2014 is nearly upon us, which leads many people to begin the (often useless) task of making New Year’s resolutions.
There are the old standbys (“lose weight,” “stop smoking”) as well as more personalized ones (“learn how to sew,” “save $4,000”), but most people don’t think to make New Year’s resolutions for their businesses. We’ve taken a look at the top 5 New Year’s resolutions and shown you how to translate these goals into your own business plan. Watch out, 2014! This business is going places!
1. “Lose Weight”
Dieting and exercising are always at the top of the to-do list every January. Too many extra pounds are unhealthy on your body, but most people like to think of an ever-growing business as something to strive for. However, you could actually be dragging around dead weight.
As the calendar year turns over, take the time to reassess your services and expenses to see if there’s any way to trim the fat. Are you spending too much time marketing something that’s quickly becoming passé? (Even Blockbuster knew when to call it quits.) Are you wasting money on inefficient processes? Whatever it is, make a New Year’s resolution to drop the extra weight and build a sleek, new company.
2. “Stop Smoking”
This is another big resolution every year, and for good reason. Smoking is harmful, expensive, and…gross. Think about the things that inhibit your work productivity and kick those bad habits.
Let’s say you have a tendency to procrastinate. Resolve to do your most-hated task of the day first. You’ll get it out of the way and spend more time concentrating on the rest of your to-do list.
Seek out any other harmful habits that you or your business have picked up. Your business (much like your respiratory system) can’t thrive unless you keep it healthy.
3. “Get Organized”
It’s easy to keep truckin’ along day by day, letting yourself get overwhelmed with client queries, invoicing, and phone calls. But every so often, it’s a good idea to take a step back and revisit your business model to make sure it’s still working for you.
Examine your mission statement, re-read your job descriptions, break down your workflow…is there anything that needs to be updated? Are there unnecessary steps or practices that need to be reworked?
Next, come up with a few concrete goals for the upcoming year that are specific for your business. Maybe you have a certain freelancer that you want to add to the payroll. A company retreat you want to save for. A certain amount you want to earn in revenue.
Write down these goals and come up with a plan to achieve them. Revisit them every month to make sure you’re still on track.
4. “Better Work/Life Balance”
The U.S. has one of the lowest rates of vacation time in the world, so it’s easy to become a bit of a workaholic…especially when you’re the boss. Yeah, you’ll still have to work hard, but there may be ways to take a little more off your plate.
Delegate tasks to another employee (or freelancer); resolve to take off your “work hat” and put on your “home hat” at a certain time each day; commit to a family game night every Sunday…whatever it takes to ensure that you have a life outside of your business.
5. “Learn a New Skill”
Americans love to make New Year’s resolutions to take up new, enriching hobbies. You would never be where you are today if you had never learned something new, and the world is changing all the time (even if you run an antiques store, there are bound to be some new ways to appraise or sell your wares).
Subscribe to a competitor’s blog (or one specific to your industry) to keep up with current trends. Take a class or seminar on a new skill (or even one you already think you know). Visit museums and watch documentaries that relate to your chosen profession. You’ll have a leg up on your competition and you’ll have something new to offer your clients.
Taking some time to make a New Year’s resolution for your business may seem tedious, but so did many things when you first started out. And now look at you! You buckled down and plowed through, and you’re in a better position because of the hard work you put in.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of staying motivated enough to accomplish your goals, the folks at Bankrate have come up with a list of ways to keep your New Year’s resolution. Put the effort in now and you’ll see the payoff later.
Clarity Creative Group is a web design & internet marketing company located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. None of us smoke cigarettes and none of us ever will.