New Year’s Resolutions for the Small Business Owner
I came across this article discussing New Year’s resolutions for the small business owner. The collective list is incredibly insightful given the current economic climate and the rebuilding goals for the New Year. Here’s the comprehensive Cliff’s Notes version:
- Spend some quality time with clients – relationship building is key in establishing loyalty and client longevity
- Protect the company cash flow – business owners need to take steps to ensure they get paid for completed work
- Making it official – With changing times and technology, your marketing practices must follow suit
- Working on that work/life balance – Strike a new kind of balance that incorporates family AND business
- Putting money into human assets – Now is the time to ramp up efforts to increase employee appreciation, and moreover, employee loyalty
All great tips for any business owner. I want to focus in on one in particular though…
Protect the company cash flow
Not getting paid is a plague on service-oriented small business owners. Whether you’re a freelancer or creative firm owner, you’ve been there.
While you can and should take a proactive approach to protecting company assets, the article mentioned above takes a more defensive stance, and it’s about time. Small business owners have to start placing more emphasis on protecting their assets in this climate. Having had first-hand experience working for a small business, I understand the pangs and sleepless nights that accompany unpaid client invoices. I’m guessing collection agency work wasn’t what you had in mind when you first opened your doors, right?
Perhaps it’s time to start establishing new payment options (good-faith deposit) with clients that are known for dragging out the process. Or even accept 50% of the overall project fee upfront with new clients. And why stick with the old school pay-by-check options? It’s 2010! Adapting to new processes is crucial to small business survival. Initiating electronic payment processing is a lot easier than you might think, and may prevent you from many more sleepless nights in 2010. Besides, if you’re doing business with us you’re already partnered with a company than can help get things rolling.
So what other resolutions are you making this year? Certainly the five mentioned above will somehow carve their way into your lives in 2010, but what are some of the other resolutions you’ve made for the New Year? Leave them in the comments below…