Great entrepreneurs know that making plans and setting goals are a sure fire way to create success, but creating arbitrary resolutions for your business can undermine your growth and even make you demotivated. When determining your New Year’s resolutions make sure they are realistic, obtainable and authentic to you. Big blanket resolutions don’t work nearly as well as ones that are aligned to your personal and business life and habits. Here are three types of resolutions that you should avoid so you can have a stellar 2015:
Avoid this statement: I plan to spend more time with my family/friend/spouse.
Everyone wants to spend more time with their love ones, but “more” doesn’t always equate to better quality time. A more focused approach may help you get 1:1 time that you are craving.
Instead, try this: I plan to block out one additional hour each week for family/friend/spouse time.
Scheduling one hour during the day each week on your calendar strictly for connecting with family and friends, ensures that you are keeping them top of mine at all times. This additional hour of family/friend time can be used to call loved ones who you haven’t seen in a while, to grab coffee with a dear friend, or to craft a cute e-card for you sweetie. The point is to disconnect from work and be totally focused creating a quality experience for those who you love.
Avoid this statement: I plan to double/triple my profit
There is nothing wrong with wanting to grow your business, but your business goals can’t be made on a whim. Our economy may be improving, but strong businesses just don’t grow this fast.
Instead, try this: I plan to spend one additional hour each week on my best and worst clients.
Spending time finding out what your clients love and hate about your business is a great and easy way to improve your bottom line. You can pick 2 clients each week and call and ask them for ways you can improve. Your clients will be impressed that you would commit that type of time to their business needs and will provide you real ways to increase your sales. It will also help you (1) deepen and grown your relationship with clients that love your service and (2) fix and improve your relationship with clients that are on the fence about staying with your service, which of course will lead to more sales.
Avoid this statement: I plan (for my business) to be featured in NY Times/Fortune/Time Magazine.
Generating press coverage is a great way to grow awareness for your business, but focusing on getting on a top 10 list instead of your daily grind will lead to disappointment. Besides being one of a 100 million companies that are pitching reporters at these outlets, your business story (although amazing to you) is probably not unique enough yet to appeal to the larger press outlets.
Instead, try this: I plan remind my clients to refer and recommend us to their networks.
Remember this rule of business: press coverage is nice, but sales are better. Rather than resolving to be covered by the media giants, make a plan to turn your clients into your ambassadors. After each sale, ask your clients to write you a review on Yelp or Google and ask your best clients to refer you to their friends, family and co-workers. Having positive people reviewing and referring you is a more effective way to show the press that you have a great business while keeping your business booming.
In the end, your New Year’s business resolutions should be about taking the right small steps to keep your company moving in the right direction.