At the beginning of 2013, I read a statistic from the University of Scranton that said only 8% of people achieve their new year’s resolutions, with losing weight being the most common. Interestingly, number 6 of the most likely resolutions is the ambiguous ‘learn something exciting’. But, that something exciting to learn may be just this: if you don’t make any changes now, you and your business will be the same in 20 years’ time.
As a business owner though, your new year’s resolutions tend to be a little bit more targeted, because you are relying on some very significant outcomes for the following year. So my top three New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 are as follows:
- Set strategic daily goals
Setting strategic goals as a business owner, I feel, is one of the only ways to manage tangible productivity. I think it is far more attainable to set goals such as ‘I will set aside 30 minutes, three times a week to call potential buyers/client’s’ than lofty goals such as ‘I will make $50,000 net profit in first quarter’. Cool, how?
The simple act of accounting for how you spend your own time on your own business by way of setting daily, weekly and monthly goals is crucial. From that action, you will be able to better monitor yourself to ensure productivity and achieve overall business objectives. For example; a KPI of ‘gain 5 new clients per month’. I know you should also be setting aside 30 minutes three times a week to run, but that’s not necessarily going to help with this conversation.
- Go out more
Unless your business requires you to be a recluse, you probably need to get out more. I hate to admit it, but networking is everything. I was told by a business associate once that networking should really be considered as a side business in any entrepreneur’s life. I am not talking about going to that morning breakfast that cost you $100 to attend just so you could hand over your uncoated business cards. I am talking about getting amongst your industry’s local community – in whatever capacity you can.
Some of the best business agreements I have ever made have been over a coffee in a café. Some of the most outstanding contacts I have occurred organically after an event that I may not have even really wanted to go to in the first place. This is dependent on your market of course, but I would imagine finding out where the people in your industry congregate is equally as important as knowing how to utilise LinkedIn.
- Become more resilient
I can’t tell you exactly how to do this, I am simply saying that it is something incredibly crucial to running a business. When everything is going wrong – from an investor pulling out, to the stock arriving late or an advertiser back peddling – it can be overwhelming. And you don’t have a boss to turn to and fix it. You are it. This is on your shoulders completely and you need to figure it out. I like to think that when these things happen I accept them, try not to get angry, upset or in a panic and remember that whatever it is, I will figure it out.
This resiliency comes from knowing you absolutely have only yourself to lean on and the reward is knowing you can.