New Year’s Resolution for a micro business

New Year’s Resolution for a micro business

I am not one for setting New Year’s Resolution.  I have only ever set one before today.  That was last year.  To be honest, I find them a bit tedious, and most of them are very mundane and a bit boring.  Not only that, my friends that have set New Year’s Resolutions have on the second or third broken them or have just forgotten that they had a resolution in the first place.  Evidence has just published states that most New Year’s Resolution are broken by day 15Nevertheless, people are still trying to make changes for themselves.  Instead of concentrating on making more significant changes for a year, they are now looking at making changes for a single month only.  Dry January or Veganuary are prime examples.

Last Years New Year’s Resolution

Last year, I made a very lose New Year’s Resolution to improve my communications skills with my family, friends and clients.  As I run a Micro business, excellent communication is one of the critical skills clients expect from me.  I feel that I achieved this goal and am satisfied that the year was more rewarding because of it.  However, I cannot quantify that with anything.  I kept no note of what I did, how I improved my communication and what those around me felt.  For the most part, I just ‘have a feeling it went well’.

Being Proactive about numbers

I have decided that I need to be more proactive in my undertaking.  This year it’s all about numbers.  My business life and personal life are almost the same things.  Therefore the numbers I need to know are for both areas of my life. Identifying these numbers will become paramount for this year. For example, the amounts in my bank account, the financial life cycle of my client’s, know that magic number on the bottom of my balance sheet and Profit and Loss.  Knowing the numbers on the scales.   I am really excited about this New Year’s Resolution.  To me, it is all about information.  The more information I have, the more I can help myself, my business and my clients, in that order.

My New Year’s Resolution is depressing! NOT.

To my utter surprise, most of the people I have spoken to think that this is a very depressing New Year’s Resolution and I should change it to something more exciting.  A few suggestions have been:

  • Getting more clients
  • Giving up coffee or chocolate
  • To lose weight
  • Increase my profit
  • Double my savings
  • Planning holidays to a far-flung destination

These are all excellent suggestions, but surely that is what I have just said my New Year’s Resolution is all about.  For instance, knowking your numbers is about understanding all of those things.  Knowing how much money your business has, is just as important as the number of client’s you have and want to increase by.  I could, for example, get 40 new clients, but if they all bring a profit of £100 each per year and take all of my time to look after, that won’t do much on the bottom line.  An increase of £4000 at the end of the year.  Wouldn’t it be better to understand the life cycle of the client before embarking on a working partnership?  To lose weight is just the same.  How many pounds do I want to lose? 

My New Year’s Resolution is all about those numbers. However, most people seem to be afraid of them.  Of knowing what they are, what they mean, and they need to be. For example setting a budget for my business on marketing, on expenses.  Setting a budget for my household shop, all numbers.

I am genuinely excited about my New Year’s Resolution because I understand it.  Likewise, I can see that if I accept that this year is all about numbers, then at the end of the year I would have had the most profitable, beneficial and rewarding year.

I will be honest with you, last year I was frivolous where numbers were concerned.  If I wanted something, I went out and bought it.  Additionally, if I wanted to take time off work, I did.  My thought process was more about what do I need to get done to survive and not what can I do to be spectacular.  My communications with my clients improved, for example, I stayed longer with clients, just for a chat, gave my time away for free or didn’t charge clients for the work I had done. 

What was the result?  To begin with, I got by and I am not ashamed to admit it.  For instance, the company survived, could it have done better.  Yes absolutely. In addition, did I lose weight? Yes, I joined Slimming World and lost some weight. However, could I have done better, absolutely.

This year I don’t want to get by.  To begin with, I want this year to be fantastic, I want to experience everything and do more and go to more places.  As a result, I have to start to know my numbers.  Knowing what it is I want to achieve and therefore, I need to know how to get there.

Just putting it out there – Here are my numbers

  1. This year I want to lose 30 pounds in weight
  2. This year I want to increase my net profit by 25%
  3. This year I want to double my savings
  4. This year I want to pay off all debt

All of the above is about numbers and how I see them.  Therefore, I don’t or can’t see that this is depressing, daunting or a waste of time.  Surely if I know what my current numbers are then, I can set goals to achieve those numbers.  They may look like big numbers to you, but to me, broken down each month they are tiny.  As a result, I am not setting myself up to fail.  However, I am setting myself up to succeed.  To make sure that this year will be twice or three times better than last year.  Consequently, this year it’s all about my the numbers.

Why would a business use a Virtual PA

Why would a business use a Virtual PA

This must be the most common question any Virtual PA will be asked. Why would a business use a Virtual PA? The most common reasons a client will be looking for a Virtual PA to work with them are:

Non-Core Business Needs. Small business owners want to concentrate on the core of their business. For example, a freelance surveyor will want to be carrying out surveys and meeting potential new clients. To have somebody to take on the more day-to-day aspects of their business, or areas which they are not experienced in. This allows them the time to concentrate on what they do best.

Resources. A small business does not have the need or resources for a permanent administrator or secretary. Therefore using a VA enables them to employ someone on an ad hoc or project basis. Some Virtual PAs are employed for a set number of hours per month to cover regular tasks.

Skill-based There may be an ad hoc requirement for a specialised service such as creating a CRM system, and your client does not have the skill or resource within their business to complete the project.

Convenience and Time-Saving Having a service which is accessible within a short timescale, and often performed by somebody who you already know (and who already knows your business) is extremely convenient and saves a client the time of having to source and train a part-time, temporary, or even casual employee. It also saves on the associated red tape which comes with recruiting somebody to join a business. These benefits should not be underestimated.

Not Wanting to do the Task Themselves Sometimes people have a real aversion to certain types of work. If you have a client who hates administrative tasks such as letter merges, postal campaigns and so on, then you need to let them know how easy it would be for you to do it all on their behalf. If it gets them out of a task they hate and frees up their time to do something they actually want to do, they will soon realise your value.

Becoming a Virtual Assistant or Virtual PA

Not Spending Enough Time with their Family This is a common problem for small business owners, as businesses are time-consuming and many people are so passionate about what they do that their family time can get eroded away without them even realising it. Using a VA for certain tasks can alleviate some of the pressure and workload and enable clients to create more of a balance between these two important areas of their life.

Outsourcing is Cost-Effective A VA is easier than recruiting a new member of staff and the client will not have to comply with employment law. They will not have to worry about sick pay, about holiday pay or cover. They will not have the worry of finding extra space in their office, buying extra computer equipment or licences. There will also be no need to provide for Pension cover or Healthcare costs.

Other Tasks Taking their Time Up.

Sometimes there simply is not enough time in the day to undertake the tasks a business needs to cover. In which case a VA is once more invaluable. Their services can be employed for specific aspects of a job. Alternatively, the VA could keep the day-to-day business going – in order for a client to complete an important project.


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A Minimalist Business Life

A Minimalist Business Life

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