Business Resolutions — how to make this your best year yet

Business resolutions haven’t really become “a thing” yet, but why not? Lots of people make new year’s resolutions on a personal level, but if you run a business, setting resolutions that focus on your business can be a great way to take you to new levels of success.

Most business owners set goals for their business results but resolutions for business owners are slightly different. They focus on the behaviours needed to change the results the business is likely to obtain. Unlike results, behaviours are directly within our control. They are specific things to do (or stop doing) — which means we can put them on an action list and get them done.

Need some inspiration for your business resolutions? Here are some examples of resolutions business owners might want to implement.

Example Business Resolutions

1) Get Focused

I will make a habit of listing my 3 most important actions each day. Things that are specific and not too big, but still important. I will work on these things until they’re done and do those 3 things before I get drawn into the day-to-day dramas that might pop up.

2) Work from a Business Plan

I will create a simple, actionable business plan and work from this plan. I will review this plan weekly. (Get our one-page business plan template here.)

3) Create Processes

I will document all of our important business processes — even the ones that I do! I will not overcomplicate this, instead I will create a simple document which lists out all the steps of the things we do. This article shows gives some simple instructions on how to document processes — “Which of the following business processes do you need to document?”.

4) Hire the Right Team

I will make it a priority to get the right people on our team.

When you have the right people in place, everything becomes easier. Although the job of hiring is not always easy, persevere as it’s well worth it. (Likewise, if you need to do some performance management, bite the bullet and do that too.) Here are some things to do to get you ready to recruit a new team member (plus some recruiting mistakes I’ve made).

5) Delegate

I will delegate one new thing each week.

If you have a team but you’re the busiest person, this one is for you! Even if you don’t have a team but use contractors, try to get more off your plate and onto theirs. Write out a list of all the things someone else could be doing for you and work to make one of those tasks their responsibility each week. Documenting your processes first will help with this enormously.

6) Get into the Marketing Habit

I will do some form of marketing each week. I will recognize that marketing is an ongoing activity and my results will be related to how much I do.

This could be emailing your customer list, contributing to communities in your target market, posting on social media, blogging or guest blogging, or reaching out to a potential partner or influencer in your market each week.

Understand that marketing is like going to the gym. It’s never done, it’s a continuous process.

7) Get into the Sales Habit

I will visit / call / email or otherwise contact xx potential customers per week. I will not push this to the back of my list but will make it a priority.

For most businesses, the biggest challenge is sales. Instead of lamenting this fact, get in and do something about it. There are very few businesses where sales “just happen”. They usually take work and effort. Lacking sales skills? Here’s how to sell when you’re not a natural salesperson.

8) Improve My Customer Communication

I will choose a customer communication channel and excel at it. I understand that a scattergun approach is not effective and also that it is not possible to communicate well via all possible channels. Instead, I will choose one channel and learn how to maximize its effectiveness.

9) Update My Digital Presence

I will check all of my social media accounts and update my images, logos, blurbs and other information to make sure I’m portraying my business in the best light possible. I will also update or add an email signature, and compelling information on my LinkedIn profile (and any other platforms).

10) Review My Prices

I will conduct a review of my prices and see if anything needs adjusting. To do this, I’ll consult with some customers, compare my business to our competitors, and brainstorm ways of adding more value.

11) Keep On Top Of My Finances

I will be organized with my finances so that tax time is no longer something I dread. To do this, I will engage (or delegate more to) a bookkeeper. (Almost every business needs a bookkeeper!)

12) Put Limits On My Time

This year I will not work every evening and all weekend. Instead, I will predetermine my working hours and stick to those (unless there is a real emergency). I now know that the work is infinite and also that the work expands to fill the time available.

Here’s some tips on how to get more done in less time.

Of course, not all of these example business resolutions will apply to you and your business, so don’t just blindly think you should do all of them. Instead, choose one or two areas for business resolutions that you think will make the most difference to your business and situation.

So what are you waiting for? Figure out what’s holding your business back and choose your business resolutions.

Originally published at on January 15, 2018.

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