Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their very own.
I am not a billionaire, and I do not run an enormous firm. My ten-person tech consulting agency is small — tiny in comparison with many others. However I have been operating it for greater than 20 years, and it is supplied an excellent livelihood for my household. As 2023 ends, I am already preparing for 2024. And I am re-affirming these 9 tried and true habits that I’ve practiced over time to make sure that I can nonetheless develop and revenue.
1. Begin the day at 5 am
I have been getting up at 5 am since, properly, endlessly. The early morning is the time after I’m most productive. Everybody’s asleep in the home. There are not any emails or telephone calls. I can deal with writing and different deeper pondering workout routines. I do that instantly after I stand up. I get extra finished between 5 am and seven am than most elements of the day.
2. Do accounting
Operating a enterprise includes ardour and dedication. However in the long run, crucial factor is math. Perhaps I am too subjective as a result of I am an authorized public accountant, however I’ve discovered that my finest and most worthwhile purchasers know their numbers. They watch gross sales each day. They get money stream stories weekly. The observe job prices. They analyze margins. As a result of my enterprise is a service enterprise, I look carefully at chargeable and non-chargeable hours every week. Suppose the numbers are nice, then nice. If not, then I’ve to do one thing about them.
3. Go to purchasers
Perhaps I am too old style, however I’ve discovered that I at all times shut extra gross sales, and I hold longer-term relationships after I meet individuals nose to nose. On-line conferences positively serve a goal. However people bodily prefer to be with people. So, I am going to proceed to strive my finest to get out of my cocoon and meet with purchasers, go to occasions, community and work together with different people in the true world.
4. Learn and hear
I am going to proceed to learn fiction and can defend that apply as a result of it isn’t solely an escape, nevertheless it helps me be taught extra about human conduct. However I am going to even be studying just a few alternative enterprise, historical past and biography books this 12 months too. Additionally, as I stroll and drive, I’ll proceed to take heed to my most popular enterprise and know-how podcasts – like Planet Cash, Lex Fridman, WSJ’s Cash Briefing, and Freakonomics – in addition to just a few of my favorites like Smartless simply to maintain me laughing.
5. Play squash
Sure, I play squash about two to a few instances per week. I have been doing it for years, and it is a aggressive calorie burner. After I’m unable to play, I experience my bike. The purpose is I train. I do that in the course of the day generally. It breaks the sample and frees up my head. And it is good for my physique. I look ahead to these actions. Train is essential for any entrepreneur. Getting the blood circulating and being energetic are keys to an extended life and a balanced thoughts.
6. Lean into AI
AI will dominate my know-how technique this 12 months. I am digging deep into my CRM and accounting software program and researching with my distributors what AI instruments they’re rolling out to avoid wasting me time and assist my individuals be extra productive. I write and converse on the subject, too, so I am going to proceed to dedicate a major period of time researching and staying on top of things on these very fast-moving developments. AI will probably be as transformative to my enterprise because the cell system was fifteen years in the past, and I do not wish to ignore this vital, disruptive pattern.
7. Concentrate on individuals
I solely have about ten staff and contractors, so it isn’t that arduous. However these individuals are core to my life, my enterprise, my monetary safety. They interface with my purchasers, prospect for brand new work and handle my funds. I want to ensure I am spending time with everybody and listening to their points. I additionally wish to make sure that I am offering them with good compensation and advantages. I have been very fortunate to have a loyal crew over time as a result of I are inclined to overpay. I wish to hold doing that.
8. Meet with my accountant in Might and September
Despite the fact that I am a CPA, I do not do my very own taxes as a result of I am horrible at it. However I do acknowledge — sadly — that my tax chew takes up between 20-30% of my whole earnings when you think about federal, state and metropolis charges. The tax guidelines are shifting this 12 months, and we’re probably dealing with important modifications after 2025, when lots of the 2017 Tax and Jobs Act provisions expire. My finest purchasers are at all times planning forward and devising methods that develop their companies whereas minimizing tax liabilities, and I will be doing the identical.
9. Take pleasure in household
Time goes quick, and everybody’s busy. It is easy to let the day’s duties take precedence. And earlier than it…you are previous, and so is everybody else. I do not know a single profitable enterprise proprietor who does not have the backing of their household, and that household contains associates, neighbors and group. They advise. They criticize. They get on my nerves. However I am unable to think about operating a enterprise with out that help system.
In case you apply these 9 habits, will that imply you’ll develop into a multi-zillionaire on the quilt of Entrepreneur Journal? Simply have a look at me, and you will have your reply – it is unlikely. There is not any assure that by doing these belongings you’ll achieve success in 2024. However for no matter it is price, these practices have helped me to develop an excellent enterprise that has supplied for my household over the previous twenty years. They work for me. So the percentages are good that they will be just right for you, too.