Seven Resolutions That Will Boost Your Business

There are countless ways to improve your business. However, there are certain moves that you may have been pondering over for years but have put off due to excessive fear. These are decisions that have the potential to be game-changers, but have risks or are bound to create resistance among employees.
The new year is a good time to undertake momentous ventures or bring about radical change. There is that expectancy that if new things will be done, then this may be the appropriate time. Here is a list of gutsy New Year’s resolutions for your business that you may have been postponing for too long:
Open a new branch. Once you have a profitable operation going smoothly, it may be a good idea to open a branch. For most small entrepreneurs, embarking on this course is extremely perilous even if this is the only logical next step to take. To pull this off successfully requires the development of control systems that will make it possible to both maintain the standards of the original operation and prevent potential leakages in the absence of the proprietor. Since the owner cannot always be physically present, delegation skills must be honed.
Tap a new market. When you have already saturated your current market, there may no longer be an option to grow unless you search for new markets to conquer. Since the risks and costs may be comparable to starting a new business, this is not recommended for everyone. Many entrepreneurs who are already doing well have opted to just stick to their knitting.
Buy new and more capable equipment. Acquiring productive new equipment can propel your enterprise to new heights. You will be increasing your capacity with modern equipment, enabling greater sales, and most likely improving quality as well. There are usually two major reasons why this has not been done earlier. First is the large capital needed, and second is the possibility that some workers may be displaced by the more efficient equipment. Maybe this is the year you can handle both of these concerns.
Fire an unchanging problem employee. After sincerely trying all alternatives without success, you may have to let go of a problem employee. Terminating an employee is one of the most disagreeable tasks a business person or manager has to do from time to time. Because of this, most tend to postpone this necessary evil and give the incorrigible too many chances, accepting even the flimsiest excuse to avoid handing out the rightful penalty. Retaining an employee that clearly deserves to be shown the door not only affects operations, it also sets a dangerous precedent that may damage the discipline of the entire company. Just remember to make sure first that the legal procedures for termination are done properly to avoid complications.
Get a loan to expand your business. Some people are of the belief that borrowing money is a risky proposition and that one must rely solely on internal profits to finance growth. There is some truth in this- there is indeed a risk of not being able to pay off the loan. But what is true for a given situation at a certain time may no longer be valid today. A once in a lifetime opportunity may not be there long enough to wait for profits to finance it. Also, we are now under an extremely low interest regime, which means there is much less risk of the interest rapidly compounding to unmanageable levels. The sound use of credit is one of the key success factors of highly successful firms.
Increase your prices. All your costs have increased but it has been years since you have raised prices for fear that customers will go to competitors instead. The funny thing is that your competitors may have thought of the same thing since their costs have probably increased at the same rate as yours. The coming of a new year is one of the best times to go for an increase in price as most expect it.
Learn to delegate. This is one of the most difficult moves to master for the entrepreneur who is used to doing all the important things himself. The fear of things going wrong is what prevents most entrepreneurs from delegating tasks they should no longer handle. But delegation is unavoidable to grow your company and the benefits far outweigh the risks.
These are just seven of the very important but challenging decisions you must implement to make your company move forward. Most likely, you have been procrastinating for too long. Gather your courage and make a New Year’s resolution that can take your business to the next level!

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, December 16, 2012. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.