Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again, where we work on resolutions both personally and professionally. To ensure you have a successful 2017, here are 17 quick tips about business and life to get you started.
1. Develop a business plan
As a business owner, you know where you want to be at the end of the year. January is a great time to sit down and plan how you will reach that vision. If you don’t already have a current business plan for the next few years, do some research and talk to the experts to make sure your business stays on the right path.
2. Re-evaluate contract agreements
Did you have something happen in 2016 and found out you weren’t covered? Either way, the beginning of the year is the time to look and make sure the contracts you have with your customers make sense for you, and for them. Start with your general agreement. Review it point-by-point to ensure that your business has all the legal, insurance, etc. coverage needed, but be sure there is some flexibility to meet your customer’s needs as well.
3. Keeping records
As a business owner, it’s important to keep a record of everything from clients, tools and equipment to billing and more. If you aren’t using tools like Quickbooks to monitor your expenses, consider solutions that can help you keep records that will allow you to easily track expenses, income and tax information. In fact, if you’re specifically wondering what type of book keeping software to use, check out the Top Ten Reviews of 2016 to see the best accounting options.
4. Streamline processes
Are you making the most of what you already have? In 2017 you can work smarter by making sure you’re maximizing efforts. ACTIVE Network | IPICO can help with some of these. For instance, are you paying for a Race Timing and Scoring Software despite owning IPICO hardware? ACTIVE Timing is included in the cost of your hardware and is designed specifically to work for your needs. With an intuitive, easy-to-use design, you can eliminate the need to pay for other timing software superscriptions. Are you spending too much time assembling bibs? We also offer a low cost bib assembly service for IPICO Customers. You can take back your weeknights and spend more time doing what you love.
5. Determine your growth strategy (if you are trying to expand)
To ensure your business is sustainable for the next five, ten or more years, start developing a growth strategy. As first steps to building a strategy consider what your value proposition is. What do you offer customers that is different than everyone else? Identify your key audience and how you can measure success within your business. Is making a certain number of sales a quarter? How can you increase those each quarter? Additionally, consider your strengths and be sure to invest in talented staff to help you grow your business.
6. Update your website
If you haven’t reviewed your website in a while it’s a great time to do that. Often you will need to verify the security of your CMS or update contact information. It never hurts to update your site with new photos of races you have timed or new team members who have joined in the past year, as well as any new offerings or specialties your business offers. It’s important to keep your website information current and relevant. Consider doing a website review a few times a year.
7. Software and firmware updates
A crucial piece to your success will be staying up-to-date on the latest software and firmware releases for your equipment this year. The best way to do this is to subscribe to our customer support portal and emails to ensure you know about all the upcoming updates and changes. This will help increase the longevity of your investment.
8. Evaluate equipment
Your timing equipment can take a beating. People are literally walking all over it…constantly. The new year is a great time to take inventory of your hardware. Do your readers need some repairs? Are your antennas properly connecting? Do your reusable tags need to be cleaned or replaced? If you’re in the US, it’ now easy to replace your tags and other consumables through the IPICO Shop online. Before the season picks up again, be sure to get your equipment in peak performance condition.
9. Learn from your peers
If you haven’t already, consider joining meet up groups with other timers or find an online community where you can learn from others and keep up to date on the latest industry standards. Timers Talk is a great Facebook group for troubleshooting race day complications or checking up on how your fellow timers work with unique contract situations. You can also check out our support portal user boards for official IPICO reader tips and solutions to common issues that support addresses. If you’re up against complications, chances are someone has already encountered them and has advice!
10. Simplify your life
This year, work on simplifying one aspect of your life. This can be something as small as eliminating clutter in your timing trailer to developing a completely new process for race day preparation. Take a look at your normal processes and set up to see what you might be able to simplify, just making life a little easier. An extra tip, consider doing this in your personal life as well!
11. Practice self-compassion
Be sure to practice self-compassion this year. Be mindful of your needs, as well as those around you. Self-compassion means you should allow yourself to acknowledge and deal with those needs and feelings, rather than suppressing them or letting them get out of control. Another aspect to self-compassion is realizing that others may have gone through similar situations or feelings. You’re not alone. Keep these things in mind and check out this article to learn more on being self-compassionate.
12. Set measurable goals
When setting your goals for the year make sure that they are easily measurable. For instance, it is difficult to measure whether you have succeeded in “exercise more regularly” versus “exercise three times per week.” For all your 2017 resolutions, be sure to add a specific measure to each one so that you can easily check it off as a success.
13. Commit to change
The key to successfully accomplishing your new year’s resolutions, whether professionally or personally, is to continually make small changes that work towards your larger goal. What is the biggest thing you want to accomplish in 2017? Consider making a list of small steps or a checklist that will help you meet that goal. Taking it one step at a time will ensure the ultimate success!
14. Spend time outdoors
As a timer, you spend A LOT of time outside, but maybe not much when you’re not working. Studies suggest that taking our hobbies outside increases our level of happiness and promotes better overall mental health. You can’t go wrong with fresh air, sun and nature! Whether you’re into hiking, running or maybe even reading. Skip the couch or the gym, find a scenic trail and a nice park to spend the afternoon in.
15. Plan a getaway
Many timers also have a weekday job, so it can be hard to find time to get away. This year make it a goal to take at least one trip! It can be a two-hour day trip out of town or finally taking that trip to the exotic destination you’ve been dreaming about. The important thing is that you are enjoying the smaller pleasures in life.
16. Go off the grid
In this day-and-age it’s easy to get exhausted from technology overload. Practice being present with those you love by going off the grid every now and then. Going off the grid means no technology (don’t worry you can still enjoy modern luxuries like indoor plumbing if you want to) for a set amount of time. No phones. No email. No computers. This is a great way to recharge after a long series of races.
17. Attend IPICO Connect
This is an easy way for you to network with your peers and stay up to date on the latest with IPICO, all while having a great time! You’ll hear from experts in the racing industry, learn about the latest technology, hear tips and more. This year’s conference will be February 7-8 in Las Vegas, so be sure to check back for event updates soon.
A lot is changing in 2017. Whether your job, your personal life or just the little things, remember change can be good. Sometimes making even the smallest change in your life may alleviate stress, free up time or just help you relax. Hopefully, these tips will get you off on the right track to make 2017 great!