Entrepreneurs to set resolutions that will drive and grow business in 2016

Setting the right New Year’s resolutions will not only give a business the competitive edge necessary in today’s global environment, but will also ensure that entrepreneurs know where their business is heading, and can plan ahead accordingly.

Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson of the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that the first step towards realising a goal is to set one, and the beginning of the year presents the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to review their business’ goals and to create new targets for the year ahead.

“Running a business is very much based on trial and error, and with each passing day, month and year, entrepreneurs learn something new about themselves, or identify a more efficient way of conducting business. Entrepreneurs should regularly reflect on these learnings and use the knowledge to set new goals for the business with the aim to ensure greater success and profitability for their business in the new year.”

She adds that these new goals should be applied to the business in the form of a structured plan that is reasonable, realistic and most importantly, achievable. “As with all resolutions, these often fail as they weren’t thought through properly or fully committed to. Entrepreneurs can fall prey to the New Year’s resolution curse too.

She says that entrepreneurs are often referred to as eternal optimists, and therefore need to determine whether their goals are feasible. Putting a plan in place can assist with this, as well as ensure that the business has a roadmap for the year which will help determine whether the business is in fact heading in the right, intended direction.”

Mjadu provides an example of a resolution that can assist in driving long-term success in today’s tough trading conditions. “Improve the business’ financial standing is a good resolution in light of current economic woes. Evaluating pricing strategies will help review the business’ financial standing, and based on this exercise entrepreneurs may need to refine pricing or introduce new plans to attract more customers to increase profits. This resolution can also include making a concerted effort to consolidate existing debt and avoid accumulating further debt unnecessarily. Improved cash flow management is another area that can fall within this resolution.”

Lewis Thomas, owner of Partners Hair Design and Job Creator of the Year® category winner in the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, agrees that a new year is the ideal time to pause and reflect on the past year and to learn from these experiences.

“Given that we are experiencing tough economic conditions, consumers are faced with rising food prices and high inflation which does not look to recover in the near future. Some of our retail products and electrical equipment are imported, and with the weakening Rand, we foresee excessive price increases in the near future, which will have a knock-on effect to customer spending power. For my business, now is a time to focus on finding and introducing innovative ways of growing turnover and profit within our 22 salons where existing leases are in place,” says Thomas.

For Bryan Anderson, the 2015 Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® category winner and co-owner of Cape Town based business, Delta Steam Systems, 2016 is the year they seek to expand and dominate their business. “Our goal is to ensure strong business foundations and to find the correct people to place within the various positions within the business.”

He says that the business has a number of key focus areas, namely sales, administration, and management, but that the one area they have earmarked for special attention is staff welfare. “We are growing as a company and recognise how our staff have played a large role in helping us achieve this success. We want to ensure that as we continue to grow, we also foster strong relationships with our staff to ensure their wellbeing,” says Anderson.

Mjadu concludes: “Entrepreneurs should think carefully about their business’ 2016 resolutions as setting the right goal can be vital in driving long-term success.”