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NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS for small business

This is the time of the year the many of us set New Year resolutions. Although most tend to be focused on personal development, as business owners, we need to focus on our businesses as well and evaluate to see if our businesses are still on course and are headed to the right direction.

We can use the following questions to help us evaluate how we are faring against the key pillars of a healthy business:

Purpose and strategy

  • Why does the business exist, is it as per original strategic intent?
  • If you look at the original vision and mission, are you still on the right route of you are headed to the wrong direction?
  • When is the last time your reviewed your strategic or business plan if you have one?

Governance

  • Do you have some accountability and responsibility structures in your business?
  • Are they functional or just on paper?
  • Are they efficient of unnecessarily bureaucratic?
  • Are they none existent and therefore anything goes?
  • Do you need or have an operations manual in place?

Stakeholders

  • Are you aware who your key stakeholders are?
  • How do you engage with them?
  • How do you inculcate a mutually beneficial relationship?
  • Do you engage with your community or in any CSR activities?

Products & markets

  • Are your products still relevant to your customers?
  • Are there any that are obsolete?
  • How do your fair with your competitors?
  • Have you maintained your value proposition?
  • When did you last review your product and service offering for quality?
  • Are you still relevant to your chosen target market?
  • Has your customer avatar stayed with your or moved on?
  • Do you need or have a marketing plan in place?

People and Human Resource Management

  • Do you have competent personnel and in their right roles?
  • Do you have excess staff or could you be understaffed?
  • Do staff have job description or equivalent to know what is expected of them?
  • When is the last time you did a staff appraisal?
  • Are the performance and reward systems fair and updated?
  • Do you need or have a human resource manual in place?

Financial management

  • Do you have a financial dashboard in place?
  • Did you generate the relevant financial statements for the financial year that just ended?
  • How did your perform against targets?
  • Have you done budgets and cash flow forecasts for this year?
  • Have you had your books of accounts audited (if eligible) and filed your annual returns?
  • Do you need or have a financial management manual in place?

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Do you have a Plan-do-review cycle that is functional?
  • Do you have regular planning or review meetings for each of the aforementioned areas?
  • Do you have scheduled review sessions to discuss key performance indicators?
  • Have you ever done a gap analysis or a business health check to know your status?

The list could be longer, but it’s a starting point for pointers on areas that you need to consider in your business #Year2022!

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Written by Lilian Katiso

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