customers.

5. Take steps to improve your financial literacy
Many women run their business based on how much money is in their bank account. This is not an accurate reflection of how well (or how badly) your business is doing. Without a clear understanding of your real financial position, it’s easy to make bad financial decisions that can send your business broke. At a minimum, you should review your business Profit and Loss (P&L) and Balance Sheet monthly. If you rely on a bookkeeper or accountant to produce these reports, we can show you how to do this yourself. If you don’t know how to read these reports, we can help interpret the data.

Make this year about empowering yourself through financial education. The first step towards making major changes in your business is to understand your financial position. We recommend women in business consider these five New Year’s resolutions. Even if you only commit to one or two, these changes are bound to make the New Year your best year yet.

If you want help turning New Year resolutions into a reality, don’t do it alone. Partner with a business coach who can show you how to achieve your goals and keep you accountable. To find out more about how our financial education and business growth programs could help, contact us for a free initial information session.