Its traditional at this time of year to reflect on the achievements of the past 12 months and look forward to the new year.
But, like most entrepreneurs, I dont really like to dwell too much on the past, no matter how successful it’s been but instead look to the future because no business can ever afford to rest on its laurels or become complacent.
So, while Im enjoying the festive season, my sights are firmly set on 2015.
Like all good business owners, my strategy for next year is already in place and, in fact, the ground work has already been laid in the last three months of 2014 where, for the first time in our 35-year history, weve achieved our first ever 6m quarter.
However, alongside my ongoing growth strategy, there are a few things that I want to see in 2015 and, in some cases, play a part in making them happen. I suppose theyre a blend of predictions, a 2015 wish list and resolutions.
Firstly, as regular readers will expect, I want to see the implementation of a national, fully-funded apprenticeship scheme. Thats from my wish list and no one will be surprised that my resolution is to continue to campaign for this scheme.
Apprentices are essential to the future of our business and we would take on many more if the government delivered a fully-funded national apprenticeship scheme and provide businesses, whatever their trade or profession, with a stream of skilled and work-ready young people.
In my view, the only political party that can make this happen is the Conservatives. They have demonstrated they understand business and the enterprise-friendly policies theyve introduced, even with the constraints of being part of a coalition, have helped deliver mutually-beneficial results for UK plc and SMEs during the economic recovery.
Read more from Charlie Mullins:
- After surviving, SMEs must be given a chance to shine
- We need to up our productivity rate
- The National Minimum Wage is on its way to becoming obsolete
So, next on my wish list is to see a majority Conservative government returned after Mays election and my new years resolution, to reiterate what I wrote for Real Business last week, is to make sure politicians are given the opportunity to really understand what happens at the coal face of business.
Whatever your political persuasion and whatever party representative arrives in your business reception in the next few months, give them something to do not just for the photo op, but to see what it’s like to put your heart and soul into a task.
My final resolution is to continue to promote entrepreneurialism whenever possible. The entrepreneur has become a much more celebrated species in recent years, but we have to keep pushing away and encouraging young people and those looking at career changes that starting and then growing a business is incredibly fulfilling.
This country is rich with self-starters and we have to ensure entrepreneurs never go the way of the Dodo, otherwise the UK will be a much poorer place, financially, culturally and socially.
So, as we close the door on 2014 and get ready to take everything 2015 has to throw at us, it just leaves me to say, have a very Happy Christmas and an even more prosperous New Year!