• Handpicked Harrogate

The Secret to keeping your Small Business Afloat

It’s that time of year again for setting goals and making new year resolutions. This year I propose a new New Year tradition - setting your 'Plimsoll line'

The Plimsoll line is a mark on the hull of a merchant ship, it shows the maximum capacity load the ship may carry. The depth to which a boat can be safely loaded to maintain buoyancy against the hazards of the open sea.

Like a ship, keeping your small business afloat is about defining that capacity limit.

Depending on your business that 'line' could be the number of projects, clients, orders or hours worked per week.

It should be set at the point where you can still work, effectively and safely - not the point where you make mistakes or risk failure.

Reaching your Plimsoll Line is not saying 'I can't take on anymore', it’s the point to say 'I can't take on anymore unless something changes'.

It’s your signal to take stock. Consider options, such as outsourcing, third party collaborations or taking on more staff to increase your capacity.

So, my proposal is that as we set out on this new year with our goals and resolutions, we also define our Plimsoll Line; a limit we will not simply push beyond – protection against sinking our own ship.