Yes, it’s that time to eat less, exercise more, and live in the moment; but what about making and keeping business resolutions for 2013? Study successful people and you’ll see they resolve to spend more time on their not-to-do list. They value their time and know what matters the least and where not to waste precious time.
Resolving to spend more time listening to the business’ end-consumer should be a top priority. Too many times businesses focus on what suppliers tell them, what employees are saying, and items industry reports are promoting. Successful entrepreneurs know that real innovation begins with the customer, and that the customer’s needs change constantly and dramatically.
A wise man once said “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” A good business plan begins with a statement of purpose. It’s more than just making money and purporting to be the best in town. If a business owner does not know what the purpose of the business is, it’s time to resolve to come up with the foundation for the success of the business. It would be a good time to resolve to support a cause that helps define the business. Anything that makes the community a better place to live is worthy of an entrepreneur’s time, talent, and treasure.
Another suggestion is to resolve to update the business’s strategic plan. Now is a great time to reflect on last year’s results, and address any challenges, concerns, and opportunities in the new year. A good way to tackle issues is to invent choices. Resolve to brainstorm for ideas to grow the business and overcome any obstacles. Somewhere in the process the small business owner may experience some negativity because they know too well what doesn’t work in a given situation. This resolution should include finding ideas that have worked for others and it may involve getting out of one’s comfort zone to go and ask how they did it. Lenders, accountants, and attorneys can also be excellent resources for advice.
The last suggestion is to resolve to do a better job of paying attention. It’s the secret to life. Another old saying is “life is what happens when you are not paying attention.” Resolve today to plan this year’s vacation. When one has something to look forward to, the days that life happens fill in nicely.
Gordon Smith is a business specialist at the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College.