According to research, about 60% of us admit that we make New Year’s resolutions but only about 8% of us are successful in achieving them.
As it’s the time of year when you may be considering the changes you will make in 2020, here are ten New Year’s resolution suggestions for business owners and senior execs.
- Delegate more
If you’re running a business, a department or a team then you’re likely to be faced with a huge number of tasks. But, how many of them do you actually need to do yourself?
Delegation is key to a healthy work/life balance. Rather than wearing yourself out by trying to handle everything yourself, delegate more to your team. This can be particularly useful in areas where you’re not an expert and where your time is spent more productively doing something else.
- Communicate with your staff more
If your employees feel as if they are being treated solely as workers and not as people, they will eventually regard the job as routine and mundane.
However, if your staff have a good and open communicative relationship with everyone at their office, including you as the business owner or senior person, they will look forward to coming to work more often and be more productive.
Good communication means more than just having a performance review every six or twelve months. Instead, talk with your team daily. Ask them about their work and about their personal lives and their families.
Another reason for improving communication with your staff is that they will often have great ideas on ways to improve your business. Talking to them might result in efficiencies or great ideas for moving the company forward.
- Top up your pension
Being financially prepared for retirement is key to stopping work at the right time. It’s frustrating to be emotionally ready to retire if you don’t have the financial means to do so!
Ensuring you’re financially ready means ensuring you make the right pension provision. So, in 2020, resolve to top up your retirement fund.
If you’re a UK taxpayer, in the tax year 2019/20 you’ll get tax relief on pension contributions of up to 100% of your earnings or a £40,000 annual allowance, whichever is lower. (This assumes that you have yet to draw benefits from your pension. If you have, the allowance is reduced to just £4,000).
- Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill can have multiple benefits. Not only does it help you to maintain a healthy work/life balance, but it may also whet your appetite for what you might do in your retirement.
Your new skill may be related to your work or you might decide to do something completely unrelated, such as learning a new language or how to play a musical instrument.
And, depending on how you choose to learn, you may also meet new and interesting people who may become customers, colleagues, or friends.
- Do something in your community
Little more grows goodwill for you and your business than giving back to your community. So, this New Year, why not resolve to find a local cause that matters and do what you can?
Getting involved doesn’t necessarily just mean providing financial support. You could serve on a local committee, become a mentor, or volunteer in your local community.
- Pay it forward
Think back to the early years of your career. Was there anyone that helped you; providing advice and guidance that were invaluable in you developing your skills or behaviours?
A great New Year’s resolution for a business owner or senior exec is to ‘pay it forward’. Find someone in your industry who is in the same position as you were and who might benefit from mentoring or advice.
Your generosity will not go unnoticed, and you will be seen as both an expert in your field and as a person people want to work with.
- Give gifts
With more than £5 billion in Inheritance Tax (IHT) paid in the last tax year, thousands of individuals in the UK are dying each year and leaving a tax bill for their beneficiaries to deal with.
Gifting is one way to reduce your IHT liability. We have previously looked at the sort of gifts you can give but, at the very minimum, you should be using your annual gift exemption (£3,000) and small gift allowances.
If your income permits, it may also be worth considering making gifts from income on a regular basis.
- Review your professional advisers
When was the last time you reviewed your relationship with your important business advisers?
Your accountants, lawyers and other professional services should have specific experience in your industry and approach the relationship as members of your team, not hired staff on an hourly retainer.
In 2020, resolve to work with professionals who act as partners.
- Maximise your tax-efficient savings
As well as ensuring you have made the right pension contributions, make 2020 the year that you maximise your tax-efficient savings.
You can contribute up to £20,000 into an ISA each tax year (so on 5 April 2020 or before, and again after 6 April 2020). Don’t forget that the I in ISA is for ‘individual’, so if you are married or in a civil partnership then you can each contribute up to £20,000 in a tax year.
If you have children under the age of 18 then you can also contribute to a Junior ISA. In the 2019/2020 tax year, the savings limit is £4,368.
- Get to know your customers better
How well do you know your customers? Do you know how they found out about you? Why they choose you and not a competitor? Or whether they are happy with the service they are getting?
Keeping customers means knowing exactly what makes them tick. So, make 2020 the year that you really find out what your customers think of your company. Do this by:
- Hosting an online survey asking for feedback (offer a prize draw for people completing it)
- Speaking to your customers and creating a rapport. They may be able to give you incisive feedback on what you can do to improve
- Using Google Analytics to see how customers found you, which pages of your website are most popular, where customers come from, and where they drop off your website.
Get in touch
If you’re looking for help in sticking to some of your financial New Year’s resolutions, we can help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 313 1370.