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New Year’s Resolutions For Your Business

December 28, 2011

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From American Express OPEN Forum


Susan Payton, President, Egg Marketing & Communications


Original Post

Even if you don’t believe that New Year’s resolutions work, having goals for 2012 might help you achieve them. Goals Happy New Yearand resolutions are essentially the same thing. You want to get a fresh start on a new year, so set some goals and call them resolutions.

I make resolutions in both my personal and professional life. And, I make them achievable so that I can feel good about reaching them at the end of the year. (I don’t try to grow 2,000 percent in 12 months!)

I can’t expect goals to happen magically so I include action items to help me reach my goals. Here are some resolutions you can tailor to fit your own business goals, with suggested action items to help you achieve them.

1. Increase sales in 2012 by X percent

When you make resolutions, set concrete goals. If you simply say you want to increase sales, even a $5 increase over the year would qualify you as having achieved the goal. But you really want to increase sales, right? Set a number that’s feasible. Look at the last few years of sales and aim for just a bit more growth (The economy will likely allow for a little extra reach in your numbers this year).

Sample action items:

  • Increase marketing budget in social media by X.
  • Book X more speaking engagements in 2012.
  • Increase prices by Y.

2. Market my business better through social media and content

I suspect this should be on many business’ list this year. If you’ve seen a little success with social media and content marketing, it’s time to step it up.

Sample action items:

  • Write three blog posts a week on the company blog.
  • Increase Twitter activity to daily.
  • Add 50 new social media contacts per week.

3. Become known as the expert in my field

If you work on personal branding, people have to know your name for it to be successful. The more places you appear, the more people get to know you through your knowledge. Dedicate 2012 to becoming the expert in your industry.

Sample action items:

  • Book one speaking engagement per month.
  • Guest post on two other blogs each month.
  • Ramp up social media interaction to X times daily.

4. Be more productive

You can tailor this one completely. Last year, I resolved to move to Google Docs. I did, and that has meant exponential productivity for me. Look at tools that help you share documents, monitor time spent on social sites and in general, operate more efficiently. Pick a few and resolve to fully implement them in 2012.

Sample action items:

  • Get staff to use Google Docs 100 percent.
  • Use Dropbox to share files with clients.
  • Track time spent on client projects with Basecamp.

5. Delegate X percent of my work

If you’re like me, you have trouble delegating. Sometimes it just seems easier to do it yourself, right? I recently offloaded a large project onto the shoulders of a very competent employee. It has made a huge difference. If you’re bogged down in tasks rather than working on the bigger picture for your business, you’ll never achieve growth.

Sample action items:

  • Create guidelines to train staff on one project a month.
  • Hold training sessions each quarter on one skill set.
  • Hire an assistant to take on tasks like e-mail and phone.

I encourage you to keep your list of resolutions handy so you can look at them throughout the year. And as soon as you create your list of action items, assign them to yourself or an employee. Put them on your calendar so you actually remember to do them. Happy New Year!

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