As the end of December approaches, we usually turn our thoughts to the next year on the horizon. The start of each new year marks another opportunity to wipe the slate clean and get off to a “fresh start.” We usually do this by making resolutions—promises to ourselves about improving various aspects of our lives.
Resolutions aren’t just for individuals, though. Business can make resolutions, too, and use them to improve their practices (and bottom lines!) through the course of the year. For every “personal improvement” resolution, there’s a “business improvement” version as well.
I resolve to get in better shape.
Ah, this may be the most common New Year’s resolution! For individuals, “getting in better shape” can mean eating healthier foods, exercising more, or losing weight—or some combination of all of those things. Usually these are tasks that we know are important but for one reason or another never quite get around to doing. The “fresh start” of a new year often serves as the nudge we need to get the ball rolling on this project. Just look at how enrollment in health clubs skyrockets each January!
For businesses, “getting in better shape” can mean improving a company’s health by cultivating the skills and competencies of current staff, hiring new talent, or getting rid of practices and policies that don’t offer positive contributions to the organization. In short, it means taking a close look at your firm from top to bottom and asking the hard question “What can we do to make this better?”
I resolve to prioritize.
We all have goals that are important to us. These might include spending more time with our families, focusing on our career development, or volunteering more in our communities. But they often get pushed to the bottom of our priority lists when something that’s easier to complete or newer or shinier catches our attention. (Admit it: when it’s cold and rainy outside, you’d much rather spend a weekend afternoon playing Peggle in your pajamas than get dressed and drive across town to visit your in-laws, right?) So every once in a while we have to remind ourselves to focus on what’s important.
Businesses can get off track, too. So take some time to figure out what you need to do to serve your clients better—and then do it. Remember, your clients’ success directly determines your own success. So once you know what you need to do to make them happy, that should become your top priority.
I resolve to stop procrastinating.
For individuals and businesses alike, this usually boils down to the same thing: if there’s something important that you need to do, don’t put it off. Do it.
I resolve to be more appreciative.
In our busy personal lives, we often forget to appreciate the people who support us and contribute to our happiness.
This same forgetfulness runs rampant in the business world, too. Sure, we usually remember to show gratitude to our big clients. It’s hard to forget them, because they tend to be the focus of our efforts. Our star employees, too, often get accolades. (We’re all familiar with corporate “recognition events.”)
But they aren’t the only ones worthy of our thanks. For every big client and every star employee, there are dozens (or more) of other people who also help your organization. Those smaller accounts may not bring in the biggest bucks, but they’re still clients—and without clients, your business would not exist. And the vast majority of your staff may not be “stars,” but their contributions add up, too.
Your business also owes some of its success to plenty of people who aren’t directly on your payroll. Just imagine how hard it would be to run your business without mail and package deliveries or Internet access—or toilet paper, for that matter! So don’t forget to let your mail carriers, IT consultants, and cleaning staff (among others) know how grateful you are for what they do.
As 2014 draws to a close, we at Mamu Media are taking these lessons to heart as well. We continue to look for (and implement) services that help our clients reach their business goals. And we thank all of our clients, colleagues, staff, and readers for their contributions to our organization—we couldn’t do this without you.