“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our every man must take on a science fictional way of thinking.” ~Isaac Asimov
As we move into a New Year, it is so important to take some time and think of what you can do to run your business better in this year as compared to last year. Maintaining the status quo is just not acceptable and setting reasonable goals for year 2011 are so, so important.
Obviously, in 2011, the economy is going to continue to improve and really hit its stride in the last quarter of the year or the beginning of 2012. With that, we should see a pick-up of both inflation and interest rates. Additionally, unemployment will continue to be a significant problem as the economy can only absorb so many jobs every month and it is going to take over 3 years to get this unemployment rate down.
Given those environmental factors, here are some goals or resolutions for you to consider and adopt for your business. First, a very important goal for this year has got to be increasing both gross profit margins and net profit margins. If your net profit margin last was 5% then set a reasonable goal this year of hitting 7%. You can easily reach a higher net profit margin my reducing costs by just 2% which is pretty easy to do. The net profit margin (NPM) is so influenced by the gross profit margin (GPM). In a like manner, if your gross profit margin has been 38% then shoot to increase this to 40%. The way you hit these higher margins is making sure that with every decision you make, you consider the impact of profitability. Over the last couple of years with our economy, most businesses just tried to survive but now you must focus hard on profits and profit improvement.
Another goal is to fire yourself on January 1st and evaluate what new skills and knowledge that you must have for 2011. Most entrepreneurs are constantly evaluating their staff and business but just do not take time to evaluate themselves as the leader. If you should feel that you are weak in finance, then take some courses and read some books in this area. However, the real point here is that you must take time at the beginning of this year and assess how effective you are. Sometimes the best way to do this is to hire an outside consultant to come in and do a formal evaluation of your skills. No one should ever think that they are good as they can be as this normally generates an attitude of complacency.
The final critical resolution and goal is to map out some personal goals for yourself apart from your business. For example it is so important that you take time to make sure that you are physically fit. Time spent on this allows you to be so much more effective in leading your business. Additionally, figure out what additional things that you need to do support your family with your time.
Now go out and set some goals to deal with increasing your profit margins, ascertain the additional training that you need and develop some personal goals for you and your family.
You can do this!!