The Q4 of any year takes its toll on any entrepreneur for two main reasons. The first is that you have to take stock, find out all the areas you’ve underperformed, broken even, or made returns on your investments.
The second is that you start preparing for Q1 of the next year in order not to be caught with your pants down. Funding is one of the major problems an entrepreneur has to contend with and according to a U.S. Bank study, an amazing 82% of businesses fail because of cash flow problems.
To become an outstanding entrepreneur in 2020, you need to harness all your positive points and focus strongly on the following five things.
About the most important thing, you should focus on as an entrepreneur in 2020, is the issue of cybersecurity. Cybercriminals are daily upping their heinous acts and don’t spare anybody, they even prefer to target businesses that will give them the least resistance.
Since any attack that is directed at you may cripple your business as well as hurt your customers, vendors, contractors, and other third parties, you must not take this threat with a pinch of salt. In focusing on cybersecurity, you need to understand that firewalls and perimeters do no longer work to protect your security network.
Your employees and supply chains can be compromised. You must work towards a zero-trust strategy where you “verify all and trust none” among other security programs you have in place.
Access should only be given where it’s absolutely necessary and changed when the job responsibilities change.
2. Time management
As an entrepreneur, time is of the essence and you don’t have all the time in the world. You need to inculcate the art of good time management which allows you to accomplish more in a shorter period of time.
If you manage your time well, you may even be surprised to discover that you will be left with some free time, which affords you the opportunity of learning, reduces your stress, and increases your ability to focus. The time management technique entails that you know when and how to prioritize your work.
You need to set out clear priorities based on whether projects are small or large. When everything is a priority, nothing is.
These elements of a time management mindset will serve as a footstool
- Keep important information in one place
- Set a time limit for each task
- Prioritize your tasks
- Plan ahead for your workday
- Get rid of distractions from your phone
It’s important you set out the goals you want to achieve from the onset. Your goals must be clear and there must be metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your performance.
It will be wrong if you decide to wait until the end of the year to find out how you have been performing. A quarterly assessment will do well for you as an entrepreneur because you will quickly know when you are falling short of standards.
The following metrics will suffice for an outstanding 2020 entrepreneur.
- Gross Profit Margin
- Earned Value (EV)
- Customer Satisfaction Score
- Employee Satisfaction Score
- Actual Cost (AC)
- Cost Variance (CV)
- Schedule Variance (SV)
- Cost Performance Index (CPI)
Where it’s possible you think of outsourcing some very technical aspects of your job. You may not be able to employ the best hands as the cost implications may be beyond your budget.
If you have to go for misfits just for the mere fact that you want to show a presence, you are digging a pit for yourself. The service provider is responsible for maintaining and updating services over time.
If there are changes to financial regulations, for example, the provider is responsible for adjusting its services accordingly. This fact alone means that outsourcing can save an entrepreneur large sums of funds over the years by reducing administrative overhead.
However, you must perform due diligence to find the right service. To be effective, the outsourcing provider’s services must be transparent and allow customers to easily monitor the service and confirm data is being handled in accordance with legal restrictions and corporate policy.
5. Social media
You need to pass the message around and your budget may not be able to sustain the ads and the relevant traditional marketing campaigns. The Statista, reports that the number of worldwide active users of social media is estimated to hit 2.96 billion by 2020, from 2.82billion in 2019.
This is a figure you can’t afford to jettison. It’s very obvious that social media, more and more, is engaging the majority of the world’s citizenry.
What this means is that as an entrepreneur, if you’re not focused on building a strong brand presence on social media in 2020, your customers will have no option than to go for your competitors.
If you add these to reading books, ascertaining when to refrain from taking risks and when to plunge headlong, when to scale and when to go it gradually, you are overwhelmingly on the path to an outstanding 2020 entrepreneur.