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BFS Capital Blog

December Already? Gearing Up For 2014

December 2, 2013

With having a successful holiday season the priority at hand, who has time to think about next year? But 2014 will be here in a flash. Somewhere in the midst of the holiday bustle, it pays to give some thought to what will increase your chances for business success next year.

There’s no shortage of advice out there, and much of it is very helpful! We especially like information found at, where readers themselves contributed their top tips for small business success. These are great thought-starters; there are 10 possible areas to focus on for success next year:

    • Your business plan.


    • Your business strategy (along with alignment, discipline and clear priorities).


    • Customer service.


    • Your recruiting strategy.


    • Your hiring process


    • Your management philosophy and team.


    • Doing due diligence when hiring (checking and re-checking).


    • Leveraging your small business advantages (quality, service, and knowledge).


    • Discipline.


    • Leveraging your ability to be innovative

But where do you begin deciding what to change right off, what to keep the same and what to monitor and perhaps tweak as the year unfolds? to the rescue! The site offers some tips for setting yourself up for success in 2014:

    • Take inventory, and create a list of everything you accomplished this year. Use this as the basis for assessing what you did well (and not so well) and for setting new goals.


    • Focus on what’s working. Tweak what isn’t. This is an evolutionary journey that requires flexibility above all.


    • Focus on something, and the more it grows. Establish benchmarks and tracking. And be sure to include things wellness, relationships, education and spirituality. Don’t focus on mistakes and failures, except as learning tools.


    • Be very clear in articulating what you want and how you intend to get there. Vague thoughts or notions don’t provide the road map you need to succeed. But detailed plans in black and white will.

More terrific food for thought: Planning for success: Small businesses prepare for the year ahead from Bryan Burke, Sherwood Small Business Examiner. Click the link to read Burke’s thoughts on a number of ways you can be gearing up for next year. In the meantime, we especially like two of them:

    • Prepare mentally, both you and your team. “World class” thinking, Burke says, will mean accomplishing more, complaining less.


    • Find a mentor and business coach. Even if you’re doing well, Burke says, you’re missing out if you don’t have a mentor, who can share invaluable lessons and experience.

Burke also reminds us what we all know already: Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to start thinking about next year!
Image courtesy of Keerati /

How are you gearing up for next year? What specific steps are you taking to set yourself up for success?