12 New Year resolutions that will make you a better founderJan 11, 2016
January is usually a time that we spend setting goals for the new year ahead.
It has been a very busy year for us here at IdeaSquares. We’ve helped many amazing start-ups prepare for their crowdfunding campaigns and also launched a new, improved toolset that offers even more support for startups that are preparing for crowdfunding.
What did you achieve in 2015? What are your plans for 2016?
If you haven’t made up your mind on what you want to achieve yet, then check out our list of 12 new year resolutions that can help you gain perspective, grow both personally and professionally and assist in determining long-term success.
Remember your WHY
Regardless if 2015 has been successful or not, you must not forget why you started your business in the first place. Remembering your “why” will help you get motivated and recharge your batteries for the new year.
Think about what would be the most valuable skill for you to learn next in order to help your business grow and find an online course or a local conference on this topic. Gaining new skills will make you a more well-rounded and productive entrepreneur.
Successful people are strategic in planning their goals and their lives. Make 2016 a proactive year by allowing time to plan your life, rather than simply doing what comes next. Your life is in your hands and doing things with intention will help you reach your goals faster.
Hiring isn’t easy but having good employees is crucial to retaining your customers and growing your business. Make smart decisions when you hire. Evaluate what skills you already have on the team and make a list of skills that are crucial to moving your business forward.
Networking is a great way of meeting new people and growing your business. Try a range of networking events in your area and then pick one or two groups that you liked the most and attend them more regularly. Networking is all about building meaningful relationships over a period of time. Once people in the group get to know, like and trust you, they will likely want to buy from you rather than anybody else. The same goes for online networking. Find a few active LinkedIn groups within your niche and take part in conversations by offering advice and asking questions.
Work smarter not harder
Working 70 hours per week will definitely not make your business grow faster. Spending all your time in the office is a sure way of getting burned out and less productive. Make time for yourself, friends and family. Go for a walk on your lunch break to clear your head and refresh.
Improve your health
You can’t run your business effectively if you are burned out or exhausted. You need to take care of your mental, physical and emotional health if you want to stay on track with your goals. Give your immune system a boost by improving your nutrition; improve your stamina by doing at least 30 min of moderate exercise per day. Remember what we said about using your lunch break to go for a walk? Try meditating for 10 minutes each evening to relax your mind. This will help get rid of stress and negative emotions and will also give you better rest at night.
Become a stronger leader
Being an effective leader is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face when their businesses start to grow. Hiring good people, delegating tasks effectively, dealing with people in difficult situations and staying positive when morale is low are all skills that a good leader needs to possess.
Understand your numbers
Understanding the basics of accounting and tax is useful even if you have an accountant. It will help with things like making financial predictions, estimating future operation costs, working out the cost of assets needed to service future demand, paying off debts, lowering your expenses or measuring the progress of your business so that you know whether you are hitting the targets or not.
Look at trends
Take a look at trends that are occurring in the world or your industry. Can you take advantage of them to help you succeed? What can you learn from them? Being a startup, you have the advantage of being flexible and able to adapt your business model quickly to fast-changing trends. This agility can give you a competitive edge over large corporations.
Look at competitors
Who are your competitors? What are they doing? Studying what your competitors are doing will help you identify gaps in your industry that no one is focusing on. Gaps lead to opportunities. Do your research, you might find that none of your competitors realised a gap in the market that emerged from changing customer purchasing habits.
Start with small changes
Do not try to change everything all at once. Successful change requires small shifts in thought and behaviour over a long period of time. Implementing one or two new habits every month and giving yourself time to adapt will be more effective over the long run than trying to change everything straight away.
Here’s to an amazing 2016 from all of us at ISQ!