New Year's Resolutions for Your BusinessBy Kathleen A. Martin | Posted 2008-12-30 Email Print
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When it comes to making personal changes for the new year, think about what small changes you can make that could dramatically improve your business.
Many business owners are not just making resolutions for their personal lives, but for their businesses, too. The problem with most resolutions is that there is no strategic plan behind the wishful thinking, and there are no metrics with which to mark success or checkpoints to adjust so as to refine the execution to drive the required outcome.
As you enter the new year, take look at some of the most common resolutions.
I resolve to get my finances in order.
While you are bringing down your personal debt, take a look at your business debt. This is more than just a review of your income and expenses. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to review how you bill, when you bill and how you collect. Are you keeping your own books? How much time do you invest in looking over your accounting? What is your time worth? Now is the ideal time to think of outsourcing your accounting and investing in a bookkeeper or accountant. Professional services are tax-deductible and a fresh set of eyes never hurt.
I resolve to lose weight.
Even businesses need to take a look at how much extra weight they are carrying. How many of your employees are reaching their full quota? Do you need to invest in new training or education for your employees to assist them in reaching and exceeding their annual goals?
Dead weight can also be more than just a human resource issue. Where are you spending your marketing dollars? Are you investing in the same programs with limited results? Your employees are your best marketing weapon. They are walking brand ambassadors for your company and can increase the power of your marketing dollars when you train them appropriately.
I resolve to be a better member of the community.
This is my favorite resolution. When it comes to business, you can resolve to be a better community member and create an environment where employees are not penalized for community projects. Support a local Little League team. Take on a community service project. Donate to a local charity. The time you invest in your community is time invested in finding new clients.
I resolve to be a better partner.
You can resolve to be a better partner. Get involved with your vendors. Do not wait for them to come to you and ask how they can help you—ask them for their help and engage in proactive planning to grow your business together.
When it comes to your customers, invest in the time necessary to understand their business and be more than just the hardware or software provider. A good CRM system and the discipline to update customer information as provided can allow you to increase your business with your current customers and identify new customers as necessary.
I resolve to increase my MDF funding.
Resolve to be better at tracking your market development funds. Do not miss the opportunity to participate in MDF programs, but do not participate in programs that are not worth your time investment. Dedicate the resources or invest in a contractor to assist you in making the most of your available funding opportunities.
Resolutions are more just wishes. Strategic planning, measuring and reporting can grow your business and increase your profit margins.
Kathleen A. Martin is a project coordinator for Channel Insider.