Every year we do the same thing. We make resolutions. For entrepreneurs, this is a time to be practical: to look back at what has worked and what has not. It is a time to reflect on new ideas that may help us to maximize our productivity time and start seeing better results.
We have come up with 17 New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs for the coming year that you may want to consider as the old year draws to an end.
1. Redefine your goals.- Look back at your annual goal for the previous year. Look back to your goals before that as well. Did you reach your goals that you had previously set for yourself? If not, why not? This may be a time to redefine your goals and change them to be more in-tune with where you want your business to be at this time next year.
2. Revamp your business plan.– A business plan is not meant to be static. It is always subject to change. Even if you spent hours, days, and weeks creating your original business plan, it helps to revisit it from time to time and see if you still agree with the goals and plans within the plan. Change is good, as long as it is practical and gives you room to grow.
3. Spend 60% or more on productive time.– It is a basic business organizational principle that 60% of your time should be productive time that does not involve other people within your business. That means you should not use more than 40% of your time in meetings or group brainstorming sessions. Save 60% of your time for on-task activities.
4. Organize your time in less time.– This video illustrates the fact that you should keep your organizational time to a minimum. In other words, you should only spend a little time planning, but the plan itself should be very organized and practical. The lady doing this video is not famous, and she didn’t write any books. She’s just an ordinary person sharing her tips on time management, but they make sense.
5. Focus on leads; not sales.– This idea just came to us today when thinking about what your primary goals should be. If you focus on sales, you are always going to be thinking about revenue. That’s okay in a sense. And we understand. You need sales to survive. But focusing on the money means you are focusing on your business and not the customer. If you focus on creating something customers want to solve their problem, you will be much more successful. Create leads that you can sell to over and over again, rather than gaining a one-time customer that never comes back.
6. Don’t try to be perfect.– Perfection is a word that should never be used when it comes to creativity and business. Perfection implies that there is one solution, one way to do things, and one solution for your business. The truth is there are multiple routes you can take and multiple choices you have as you plan for the new year. That’s the fun of being an entrepreneur. So strive for greatness, not perfection. It doesn’t exist.
7. Get involved in your community.– If you are a local business owner, this is important. It shows that you have an interest in your local patrons and want to help in your local area. Join civic groups and get involved in community events to boost local sales.
8. Take some time off.– This may seem like a hard one for entrepreneurs who are obsessed with their business. But you need to work on a work/life balance to feel like you are working for something valuable. No matter how successful your business is, everyone needs some time away to recharge.
9. Create something new.– Don’t be afraid to venture out this coming year and be innovative. Create something new that has never been done before or try to improve on a popular invention.
10. Attend online webinars in your field.– It’s a good idea to make a habit of attending online webinars in your area of expertise. You can learn a lot from what others in your field are doing. You should never take everything you hear as absolute truth. But if it worked for them, it may be worth considering. Just do it in your way.
11. Don’t idolize icons.– Rich and famous people are just that: rich and famous people. That doesn’t mean they wrote the book of the world on how to do everything. They may be skilled. They may have some great ideas. But you should never copy others just because it worked for them. Everyone is different. Dare to take the good stuff and apply it how you can but always be yourself and find your way.
12. Blog more.– Blogging is a great way to communicate new ideas with customers and potential customers. If you couldn’t seem to find the time to blog this past year, make it a point to do so in 2017.
13. Define your core values.– Believe it or not, there are more important things than making money. Even Steve Jobs said that he got into his work “for the love of the work.” The money did follow him because he was so good. But he didn’t focus on it. Another important part of your company is the core values that you hold yourself and your employees to. So think about the values that are important to you such as transparency, honesty, and friendliness, and enforce this with your team.
14. Take time to workout.– There are some positive benefits to working out and getting more fit. It produces endorphin, reduces stress, and it will energize you and make you feel more ready to lead your company to success.
15. Keep better records.– If you have experienced problems keeping good records, that’s a red flag for business owners. Take an online accounting course or get new software tools or apps that help you keep better track of your company’s finances.
16. Maximize your deductions and credits.– The new President-Elect has stated that he is going to lower taxes of small business owners to 15% from the previous 35% under the Obama administration. If he can do this early in his term, this will immediately start benefitting small businesses and allow you to grow your business faster. Take account of your taxes and learn to balance your budget with your tax situation in mind.
17. Have fun!– One thing many business owners forget to do is to have fun! After all, you got into being an entrepreneur to avoid the grind of a “9-to-5” job, right? So have fun knowing you are in charge and in control of your destiny.
We hope these 17 ideas for New Year’s Resolutions may start you thinking about your own business and personal goals. Customize them to fit your unique situation and think up some on your own. Who knows, just maybe this will be the year you’ll keep most of them!
Be determined and make your resolutions a part of your daily “to do” list to turn plans into actions.