December is always a time for reflection and thinking over the past 12 months as well as an opportunity for celebrating achievements
Sometimes we’re so caught up in the daily challenges of life that we don't stop to measure our achievements or count our blessings. The converse is realising what went poorly throughout the year and we can then consider what to change for the next one.
I’m a huge fan of Henry Ford, who has coined many fantastic quotes. One of my favourites is: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” While these prophetic words have been attributed to many, I prefer to believe Ford was the first to utter them. What he is so succinctly saying is that to effect change you must change your habits and behaviours.
Some people think New Year’s resolutions are overrated and made to be broken. However, I prefer to think of resolutions as a plan for the year because a resolution feels like a short-term goal and we all know goals aren’t always scored.
But if you call it a plan, it has structure, multiple steps and accountability to achieve an end result. In 2019, many people will dream of changing their life by starting their own business. This is a decision too large to be called a New Year’s resolution, so a plan must be made, which brings us back to Ford. If working for yourself is your dream, you’re going to have to do something different next year to make this happen.
First, set yourself realistic targets. Handing your notice in on January 2 is not going to be a great idea if you haven’t got all your ducks in a row.
When starting a new business, much planning and organisation can be completed during evenings and weekends if you’re employed during the daytime. It makes sense to get as much of the company setup completed in your own time while you’re still a salaried employee. But it’s time to ask yourself some tough no-nonsense questions. A new business could burn through cash, so getting the finances right will usually be the first port of call. How are you going to finance the business – savings, family, a loan? The next question is challenging your business idea. What type of company will it be? Who are your competitors? Robust competitor research is a must.
Some people who want to start a business look at franchising. Starting a franchise can be a quick and more cost-effective way to begin. The British Franchise Association quotes success rates of over 95% of franchisees achieving profitability. So if starting your own business is your dream for 2019, get planning. Remember, you’ll need to do something different to achieve a different outcome for yourself.