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2018 Resolutions: Planning for a Successful Year
  • 27 December 2017
  • Eric Michaels

2018 Resolutions: Planning for a Successful Year

Whether you make personal resolutions each year is completely up to the individual, and can vary from year to year. But if you’re a small business owner, there are benefits in defining specific resolutions for your small business on an annual basis. One component of being an effective leader is the ability to take a step back and look at your company's strengths and weaknesses with a fresh perspective. Here are seven tips to help you develop resolutions for the new year that are worthwhile and help the overall success of your business.

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1. Double down on the positive

Start by evaluating your team's successes over the past 12 months. Think critically about what really has worked well, what has created raving fans among your clients, and what has kept employees engaged. Before you start searching for brand new opportunities for the New Year, plan to make the most of these winning areas. Maybe it’s expanding a program, refining it slightly, or bringing back something that was temporary, and using these known wins as your starting point for 2018.

2. Trim (or slice off) the negative

As you play up your strengths, plan to cut back on areas in which your team has struggled over the past year. Business owners must be able to recognize failing projects and adapt quickly to avoid losing market share, so don’t hesitate to make difficult, but necessary, decisions. If you hired employees to help in business areas that were ultimately unsuccessful, you may have to let them go. Gather the necessary feedback from customers and employees so that you can learn from the experience and avoid making the same mistakes next year.

3. Resolve to win the tech game

Every company has a different take on technology. Some brands need expensive software to operate on a daily basis, while others simply need high-speed internet and computers with powerful processing capabilities. Whatever your company needs, resolve to explore new solutions that can help your team save time and increase productivity. If you have been putting off a system reboot or new website launch, consider tackling this project in 2018.

4. Ramp up your social media strategy

In today's digital world, social media has more power than ever before. If your company has ignored this aspect of your marketing strategy in the past, the time has come to get on Twitter and Facebook. (LinkedIn is also an important social site if you are a business-to-business company). If your budget does not allow you to hire someone to take charge of your marketing endeavors, leverage your current team's social media skillset to help you get started.

5. Challenge your staff members

Some business owners may look back on 2017 and realize they did not challenge their team enough. This is a common mistake amongst first-time entrepreneurs. After all, building a business takes an incredible amount of courage and persistence, and releasing control can be difficult. However, your company will suffer if you try to do it all yourself. Need some tips on how to delegate and better manage your team? Consider seeking out small business coaching services.

6. Encourage employees to make their own resolutions

One of your goals as a business owner and manager should be to get your employees to take ownership of their work. Call upon each member of your staff to point out personal successes and failures from the past year, and ask them to set their own goals for the coming year. It’s important that every employee is aware of his or her role in the company's success, and that you review their progress against their goals on a regular basis. If you engage your employees along the way, you’ll be better positioned to reach your overarching goals for the company.

7. Improve company culture

When developing your own resolutions for next year, don’t forget to take company culture into account. It will be much more difficult to reach milestones in the coming year if your employees don’t feel respected, rewarded, and compensated. Find out where the holes are in your workplace culture and patch them up. Your company's future depends on the happiness and engagement level of your employees.

Spend some time evaluating what worked and what didn’t work so well in 2017, so that you can finalize a plan for the New Year that steers you towards well-defined success!

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