As the world turns to face yet another year, its only natural to reflect on the progress made in the last twelve months. Maybe the year started with the best intentions, only to have a eurozone shaped bomb drop on your business aspirations. Or maybe you’re one of the few that have actually squeezed a profit out of an otherwise hostile economy.
Whatever the fate of your business plan, the cold hard truth is that for many, times are hard. Banks won’t lend, customers won’t buy. To make things even more frustrating, everything seems to be going digital, and the pixels just don’t feel as friendly as the pen and paper you’re so familiar with. Its cold, its dark, and the future looks as unlikely as George Osborne handing out fivers in a dole que. You start to notice that your bank manager doesn’t seem to smile at you anymore, you want to go back to 2006 when a bailout was something you did to a boat.
Things look bad, then you realise something. You realise that its a new year, you realise that things can get better, you realise that 2013 is going to be the year that it all changed.
If you are the sort of person to have the ambition and drive to run your own business then you are indeed one of the lucky ones. The romantic ideal of being your own boss is something that many aspire to achieve, yet the truth is that the devil is in the detail. Yes it may be fulfilling, and yes things might be going great thank you very much, but that constant, irritating, niggly reality is that you wish you had more time to do what you do best. Flower arranger, clothes designer, bricklayer, butcher, baker or a self-employed candlestick maker. Whatever your profession, whatever your business plan, you know that you would thrive if you could just put down the abacus, and hand over the tax return to someone else.
The key here is delegation, there is no shame in admitting defeat when it comes to the accounts. Its a skill set, it requires training and techniques and a natural flair for numbers and organisation. This is a characteristic that many do not possess, and that’s fine. What’s more is that it can be destructively time consuming.
For anyone who has let 2012 bog them down in paperwork and number crunching, there should only be one new years resolution, and that should be to get involved again. Get hands on, do what you do best, and what your business depends on. Innovate, interact with your staff or contacts, develop your products. Don’t spend time counting receipts and tax deductible biros, spend your time protecting your business against the turbulent uncertainty of 2013. Growth is timid these days, and its going to be a rough ride.

By Smiley