Special to The Record
With the new year now underway many of us have already made resolutions promising to lose a few pounds, exercise more or eat healthier, but what have you resolved to accomplish in your business?
Here are a few ideas that you might consider when looking to the future.
For starters this is a good opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months. What worked well? What did you do better than anyone else? What could you have done better? Did you accomplish all that you set out to do? What were the ups and downs and was there anything that you missed? Just a few questions but by reflecting on your answers you can begin to develop a set of resolutions … read goals … that you can work on over the coming year. This should not be just a list but a serious plan outlining the steps you need to take to get you where you want to be in the next few months or by the end of the year.
To help get you thinking about setting goals I’ve culled through the internet looking for common business-related resolutions that seem to be trending.
• Limiting time on social media seemed to pop up quite often, unless of course you rely exclusively on social media to conduct your business. However, for the rest of the business world the suggestion is to establish a time limit or even schedule in a block of time each day to deal with your social media posts.
• Learn something new that has to do with your business. It may be a new twist to manufacturing or an added skill set that will help you work more efficiently or enable you to expand on your services.
• Join a business organization or networking group. This is a great way to make contacts, spark new ideas or generate sales. The key though is to not just join but to take an active role in the organization’s activities or support services.
•Focus on your customer’s needs. Remember they are not buying from you just because you are a nice person. They buy from you because you have something that is important to them. Something they need.
• Revisit you strategic plan and bring it up-to-date. Perhaps there are some goals that you have successfully achieved and you can now add new ones. Or maybe there are others that because of the changing marketplace need to be set aside.
• While you are looking at your strategic plan take the time to audit your marketing and communications strategies. Keep the ones that are working but get rid of what is not doing the job. No point in investing a lot of time, energy and money in trying to make the unworkable work.
• Although there is one suggestion to limit social media time, on the other hand it is important to ensure your IT is up to date and that your content is relevant and in keeping with the times.
•One last resolution for this column, make sure that whatever you resolve can be realistically attained. For example saying that you want your communications to improve is quite frankly useless. In order to be successful you need to be able to be specific about what you want to accomplish and be honest about whether you have the resources or knowledge to make it happen.
I’m sure with a little soul searching and a little effort you too can make some resolutions that will be sure to improve your business for 2016. Happy New Year!
Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org