Business Advice

Make this your business STOP/START list for 2024

- February 8, 2024 3 MIN READ


As the new year gets well and truly underway, one of the most common conversations I have with business owners revolves around managing the day-to-day running of their business while also implementing new plans and ambitions they set as goals for the year, writes Elise Balsillie, Head of Thryv Australia.

This means that while focusing on customers and business growth, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the daily grind and the many “to-dos” on their list.

So, if you’re stuck on your to-do list, my advice to is to take a different approach to goal setting, and instead of having a long checklist that seems never-ending, create a focused STOP/START list.

A STOP/START list is a fantastic tactic to analyse what’s working and what’s not working in your business, while giving business owners and employees an action-oriented approach and framework to support achieving goals and objectives.

To help small business owners navigate a business STOP/START list, here are my top five suggestions for 2024:

#1. STOP chasing payments over the phone, START using automation.

Automation is a time saver and reduces manual, mundane tasks that hold you and your staff up. It will allow your small business to scale its output without having to hire more people. Plus, automation tools enable you to be more data-driven and more effectively track your ROI, which is even more important for a small business. 

#2. STOP working after hours and on weekends, START getting back personal time.

Many small business owners are being forced to work outside trading hours when it comes to business administration and managing the day-to-day workload. By adopting more digital tools that can help you relieve some of the mundane tasks around your business, you’ll be better-equipped to handle timely demands, and ultimately get some weekend or personal time back in your life.

#3. STOP making ad-hoc business decisions, START using data to direct you.

The latest trends may be getting a lot of fancy and focus right now, but that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily good for your business. While it may seem the ‘right thing’ to do, following marketing trends without data to back it up can lead to poor business decisions. Ensure you have the right data about your business, your customers and your market by implementing digital tools that can track every step of your customer journey and process.

#4. START setting realistic business expectations. STOP expecting instant success.

Setting realistic expectations for what you can achieve with your business will mean less setbacks and disappointment and more surprise and delights. Being honest with yourself and your staff about what can truly be possible this year, will mean that your business success will be sustainable in the long run.

#5. STOP comparing your business to others, START remembering that your business is unique.

It’s important to know your competition but stop comparing your business to others. Every business is unique. What’s working for your competitor, may not work for you – so instead, start focusing on what’s different about your business and try standing out from the crowd. Carving out a unique personality for your business will mean greater connections with customers and loyalty. And, if you’re using the digital tools for tip #3 to give you a data-driven look at your business, you’ll be in a better position than your competitors anyway.

Adopting a STOP/START list is a simple but powerful tool that will empower businesses to thrive in 2024.

What will you be stopping and starting this year?

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