Hi, I’m Jason Seagrave from Seagrave French. This is the Seagrave French New Year’s resolutions.

Resolution number 1: Write down your objectives. People who write down their objectives are more likely to achieve them. Doesn’t need to be a full-blown business plan. It can be just a list of tasks that you want to accomplish this year. That’s one step that you can take to make sure you succeed in 2020.

Resolution number 2: Is to commit to preparing regular management information. Once you set your objectives, you need to find a way to make sure you’re achieving what you set out to do. And management information is a great way to measure how you’re performing and make sure that you achieve in the KPL as you set yourself.

Resolution number 3: Take action to retain your key employees. Many businesses rely on their employees and some employees make the difference between success and failure. But if you don’t know what your employees want, how can you make sure that you’re motivating them? Don’t always assume that it’s money. It might be time off, it might be other benefits.

Resolution number 4: Protect your business in case the happens. One things I say to people is, when you set up a business with a partner, one thing that will definitely happen is that partnership will come to an end. You’ll either sell, one of you will retire, potentially one of you might die. You need to protect yourself to make sure that the business doesn’t suffer, as a result of one of those things happening. The things you need to think about are, getting a shareholders’ agreement, getting life insurance in place, maybe some critical illness and have a plan of what to do if one of you isn’t around.

Resolution number 5: Prepare your business for maximum value. You need to know what you want to get out of your business, if you’re going to be selling it or if you’re going to be continuing to trade for years to come and live off the profits. There are different ways you have to set your business up to maximize the value. If you’re looking to sell. You have to have all your systems in place, so that when you do sell and you’re no longer around, the value of the business can continue on into the future.

Resolution number 6: Take a look at your business costs. Most of my businesses that are successful, keep a good eye on their overheads. You need to remember that your overheads are paid for by the profit you make on selling your services. The best example I give is the vase of flowers in reception. I’ve calculated that you could have to sell 5000 pounds worth of stuff a year, just to pay to have those fresh flowers in reception.

Resolution number 7: Make sure you claim the research and development credit. In Germany 85% of businesses claim the research and development tax credit. In the UK, it’s something like 25%. Don’t assume that you have to be wearing white coats to claim research and development credit. One of my clients who made watches was able to claim over 200, 000 pounds in tax back through research and development claim.

Resolution number 8: Maximize your wealth. One of the things we do for our clients, is we prepare a personal balance sheet. On that balance sheet, which set out all their assets and liabilities and the returns they’re achieving from each of them. And from that we can see if they’ve got too much of their wealth tied up in a particular area or if they’re paying interest on something when they’ve got assets that they could use to pay off those liabilities.

Resolution number 9: This follows on from yesterday’s. Diversify your investment risk. Most business owners have most of their wealth tied up in their business. We can analyze out your entire wealth and identify things like that. And then we can help you diversify the risk.

Resolution number 10: End the Sunday night fear. I’m sure everyone experience this, one time another. It’s Sunday night, you got work the next day and you’re worrying about what the week is gonna hold. I’ve seen that having a plan can make this fear go away.

Resolution number 11: Marginal gains. For quite a few years the Sky cycling team, dominated cycling basically in the Tour de France. And the way they achieved that was by working on marginal gains. They’re improving lots of things by small amount. But when you add up all those little bits, it made a massive difference to the time. You can apply this principle to your business and improve your profitability.

Resolution number 12: Measuring customer or product profitability. Nobody wants to be a busy fool. You have to look at your customers and the services that each provide and make sure that they’re all offering you the same amount of profitability. So you need a great management information system to be able to identify the products or customers that aren’t performing as well as it could be

That concludes our 12 New Year’s resolutions to help you improve your business. If you’d like to talk about any of the things we’ve talked about and help your 2020 be as good as it can be, please get in touch.