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Ten Decisions for 2014

Posted: December 30, 2013 3:58 p.m.
Updated: December 30, 2013 3:58 p.m.
Ken Keller Ken Keller
Ken Keller

Most of the business owners I know are either finishing up a solid year and want to continue the good times into 2014, or they had a less than stellar year and want a different ending a year from now. Which is it for you?

Here are some questions that will help you define the tough decisions you need to address if you are interested in starting 2014 strong and achieving your company’s goals by the end of next December.

1. Do you have customers or clients? Now is the time to make the conversion. Customers are good, clients are preferred.

2. What are you doing to improve your business model? How can you get ongoing revenue streams from clients and stop having to continually market for new clients? What are you doing to lock in and keep clients for longer periods of time?

3. Are you focused on improving cash flow? Are you watching the pennies or is that just what you tell yourself? While cutting back is part of the answer, a better way to look at cash flow is as an investment for the future. Does your cash flow reflect an investment for the future of your business?

4. Are you charging enough for what you sell? Or are you low-balling to get the business? Premium products deserve a premium pricing position. If you believe that you can’t raise prices, think again.

5. Are you surrounded with the best people possible? Not the people you are comfortable with, but people that will force you to improve? This happens when you are pushed out of the comfort zone and you start seeing things differently.

6. Are you taking care of your body, physically? Health needs to be a priority. When a person is not well, it surfaces in just about everything they say and do.

7. Are your goals high enough? Are your goals stretching you to ask yourself “how can I do this; how can I make this happen? Most owners know what to do and stumble on the how.

8. Are you taking action every single day towards your company goals? Do you make a list of action items or simply react to what comes your way each day?

9. Do you have an eye on the future? Have you defined it for yourself? Most owners aren’t afraid of the future; they simply have not defined it.

10. How do you know if you are winning? Have you taken the time to define what winning is for your company? Are you regularly calendaring time to track the progress being made against the goals you have set? These topic areas and questions cover the income statement of your business, from revenue through net income.

If you want a better 2014, it has to be more than just a wish. Understand that nothing will happen until you take action. Everyone that works for you, and with you, is waiting for you. The future of your company begins and ends with the decisions you make, or don’t make.

Ken Keller facilitates The Wise Owners Advisory Boards, bringing business owners together for education, sharing and on-going success. Contact him at Keller’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.



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