New Year, New Ideas?


HodsonHere’s my take on what you can do for your business’ New Year’s resolutions.

Top Ten things you can do for your business health in 2014:

1. Set goals that are attainable. You know… realistic goals. What did you do this past year? Is the market trending higher and you can expect 10% growth, or is the market flatter, and it would be realistic to add to your base and expect little growth, or an even year? Pie in the sky goals will bring frustration and create distress versus success.

2. Delegate– I know it’s hard… BUT…. You should and you know it. Is there a process, project, or program you could let go of? Be honest with yourself and match these to the skills and talents of your staff.

3. Once you delegate, you can try taking time for yourself. Not only do you need a break, so do your employees. Make sure everyone, including you is taking breaks and lunches… not just eating at your desk…. (chamber staff is now laughing, I’m not good at this either). Vacation time should be used for just that, vacation. Vacation doesn’t have to mean sand and surf- but a respite of time away from work.

4. Promote your business through more than one method. With today’s digital options, you can do so much! Set a goal to broaden your online audience. Give them ideas for your services or products. Show them what’s hip and trendy, safe and convenient, or even just plain fun. Be sure to be specific as you market to your target audience. Hint: You may have more than one audience.

5. Add in some networking time. Attend Business After Hours, join a networking group or civic organization; remind people who you are, what you do and how you can help them.

6. We should all be lifelong learners. Give yourself and your employees the opportunity to learn more about your industry. Conferences, webinars, industry publications, and blogs are great ways to help you and your staff stay refreshed and ready for what’s around the corner.

7. Identify resource waste. What takes up your time and resources unnecessarily? Could you re-arrange some office spaces to lessen time staff uses to do tasks? Are the right supplies quickly at hand for employees to get what they need, when and where they need it? Is your supply of copy paper and toner near the copier, or is someone walking down the hall to get a fresh ream of paper? Can you move to a paperless system, or a less paper system?

8. Keep. Throw. Change. What programs aren’t used? What products don’t sell? What will you keep, discard, or adjust in 2014? Review with staff what is working and not working…. You may learn there is a benefit no one uses, or perhaps a vendor that needs to make adjustments in customer service.

9. Speaking of copiers…. Do you have equipment that is getting worn and old? Look into replacing out-dated equipment. Between energy efficiencies and reviewing your usage rates, you may find, as we did- new is much less expensive- yeah!

10. F.U.N. Let’s have fun people. If you aren’t having fun, no one is. Your work place should be welcoming to employees and customers alike. No, I’m not saying every day is balloons and cake, but make some time for fun.

From all of us at the Chamber, Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!