Does your business need to lose weight? Mine did. In 2011, I spent far more money than what was coming in. That's okay. It's a new business. That's what's supposed to happen, right? You invest so that you can build up the business.
Not always. And we must stay vigilant. We have to lose weight.
Business weight loss
People understand how to cut resources to lower expenses. You can close a satellite office—we closed our two offices and went virtual to save over $10,000 a year in expenses. We understand how to let people go if we can no longer afford them—I had to do a bit of that, too, which is always painful and always stinks. In my case, I transitioned one resource into a contractor role, and I'm still trying to help him get more paying gigs, so it's a soft transition. But any time you mess with someone's bread basket, it hurts. What we don't often think about with regards to business weight loss is time.
Go on a time diet
I promise you, sight unseen, that you're doing things you don't need to be doing. I promise you that you've got some "leftover" work that you've done that way for years that isn't really helping. I bet you're still plugging away at something that no one cares about and that isn't showing you any results. Maybe it's Twitter that you're pouring yourself into and getting nothing back from. Maybe it's the company blog. Maybe it's something offline, like visiting Chamber of Commerce meetings. Who knows? But take a really good look at where you're spending your time.
Oh, TV. If you're watching TV, there's an easy way to give yourself a diet. Trade even two hours of TV time a week for work-on-your-future time, and you'll improve your world dramatically. Ditto the Internet, smarties. People sometimes get all righteous about not watching TV, but then spend hours surfing Reddit and reading blog posts on their Google Reader. If you're not doing that for business purposes, then it's still just watching TV.
Lose mental weight
Another area where we all could lose weight is in our heads. Lose the guilt. Throw out the disappointment in yourself for how things went this year. Put all your fears about things you can't control on notice that—they'll have to find a new head to inhabit. If you work harder on the current world, and on where you're headed next, you'll get a lot more out of it.
Want to lose some more weight in the mental department? Stop multitasking. Yes, technology has made it so that you can open 20 tabs on your browser, get beeps and blips and notifications, use your laptop, your iPad and your smartphone at the same time. But none of that makes it better for you to do your work. Shut windows down. Shut tabs down. Stop the blips and the beeps. Make all but the phone ringer silent. Mute any notifications you can. Put your interruptions back where they belong: way down the list from what you're doing that matters to your business.
Weight loss is a path, not a destination
Think about this often. Use this method often. The more you work on weight loss, the better you do with growing a healthy, fit business.