New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to take stock and set goals for the year ahead. Just as we make personal New Year’s resolutions to improve ourselves, business owners and executives can make resolutions to drive their companies toward success.
If you’re at the helm of a company, the New Year represents a great opportunity for you and your team to set new goals and realign your efforts. Here are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for businesses.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Setting goals that are far beyond your reach is a waste of time and energy and a powerful de-motivator. Goals are supposed to challenge you, not frustrate and paralyze you. If one of your New Year’s business resolutions is a big one, break it down into smaller, achievable goals.
2. Delegate More
If you frequently find yourself stressed out, worn out and out of time, you’re probably not delegating enough. Trying to do everything yourself holds your business back. If you can’t trust your team to share the burden, you hired the wrong people and need to remedy that situation as soon as possible.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I spending too much time micromanaging others?
- Do I let day-to-day tasks distract me from the big picture?
- Is there anyone in my team who could take over these tasks?
- Could I train anyone in my team to perform these tasks?
- Could I hire additional staff or outsource these tasks?
Delegation is essential to the operation and growth of a business and the empowerment and development of its employees. Part of being a good leader is to focus on the big picture and delegate the details to your crew.
3. Pay It Forward
You have something of value to contribute to your community. Reach out to someone in your industry who could use a mentor. Serve on the board of a nonprofit organization. Volunteer or make regular donations to a cause that matters to you.
4. Cut Your Losses
Not all of your products will be best-sellers. Some of your services may not satisfy your customers. You may discover that some of your employees are not ideally suited for your business. Make a resolution to drop what isn’t working and move on. When you cut your losses, you open yourself to new solutions.
5. Walk the Talk
Are you actively listening to your customers and employees? Do you keep them informed? Do you welcome opinions and act on them? Effective communication involves doing, not just saying, the right things.
Take advantage of every interaction with customers and employees to ask them how they’re doing and if there’s anything you can do to improve their experience with your company. Thoughtful, two-way communication boosts customer loyalty and employee morale and productivity.
6. Invest in Your People
Investing in the growth and development of your employees works to their benefit and yours. They get to advance professionally, and you get better employees. Consider tuition reimbursement, mentorship programs, conferences and workshops, team-building retreats and cross training, to name a few.
When you invest in your people you show them that you care about their careers and see a future for them in your organization. As a result, your employees are more engaged, productive and happier, all of which benefits your bottom line.
7. Increase Your Digital Presence
Regardless of the products or services you sell, you need strong online presence to attract new customers. One of your top New Year’s business resolutions should be to hire an expert or agency to create and execute an effective digital marketing strategy.
With each year come new tactics and digital platforms you need to incorporate into your marketing plan. At a minimum, you need a well-designed website, search engine optimization (SEO), valuable content (such as a blog), and active and engaging social media accounts.
8. Set Milestones and Deadlines
The most effective resolutions can be measured and quantified. If you set out to grow your customer base, be specific about the target numbers and a timeline to reach them. Establish milestones and deadlines to keep you and your team on track and able to manage each stage of the process.
9. Fine Tune Your Customer Service
You can’t go far in today’s marketplace without providing outstanding customer service. Even if your customer service is great, chances are it can be improved. There’s always something you can do better. Connect with your customers through social media. Reply to their comments and questions. Reach out via email and mobile apps. Whenever possible, meet them in person.
Providing outstanding customer service generates more sales, repeat customers, positive online reviews and customer loyalty. It also boosts brand reputation. If you’re struggling with your resources, remember that it’s much more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones.
10. Get the Tools You Need
Make a New Year’s business resolution to get what you need to do your job and help your business succeed. If an outdated or inadequate computer system is interfering with your daily operations and holding your company back, replace it. Hire that assistant you need. Stop putting off getting what you need. It hinders your progress.
Take advantage of the New Year’s holiday to make business resolutions that will improve your life and that of your customers and employees. Keep a list of these resolutions within reach, and do something every single day toward achieving your goals. Persistence and optimism will pay off.