I'm fast coming to the conclusion that small business owners have a lot in common with gym members. Perhaps most gym members own a small business, I can’t be sure.
But I was reading that gyms almost unanimously report a sudden drop off in member activity about halfway through February every single year.
All of those courageous New Year's resolutions become just that as energy and enthusiasm levels decline and that steel resolve turns into wet cardboard.
And our own research in the Sydney small business community shows that business owners suffer a similar decline in financial terms.
Maintaining a healthy business can be as challenging as keeping up with those regular workouts. It requires strategy - an action plan - complete with realistic goals and deadlines.
So it's probably a great opportunity for some self reflection. There's no point in repeating the same mistakes time after time. Yet that's one of the bad (and expensive) business habits we can sometimes get ourselves into.
So consider what has NOT worked in the past - and learn from it.
Here are some areas that you might want to focus on:
There is no need to panic if it all seems a bit much. As the personal trainer at your local gym would suggest, it's just a matter of one step at a time.
And just like the distractions that tempt you from your fitness goals, there will also be factors outside your control that get in the way of your business improvement plan.
Just accept them as a part of life. The important thing is to ensure you do not give in.
Constantly monitor your major costs. Focus on your investment in advertising and marketing. Identify the best channels and leverage them.
A good business manager knows their numbers. Check your leads, conversion rates, margins, the lot. Blast the bulge and do what it takes to burn off that excess fat.
Signing up for the race is one thing, crossing the finish line is quite another.