New Year’s resolutions are about as realistic as telling yourself you won’t eat too much on Thanksgiving.
But when it comes to our business, goals have to be made, strategized, and achieved. According to Inc.com, over half of small companies don’t keep track of their business goals and have yet to achieve their vision. With the start of a new year, don’t let this happen to you.
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be just a pointless revenue projection, but they don’t have to be complicated either. The key to realistic goal-setting is to simply identify 1) your company’s greatest weakness and 2) what you are going to do to improve it.
So take a look at the top five most repeated New Year’s resolutions ever made and see how they fit in with your business strategy. Decide which goal you think will impact the bottom line most and go for it.
1) Exercise More
No we’re not talking about company outings to pump iron at the gym. We’re talking about toning up your strategy!
Have you let your social media accounts die? Are your 2014 SEO efforts now collecting dust? What areas of your marketing techniques have you allowed to “let go” and gain flab?
Maybe what your business needs most this year is an in-depth look at what assets you already have that you could be utilizing better. You may have an incredibly designed website that people aren’t able to find, or a growing email list that isn’t being put to use.
Take Volkswagon for example. They inspired 2,700 car recommendations in four weeks with just a LinkedIn campaign.
2) Cut Out the Sweets
This will help with the whole exercising thing – cutting out the excess fluff and focusing on what really matters. What aspects of your marketing didn’t produce many results for your company? Either cut them out or replace the “ingredients” of your strategy with “healthy” ones (code for come up with a better strategy!).
Where could your company bear to lose some weight? Cut out what you don’t need. For some, this may mean cutting down on meetings – less strategizing and more implementing. For others, it may be that their presence on Twitter is doing them absolutely no good. Who says you have to be on Twitter? Don’t devote company time and energy towards something if it’s not helping you achieve your vision, no matter what the experts say.
You know your company better than anyone. Trust your instincts and either cut out the aspects of your marketing that aren’t producing results or redefine them.
3) Be Nicer
Overall, your company should leave a positive impression on people. Everyone who comes across your brand may not buy your product, but at least you are leaving a positive taste in their mouth. Organizations that need to focus 2015 on being “nicer” are those that could use improvement in areas such as:
- Social Media: Don’t overwhelm your audience with self-promotional posts, which comes across as salesy and boring.
- Customer Service: Amp it up a notch. A customer who comes mad but leaves happy is more important than a neutral one.
- Employee Satisfaction: Focus on making your work environment a more enjoyable one. Reward your employees for their successes.
- Public Relations: A business that doesn’t get involved lacks a certain depth. You are more than just a product, so let the public know too.
4) Get Organized
Sometimes what your business needs most is a simple clean up of your processes. It may be time to figure out where your bottlenecks are and assess how they can be tweaked to improve your working system as a whole. You may need to add more people to your design team to keep up with requests, or you may even decide to outsource the design talent as a whole.
To quote the old comic strip, Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Sometimes the worst bottlenecks are personal ones – do you ever feel like you spend half of your day reading and answering emails? No one told you emails alone would be a part-time job.
If you can’t make major changes to the company’s system as a whole, make personal changes. For example, set aside 2-3 specific times during the day as your “email time”. Instead of checking your inbox every 10 minutes throughout the day, set aside a specific time for emails and focus the rest of your day on what really matters: work.
5) Spend Less, Save More
This is a tricky one. Maybe you’ve already mastered resolutions 1-4, but are stuck on the age-old problem of spending more than you make. No one likes to talk about lay-offs or budget cutbacks or less fancy employee Christmas parties, but at the end of the day your business is all about, well… business. And keeping it around. So you do what you have to do.
And you aren’t alone – many large corporations such as Ford, American Express, and even Google have announced major layoffs this past year. For a company with 2015 goals focused on budgeting you may not keep everyone happy, but you may keep your business. So buckle down and map out your gameplan.
Which New Year’s resolution rang true for you and your company’s needs? Choose the one area that resonated most with you and get to work.