Entrepreneurs Can Use Last Year’s Momentum to Grow
February 7, 2022 8:00 AM EST | 7 min read
Entrepreneurs take on the challenge of establishing and growing a business endeavor to achieve financial success.
Sometimes they launch a new technology, share new methods for handling activities.
Sometimes they provide services, entertainment, and information that are in demand.
Everyone who steps into the realm of entrepreneurship does so by taking on considerable financial risk.
They give up significant personal time and pour in tremendous effort to see their business plan go from paper to reality.
We often look at the rewards of entrepreneurship.
People overlook the enormous investment and potential for loss and failure that goes into these endeavors.
However, those who choose to pursue an entrepreneurship opportunity must stay aware of everything they are risking.
Here are five things all entrepreneurs should do at the end of the year.
Don’t worry, you can also start at the beginning of the new one!
The goal is to use your momentum to propel yourself into the new year.
1. Health Assessments: Business
For companies that carry products or goods, inventory is usually a big part of their end-of-year activities.
All entrepreneurs, regardless of whether their business is product or service-based, need to “take stock” of what they have and what they need.
Specifically, there are several evaluation activities that can yield significant benefits in the coming year.
For example, review your mission to ensure that it genuinely meets the plans, interests, and desires you had when you started your business.
Assess your business performance to ensure that there are growing markets and demand for the products and services you offer.
Each of these activities can guide you to take steps in the coming year that will yield positive results.
While you are evaluating your business mission and model, as well as comparing target accomplishments to actual accomplishments, you should also assess the staff or your advisors/inner circle.
This review should not merely look at whether they performed according to some agreed-upon objectives from the year before.
Instead, your evaluation should focus on their skill sets, abilities, interests, contacts, and how these items mesh with the needs or direction you define.
Do this after you complete your assessment of the mission, business performance, and market need.
Your business talent evaluation is essential.
If your business moves in a new direction or takes on additional activities, you may find that you need to change the make-up of resources, skill sets, and contacts to make things work.
2. Health Assessments: Personal
As an entrepreneur, you breathe life into your ideas to make them become realities.
Just as you need to ensure that your business is in the best shape, you also need to ensure that you (personally) are in the best shape.
This includes physically, mentally, and emotionally.
So, I suggest entrepreneurs invest some time in getting the health assessments to ensure they are fit and ready for the work that lies ahead.
Besides evaluating your health, take some time to rest, relax, decompress, and release stress.
Being stressed will make it harder to do your job.
You might even get sick more often from stress, causing you to miss time at work.
Find time and activities to laugh, smile, and enjoy friends or family.
If you take these steps, I believe you will enter the new year energized, or at the very least, better prepared for the journey!
3. Check Your Finances, Understand Your Finances
Reviewing finances, collecting, and preparing end-of-year financial information to prepare for the new year is a given for anyone, especially entrepreneurs.
However, every entrepreneur should also take steps to educate themselves or refresh their knowledge in “financial management, accounting, bookkeeping, and reporting requirements.”
Being educated in these matters and staying abreast of changes or improvements in the field can help entrepreneurs better understand the state of your company’s finances.
It is much better than relying on the word of those who handle these processes daily.
Doing so will help you prevent the potential of being blindsided by a financial mishap.
Especially one that could ruin your company and cause you significant financial and personal loss.
4. Networking: Human Links
As an entrepreneur, building and refreshing your business’ (human) network is critical.
It is an ongoing task to gain contacts, talent, allies, and supporters that can help elevate your success.
This should not be solely an end-of-year task.
Taking time in the last quarter or months of the year to review and assess your network can be useful in ensuring that you focus on beefing up your contacts in critical areas of your business that are essential to your new year success plan.
So, embarking on an end-of-year exercise to look at individuals and titles is important.
However, so is mapping your network by categories and then reviewing the companies/businesses, resources and knowledge set that you need.
Next, comparing them to what you have will aid you in preparing to start next year strongly.
You will already have the crucial networking partners that can contribute to your company’s success journey.
5. Knowledge is Power
For entrepreneurs, the quest for success requires continuous learning and information gathering.
As economic and business cycles end and you prepare for the upcoming seasons and year, you must ramp up on what’s new and what’s next.
Technology is consistently changing and advancing.
New players are always entering the market, competitors are adding to or revising their product sets.
We are continually introduced to new processes and methodologies.
Therefore, it is imperative that you educate and strengthen your knowledge base in these areas.
To do so, you may need to take classes, complete research, watch motivational, educational, and “how-to” videos, or read materials and books regularly.
Someone I follow on LinkedIn announced a personal initiative of hers a few months back to read a book every month.
She wanted to pull out at least one nugget that could help her in her personal or professional processes and try it out.
If you are an entrepreneur, there is an excellent potential for acquiring ideas from reading books, magazines, journals, blogs, and articles.
Especially those that delve into subject matters that are pertinent to your mission or product.
You may do things more efficiently, and find information that drives you to develop a new widget or method of doing things that is not prevalent or widely used.
This will allow you to carve out a niche that propels your business forward.
The best part?
Even if you’re still working a full-time job, you can start learning and laying the foundation for your future self-employed career today.
Blogger and marketer, Ryan Robinson, is a great example of this.
Six years ago, he began blogging and teaching himself how to write long-form content that would go on to bring him 500,000+ monthly readers.
He shares, “When I first started my blog, I didn’t know much of anything when it comes to building an audience.
I took online courses, applied what I was learning in my new day job as a marketer, and worked hard to create a regular writing practice.
It was only after a couple of years of consistent blogging and experimenting with different traffic driving strategies, that I began making meaningful strides toward becoming a full-time blogger.”
Summary: Preparation Adds to Success Rate
As an entrepreneur, you are a “take charge” being who drives to fulfill your hopes and dreams.
You aim high and understand that the roads you travel are often riddled with bumps and detours.
So, you know that staying open to seeking direction and continuously evaluating your navigation is necessary.
Each year brings new promises and opportunities.
Staying prepared is a requirement for business success.
Preparation puts you in the right place to respond quickly and effectively.
It will create an advantage as you strive to achieve your dreams.
So try taking the five suggestions noted in this piece and use them for mapping your winning journey!