Never stop learning: There's always something to get to grips with here in France. If 2015 is anything to go by particularly for the micro entrepreneur. Try to keep up to date with information from French sites [google translate if necessary]. Is there something that you need/want to improve in your industry, trade, craft? Be the best that you can be for 2016.
Get more French: Easier said than done for many of us who glean our income from an expat community. Don't settle into a comfort zone. If and when you can, improve your language skills. Ask yourself the question 'could I survive if there were no expats living in France?' A wild question to ask I know, but wise to think of your long term plan in France.
Market your business: Get that website up or refreshed. Get those business cards out there, meet people, network where you can. Connect with current customers, think newsletters and get creative about finding new ones. Marketing is a non stop effort.
Get to know your customer: Without them we have no business. Treat each one as a unique relationship, not just a transaction. Nurture relationships. Listen carefully and deliver above and beyond. What can you do to go that extra mile?
Get to know your businesses: Take time out every 3-4 months to review what's working and what is not. Repeat what is, and stop what is not. Review that plan – what's changing/changed? Understand your financials – know what income is coming in and what your outgoings are. Be aware of any upcoming surprises. And don't forget to recharge those batteries every now and then.
Work smarter not harder: Compared to our French counterparts we work too hard. This year aim to work smarter not harder. Get more organised – create templates for things such as devis/factures. Get time management savvy – plan your day, work that to do list. Keep work tidy and filed and when you get stuck on bureaucracy get help immediately. Working smarter means that you can free up time to do the things you want to do.
Wishing every business owner a hugely successful 2016!