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Realistic Business New Year's Resolutions

This is the year to set high-achieving yet practical New Year’s resolutions for your business. It'll be a great way to plan for the growth and success of your company in the coming year.


Hold up, though: This isn’t the time to get overly optimistic about how amazing and productive you could be once the clock strikes midnight. Instead, let's aim for a sensible and pragmatic approach.


Setting New Year's Resolutions for Your Business

To get ready for a year of true growth and success, here are some realistic resolutions to consider. If you can take the time during this winter holiday to sit down and hash these out, you’ll be in excellent shape at the start of the new year.


A digital illustration of a checklist and pen.
Original Artwork: Inkong Boutchalern, Vecteezy

Table of Contents

1. Set Specific Goals 

2. Invest in Yourself 

3. Listen & Improve 

4. Plan for Contingencies 

5. Revisit Your Goals

6. Adjust as Needed 


1. Set Specific Goals

Define clear, measurable objectives for your startup. For example:

  • We will enter a new geographic market.

  • We will launch our new product.

  • We will increase our customer retention rate.

  • We will hold more team meetings.

  • We will implement eco-friendly practices.

This year, try avoiding deadline dates. While they may help create a clearer goal, deadlines can cause emotional detriment to you and team if the goal isn't met on time.


Wondering why we suggest that? Think about all the times you told yourself you’d gain/lose a certain number of pounds by a certain date. When you have a deadline, you may be inclined to procrastinate until it's almost here. Instead, let's aim for a consistent habit that will pull you closer to your goal with every repetition.


Once you have your clear goals, break them down into actionable steps. Let's use the first goal as an example:

  • The business will enter a new geographic market.

    • Research geographic markets that my competitors are in.

    • Research geographic markets that have a lack of my type of product/service.

    • Pick a geographic market to enter.

    • Research buyers in that market who could sell my product/service

      • OR research platforms that will reach my new prospective audience.

    • Reach out to buyers

      • OR get set up online in the researched platform you chose.

2. Invest in Yourself

Perhaps your New Year's Resolutions were off to a great start last year. But you pushed through unrealistic expectations until hitting burnout. It's great to have big goals, but it's still crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance for your well-being and the success of your venture.


Make it a resolution to invest in self-care, manage your stress, and ensure that you have a sustainable work schedule. Set boundaries for work hours, take regular breaks, and make time for relaxation and personal life. Incorporate regular exercise, healthy eating, and stress management into your routine.


A balanced and healthy founder is better equipped to lead a successful startup. Find ways to realistically and intentionally invest in yourself to see positive outcomes.


If you aren't one for monthly massages or taking an extra day off when there's work to be done, invest in your personal growth. Set aside time to connect with a mentor, read books, take online courses, and research to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. Or find inspiration somewhere else entirely; the more diverse your background and understanding, the more likely you'll discover creative solutions.


3. Listen & Improve

Resolve to actively listen to your customers and use their feedback to drive continuous improvement. Your customers can provide valuable insights into what's working and what's not.


Make it a goal to regularly collect and analyze customer feedback through surveys, reviews, and direct interactions. Then commit to making meaningful adjustments based on this feedback. Not only that, but commit to making those changes in a timely manner. By prioritizing customer satisfaction and addressing their needs, you'll be better positioned for long-term success. When the most important gears of your company are running smoothly, you'll have more time to work on reaching your next goal.


4. Plan for Contingencies

No matter how good your plan is, it'll be even better with a backup plan. Here is a list of ideas to cover the bases of your startup:


Budgeting

  • How will you monitor cash flow regularly?

  • Can you reduce unnecessary expenses?

  • Establish emergency funds (aiming to avoid lines of credit)

  • Diversify your customer base to reduce dependence on a single client or market.

Customer Acquisition and Retention

  • What will you do if you send out a great email campaign and the majority of your email list doesn't respond?

  • What's the plan if an idea fails to connect?

  • Develop a new version of your customer acquisition strategy.

  • How can you better invest in customer relationship management tools?

  • Where/how can you solicit customer feedback?

Networking

  • What industry events, conferences, and networking meetups can you attend this upcoming year?

  • Which relationships with mentors, advisors, and potential partners do you want to improve?

  • How can you strengthen your online presence through social media and LinkedIn?

Streamlining Operations

  • Evaluate your business process. How can you optimize it further?

  • Could investing in technology or software improve your efficiency?

  • Delegate tasks to team members or consider outsourcing.

Marketing Strategy

  • Measure and analyze the effectiveness of your current marketing efforts.

  • Create or refine your marketing plan.

  • Explore digital marketing channels (e.g., SEO, social media, email marketing). How could you best utilize these?

Legal Compliance

A new year is the time to refresh and recheck documents:

  • Review and update contracts, licenses, and permits.

  • Comply with tax regulations and reporting requirements.

  • Protect your intellectual property with patents or trademarks, if applicable.

Team Strength

  • Review your staff performance.

  • It's time to find the right people with the skills and attitude that align with your company's values (check out BearPeak's professionals).

  • Provide new training and development opportunities for your employees.

  • How will you create a positive work environment this year? How will you foster team collaboration?

Key Metrics

  • Set calendar reminders to regularly track key performance indicators (KPIs).

  • Define what KPIs need regular review.

  • Use data analytics to make informed business decisions.

  • Based on the data and insights you gather, adjust your strategies.


5. Re 👏 Visit 👏 Your 👏 Goals! 👏

Schedule appointments in your calendar now to review your goals in the future. The last day of every month is a popular choice. When that calendar alert goes off a month from now, revisit what you wrote today. What worked? What was too high an expectation? What can you congratulate yourself for working on, even if you haven't reached the goal yet? Be kind to yourself: Pretend you're reviewing another entrepreneur's progress, which may help you from being to self-critical. You likely hold yourself to much higher expectations than everyone else: it's important observation to remember so you don't give up.


6. Adjust as Needed

New Year's resolutions can serve as a roadmap to guide your startup toward growth and sustainability. But no matter what high expectations you hold yourself to (and we all do it), changing your mind and altering your plan is allowed, healthy even. None of us can see exactly what’s coming, and part of what makes a great plan is its flexibility.


After revisiting your goals, give them a fresh edit. Remember that setting specific, achievable goals will be crucial for success. Continue to regularly assess your progress and make adjustments as needed throughout the year.


After all that planning, how do you feel? Excited? Overwhelmed? If you've taken the time to think about, let alone write out or schedule these in your calendar, you're in great shape for the new year. We'll leave you with a quote to consider:


"Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect." - Alan Cohen

 

It's important for us to disclose the multiple authors of this blog post: The original outline was written by chat.openai, an exciting new AI language model. The content was then edited and revised by Lindey Hoak.

"OpenAI (2023). ChatGPT. Retrieved from https://openai.com/api-beta/gpt-3/"



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