The first day of the work year is a good time to think about some ways to make 2019 better than 2018. Not that last year was bad at all: it was quite good in all respects, but being an entrepreneur I have to believe that 2019 will be even better!
Here are five things I will focus on in 2019:
- Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. For the first two weeks, I will aggressively unsubscribe to all the email that clutter my inbox every day. If I don’t seem tremendous value in a company’s email, I will unsubscribe. Likewise, I will try to focus on reading only a few of the magazines (most are complimentary) we receive at the office each week. I’ll also set aside 15 minutes at the beginning of the day and 15 minutes at the end of my day for non-work related internet surfing.
- Be an expense hawk. When times are good–as they have been–we tend to become a bit loose with expenses, buying things for the office that are experimental or just cool. We have subscriptions to many online software services; all of these need to be reviewed and pruned from our monthly expenses. I don’t know what 2019 will bring in terms of the economy, but we’ll be able to survive bumps in the road better if we run a tight ship.
- Spend as much time focusing on current customers as finding new ones. After 12 years in business, we have hundreds of current and past customers. This year we will reach out to our these businesses with the same energy we spend on finding new customers.
- Spend more time new product and services development. I often tell people that when Kona Impact started we had five pillars to the business, but within 6 months, we had already given up on two of them. We now have five pillars and are looking to add a few more in 2019. These are extensions of things we have been doing for years; we just need to market them better to customers.
- Spend less time working. Every successful entrepreneur I know has a fair amount of paranoia, which often results in overwork. One of my favorite jokes is: What do you call someone who works 80 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40? An entrepreneur! My plan for 2019 is to continue to automate our processes, use our machines more and delegate more, when possible.
I’m not a huge believer in grand, lofty goals for business. I tend to follow the kaizen (gradual, iterative improvement) approach to business where I want to get a few percentage points better at everything we do. Decrease expenses 3% and increase revenue 3% and that’ll be a big impact on the bottom line. Increase our new customers 3% and re-engage 3% of our past customers, and we’ll see tens of new projects this year. Decrease my work hours 3% and I’ll have about 100 hours a year. Small changes, big results.
Kona Impact 808-329-6077