New Year's Resolutions for Business

Businesses Make Resolutions, Too!

Every year many of us make resolutions. Some years we actually keep them past February 1. In business, as in our personal lives, resolutions remind us that we have a fresh start coming. We have a chance to set some goals, and pursue them with all of our effort.

Business New Year’s Resolutions can be easier than personal ones for the simple reason that we are accustomed to setting goals in business. This gives us a framework from which to begin. It can be the one thing that propels your business in the new year!

So with that, let’s lay out three simple principals for Business New Year’s Resolutions:

1) Start with S.M.A.R.T.

New Year’s Resolutions are just goals with a common start date–January 1. Since they are goals, we should apply principles of goal-setting to our resolutions. Most of you have used one of my favorite goal-setting acronyms: SMART. Here’s a reminder:

S – Specific

Specify what it is that you want to achieve. Instead of “get more customers,” specify what kind of customers you want, like “get customers that meet our criteria of Annual Revenue of $X and in the Y industry.”

M – Measurable

Specify what you want to achieve. Don’t settle for something like “Make more money.” Put an actual dollar amount to it.

A – Achievable

We want to be realistic about our goals. We also want to put them just out of reach. Because more often than not, a goal just out of reach isn’t really out of reach.

R – Relevant

Is the goal relevant to what you are trying to accomplish this year? Don’t let New Year’s Resolutions take your business down a new path, just because it’s time for a new start. If you intend create a new product or service, separate that from your resolutions. Make the resolutions relevant to what you are already doing.

T – Time-based

This is where the idea of a resolution is often misunderstood. Some of my past New Year’s Resolutions were not time-based in their duration. They were open-ended ideas left to be blowing in the wind like clothes on a clothesline. Don’t let your resolutions languish. September 30 is a good completion date for our longer-term resolutions. Summer is over and Fall is really rolling. This is the time to celebrate your successes and prepare for the upcoming holidays.

 2) Make just 2 or 3 resolutions

As with personal resolutions, if you choose too many business resolutions, you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed if you don’t begin to see progress. Pick 2 or 3 shorter-duration resolutions so that you can see progress early on. And if you complete one of them ahead of schedule, celebrate the win and consider replacing it with a mid-year goal.

3) Do a checkup monthly or quarterly

Your resolutions are time-based, right? Make it a priority to check up on yourself monthly or quarterly, depending on the duration of the resolution and the timeliness of your expected progress. Of course, some resolutions demand a shorter check-up time, for example daily or weekly. But for those longer duration resolutions, put an appointment on your calendar monthly or at the end of every quarter to review your progress. Make course corrections to ensure your success!

Best Wishes and Happy New Year!

How about you? What are your thoughts when making a business resolution? Do you even make them? I’d love to hear what you think.