How to Plan Effective New Year’s Resolutions for your Small Business

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Whether you are planning on greatly expanding your business in the new year, or are continuing the traditions you’ve established this year, all businesses can benefit from some well planned new year’s resolutions. The very word “resolution” implies the resolute and determined qualities that one needs in order to succeed in business; fitting as the determined pursuit of goals is the way forward in any industry.

All goals are going to be different, depending on the business. Sure, there is a large amount of overlap between the resolutions that businesses make in a general sense, but the reality is that beneath the surface, every business is going to have to take a look at their individual strengths and weaknesses in order to create effective resolutions. To start, be honest with yourself. Odds are good that you already know an area where you still need to improve, as well as what you are already doing that has been creating good results. Start from there, then build the framework for some positive change around these starting points. It can help to divide your resolutions up by departments, for example, marketing, sales, and HR. Once you have segmented you business, you can devise ways to improve each part of the whole.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew, but don’t give yourself a pass either. Strategically, it is important that you create goals that are both challenging, and achievable. If you set goals that are unrealistically high, you risk damaging morale when you fail to achieve them. Even worse, setting goals that you can realize without actually changing anything about your business can create a false sense of achievement and make you feel it is time to rest on your laurels, when in fact you should be challenging yourself further. What is reasonable for your business? Take a look at your historical data. Are your sales growing over time, or has your business entered a period of decline? Whatever your situation is, identify a point that you can strive for, and then commit.

In this case, the more cooks, the better the broth. Get your whole team involved in goal setting. The more voices that can add to identifying major constraints, the better. Another thing to consider is the fact that your employees have a first hand look at the processes behind your business, so they may have noticed things that need improvement that you have missed.  You may be surprised by how much insight they are able to offer you.

Don’t be afraid of trying new things. If you are going to push your business to a point that it has never been at before, you may find that you need to innovate in order to make it happen. This makes sense from a logical standpoint, but it can be scary regardless for business owners who are comfortable with their existing processes. Test your ideas as much as is possible before implementing them, then take the plunge and keep a close eye on the performance of your new programs, with the understanding that some projects take time to be fully realized.

Most importantly, have a very happy and safe New Year!

Photo Credit to Victor on Flickr

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