It’s that time of year again: Time to make New Year’s Resolutions. Oh brother! How many of us actually stick to those resolutions throughout the year? Wish I could say I always follow through, but candidly, that’s not the case. But let’s not look back on years past. Instead, let’s focus on 2012.
As another tough year comes to a close, I’m pleased to say I’m hearing more and more small business owners talk somewhat optimistically about business growth in 2012. Even though many entrepreneurs remain concerned about the economy, they are ready to start moving forward again.
None of us can predict or control the economy, but we can control the actions we take to move our businesses forward. So here are 5 tips to help you make resolutions that stick this year for greater prosperity and success.
1. Evaluate your current status. Carefully review your business operations. What’s working? What isn’t? Where do you see future opportunities? Historically, resolutions have been about making commitments to change behaviors in order to get a fresh start. Are there business behaviors you need to change? Are there new behaviors you could adopt to help you achieve your desired business success? Armed with a close-up picture of your current business, you can make more realistic resolutions for the new year. One of the primary reasons we don’t stick with our new year’s resolutions is because we aren’t realistic about what is truly achievable. While double-digit revenue growth sounds great, can you truly accomplish that in the current economic environment? Set goals that are achievable and enjoy your success.
2. Be specific. Be specific about your new year’s resolutions so as to establish a means of measuring your success. In other words, don’t resolve to sign more customer accounts. That’s too vague. Instead, set a monthly or quarterly goal. You may find it necessary to adjust your goal, but at least you have set an initial objective.
3. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Limit the number of resolutions you make for your business. Narrow your list down to your top priorities — those items you believe will have the most impact in building your business. Then, stay focused on those key strategies.
4. Get the assistance you need. Be willing to ask for the help you need so you don’t abandon your resolutions. Running a business in the best economic conditions is challenging, but in a sluggish economy it’s even more difficult. Seek advisors, counselors, and/or mentors who can take an objective look at your current business situation and help you design strategies to meet or exceed your business goals.
5. Establish rewards. Everyone likes a little recognition, so set rewards for yourself and your staff for achieving your resolution goals. It doesn’t need to be anything expensive or fancy, but take the time to step back and recognize the fruits of your labor. Even if you work alone, pat yourself on the back. Everyone needs to be recognized for a job well done.
Here’s to your strong success in 2012! Happy New Year.