The last 4 things you need to do this year

Enter 2017 in the right frame of mind


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It’s December and that means you are probably running around frantically trying to end a tough year with a final push. As much as you are fuelled by this pressure, it’s tiring.

It’s important for business owners to use the end of each year to not only push for last-minute sales, but also to look ahead to the year to come and try to re-centre themselves, and their businesses.

Juggling planning, profits and finding peace is a challenge that all of our clients at Merchant Capital share. With the drama of 2016 behind us, it’s time we all took a constructive break and reset.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure you start 2017 in the right frame of mind.

Plan all your paperwork
The last thing you want do in December is admin, but spending a day or two getting your paperwork in order could save you huge amounts of time and money down the line.

Review your taxes, make sure your insurance is up to date, and revisit any contracts affecting your business.

You should also try and get a head start on your marketing and budget goals for 2017. Even if you’re expecting a quiet month, it’s always worth starting early. Leaving your planning until January means you’re already behind your competition.

Use the time available to allocate budgets, tweak your business plan or rewrite your vision and mission statement. Ending the year sure of where you’re headed will help ease the tension of a busy – or quiet – time for your business.

Thought starter: Set aside one working day to sorting out all your paperwork and planning the first quarter of 2017 instead of chipping away over December.

Learn to meditate
Whether you take time out to stretch at your desk, play with your kids or simply disconnect all your devices over lunch to go for a walk, it’s important to clear your mind every day.

While it may seem counter-productive, a lot of our clients can attest to the power of a few minutes spent recentering themselves.

Spend a little time exploring different calming techniques such as deep breathing, writing a journal or listening to classical music. Find out what calms you down and make it a goal to incorporate mindful meditation into your daily schedule.

You will feel more relaxed and productive, plus you will be able to keep your cool more easily when things get a little frantic, because meditation helps manage emotions.

Thought starter: Clearing your mind requires quiet. Find a peaceful area in your building or take a few minutes to calm down in the car before you start your day.

Manage relaxation
Every business owner finds it difficult to let go of the reigns and take a holiday, but it is essential that you take time out to rest.

There are a few options available when planning your leave. You can shut up shop for a few days, provided you tend to be quiet in December. You can train a senior staff member to handle things in your absence, or you can work remotely and check in once or twice a day.

Your choice will depend on the people around you, but taking a break to reset your goals and focus is essential to great management.

Just make sure you let important clients know that you might be unavailable so that you don’t just disappear.

Thought-starter: Once you know which dates you will be away, book them out and send a meeting request. Making leave official will help you stick to your commitment to unwind.

Reflect, and learn
Most business owners will find that even when they’re on holiday, their thoughts stray to what’s happening at work.

To make the most of your break, commit an hour a day to thinking about the lessons you’ve learnt this year. Even though it’s a short time, splitting your time between reflection and relaxation will mean you come back feeling refreshed with a clear idea of what you need to achieve in 2017.

Thought-starter: You need to refresh your mind, body and soul to benefit from a break. Ensure you balance periods of reflection and rest with physical activity to keep fresh.

You need to be in a good space to steer the ship, so start practising these techniques today to ensure 2017 is packed full of fresh success.

About the author: Dov Girnun is the CEO and founder of Merchant Capital. The company is an innovative solution for South African small and medium businesses struggling to access working capital for growth. Merchant Capital offers an alternative to traditional funding option and uses a unique funding and payment model to provide a working capital injection for growing businesses. You can follow them on Twitter@MerchantCap

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