I have a few traditions at my company, Egg Marketing & Communications. One is setting business resolutions for the new year. Call them goals if you like, but the end of the year is the perfect time to work on where you want to take your business in the next year. Here’s how.

Do a Year in Review

The best place to start in determining what you should resolve to do in your business next year is to look at what you did (or didn’t) do this year. What goals did you not hit? What areas were underdeveloped? What could you let go of? Some areas to take a look at include:

  • Revenue
  • Number of clients
  • Product offerings
  • Time you personally spend on your business
  • Number and workload of staff

Make Realistic Resolutions

I cannot stress this point enough: when you set resolutions, make them realistic. For a few years, I made a resolution to make a ton more money than was possible at the time. I wasn’t truly disappointed, because I never believed I would achieve it. But had I set the bar a little lower, but still high enough to strive for, I would have accomplished more.

You want your goals to be things you can achieve. Don’t make them so easy it’s like baby steps to make them happen. Make them painful so that you have to work to make them a reality.

Set up Action Items

I think the biggest reason businesses don’t achieve their goals is that they don’t create action steps to make them happen. Let’s say your goal is to hit $1 million in sales in 2013, and you’re currently at $700,000. How will you find the additional revenue? You need to determine the best course of action and the best person for the task. Your action items might look like this:

  • Hire additional salesperson (assign to Meredith in HR)
  • Increase pricing by 20% (assign to Creed in sales)
  • Remove loss leader product from offering list (assign to Pam in operations)

And hold these people accountable! Spending time creating your resolutions in December and then promptly ignoring them for 12 months is simply a waste. Add reminders to your calendar to check in on the status of these tasks so you can chart your progress throughout the year.

Follow Up

In a year, look back to see how you did on your company’s resolutions. Every year, I assess on my blog how I did on my resolutions for Egg, and I publicly make new resolutions. It’s a great tradition, and it keeps me accountable.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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