Business Time - New Year’s resolutions for businesses

Monday 19 December 2011 

New Year’s resolutions for businesses

As Christmas approaches, those of us lucky enough to have snared some holidays will have some time to reflect on the past year.

But even if you’re working through, there’s never a bad time to review your business with a few simple questions.

How was your year in business? What were your successes, and how can you replicate them next year?

What could you have done better, and what steps will you take to make sure this actually happens?

What mistakes did you make, and what did you learn from them?

From these questions you should have some clear New Year’s resolutions for your business.

During the merriment at The 20/20 Group’s Christmas card signing session this week, we considered these questions against the experiences of ourselves and our clients, and came up with a few cracker business resolutions for 2012.

1. Pick up the phone

“Voice is sooo last century,” I hear my fellow Gen Y-ers sing.

Well it isn’t. You can communicate much more in a quick phone call than a carefully-crafted email may ever convey. So consider picking up the phone before you send that next email – you can always send an email to confirm an important conversation later on.

2. Just Do It

Nike had it right. See that email you should have actioned a few days ago, nestled at the bottom of your inbox? Open it now and handle its contents.

What would you rather – a boring job you just completed, or a boring job that you didn’t action on time and which made you miss an important deadline?

3. Remove all Bad Apples

They waste your time, affect morale and they’ll probably ruin your Christmas party too.

Bad Apples, or difficult employees, will also ultimately affect the bottom line, so make sure your business is able to identify and then handle these employees swiftly – before they do any damage.

If you’re the owner or manager of a business you’ll know who these people are. So, referring back to resolution #2: just do it!

4. Stop Playing Around on Facebook

Social media can be a cheap and useful tool for small businesses.

Note the operative word there: can.

While it can be fun and effective, it’s not the holy grail of marketing. So stop just playing around on Facebook / Twitter etc and get serious: consider your goals (in conjunction with a wider business or marketing plan), plan your content then try to measure your results.

5. Manage your emails

A former boss used to chide employees for having more than one screen’s worth of emails in their inbox. After we determined that simply deleting random incoming messages was probably not the solution either, we all actually came to appreciate this rule.

Now, I’m a serious one-page email-inbox obsessive. Get an email, read it, do something about it, then file appropriately when you’ve handled it.

Your inbox is supposed to be for incoming mail – not all 23,760 emails you received this year. You’ll be much more organised for it.

6. Drink Champagne*

At least once a week, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

That’s a rule here at The 20/20 Group that I think we could all get used to.

*The 20/20 Group obviously supports responsible drinking. We also support drinking champagne to celebrate successes, mourn failures, welcome staff, farewell staff, celebrate Fridays, welcome Mondays, sprint past hump days, aid relaxation and promote creativity.

Thanks for reading this year, have a great festive season and see you in 2012! 

Duncan Watts is a Business Consultant for the 20/20 Group in Cairns.

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