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Ok, I’ll play. Everyone’s talking about New Year’s resolutions. Here are 10 business resolutions that could very well set you up for a hugely productive, more successful 2016.
1. “I won’t be late with bills this year!”
You know that feeling you get when you don’t quite have the money to pay a bill? Just avoid it! (The feeling, that is, not the payment.) Plan your payments, keep money aside, know your financial position and remember what a weight off your mind it is every time you settle an invoice.
2. “I’ll put money aside for my BAS every week.”
It’s as simple as setting up an automatic transfer to a designated ‘BAS’ account. Calculate what your average weekly revenue was for last year then use that figure as the amount you transfer. Some quarters you’ll have money left over, others you’ll have to chip in a bit extra.
3. “I will always have stock on hand of important items!”
Murphy’s Law says you’ll run out of printer ink or toner exactly when you absolutely, positively must print that important document. Create a simple inventory of your consumables – paper, ink, toner, packing tape, USB sticks, laminating pouches, staff uniforms, cleaning products, equipment fuels, etc. – and calendarise points in time (say, every 2 months) when these items will need restocking.
4. “I’ll follow up on every possible lead!”
Spend an hour devising a system that will help you remember how to recontact leads you encounter in your daily work. It could be a spreadsheet, a calendar alert, a book that you keep specifically for leads or an email that you schedule to send in a week’s time. Whatever system works for you, don’t miss those golden opportunities.
5. “I’m going to meet every deadline.”
Start by bringing your deadlines forward by a day (or a week, depending on the kind of work and timeframes that apply to your business). Check yourself at the end of every day to see how you are on track. Revise, reschedule and remind. That is, revise your plans to suit, reschedule any work of lower priority and remind yourself how incredible it feels when you deliver work before deadline.
6. “This year, I’m not going to put up with dud clients.”
Right, you shouldn’t. Any client that causes you grief, pain or headaches has to go. You’ll be surprised how cutting a client loose who’s a poor fit for you will open the path for those who are perfect for you.
7. “I won’t be chained to my desk this year.”
Exercise is brilliant but small breathers are every bit as important. Five minutes spent getting up from your desk to go to the bathroom, get the mail, make a cup of tea, play with the dog or bird, have a chat with a neighbouring business owner, stand outside and inhale, catch some actual sunshine or even walk around while on the phone can make a huge difference to your powers of concentration. Make it a habit. Treat yourself every hour or so to five minutes of non-desk time.
8. “I’m not going to feel threatened by my competitors.”
Competition is healthy and constructive … unless you make it otherwise. Focus on what you do best, how you run your business, how your clients appreciate you, and your own goals, strategies and success benchmarks. And by the way, befriending a competitor – authentically – can be enormously beneficial to both of you. Also read: 10 Ways for YOU to be Remarkable.
9. “I’m going to nail my SEO and get to number one on Google.”
But have you asked yourself if being number one on Google is the key to your business’s success? Maybe your car signage gets you three calls a day. Maybe your clients appreciate you so much you get a constant stream of referrals. Maybe your product is something consumers have to be educated about before they know they want it (and therefore, are they going to be Googling you to find it?). Give serious thought to your SEO ambitions and determine if they are valid. Then apply efforts to enhancing those avenues that will really deliver for you. Also read: 10 Ways to Achieve Website Traffic Aside from Google Search.
10. “I’m going to be a HUGE success this year!”
Easy does it, champ. Setting yourself up for unreasonable expectations can be a launching pad for disappointment. And despite what you hear about “the Universe” delivering all you wish for, you still have to do the work. Wishing doesn’t make good stuff happen. Planning, creating, projecting, strategising, workshopping, focusing and DOING are what will get you that success.
Which of the above speak to you? Which will you be adopting as 2016 unfolds? I’d love to know. Hit me up in the comments section below.