A majority of Americans have the same few resolutions when the new year rolls around: lose weight, eat healthy, spend more time with family and friends. If you are a small business owner, you NEED to have resolutions for your business as well. With high hopes for the economy in 2010, contribute to your small business' hard work for success this year by abiding these three resolutions.
1. Push for Progress
A new year brings new beginnings, new policies, new goals and new habits. In 2010, push yourself and your employees for success and progress. For small business owners, this means clearly planning assignments, projects, and objectives. Communicate to your employees what you expect from them before pursuing any project. Also, small business owners should take control of progress by conducting multiple mini reviews throughout the course of the year. Reviews help small business owners communicate to their employees what they are doing right, what they should be doing, and how they can improve. Provide constructive criticism in a way that is not condescending. For employees, take responsibility for your work. Be attentive and productive. Work hard independently, and know what is required of you before embarking on a project. Work efficiently, but complete the work accurately and completely. Take reviews and critiques seriously. Constructive criticism is important and very valuable information as an employee. Receiving praise for great work and things to work on are excellent ways to encourage hard work and progress.
It's pretty safe to say that a small business that is not organized will not be successful. Organization is key, and prioritizing is the first step. Even the simplest things need to be prioritized, such as checking emails, calling clients back, balancing the checkbook, and specific projects. Set a schedule for yourself and plan out your day, every day. Having a set schedule will help you realize where you are wasting time, and what you can do to change your habits and be more productive. For example, while it is important to check your social media sites for your business, it is not important to check up on your chickens and cows on Farmville . Keeping an orderly schedule will not only help you use your time efficiently, but you will get more stuff done and keep your company continually progressing (see #1).
3. Stop Procrastinating
There really is no time like the present. Procrastinating is a habit that most Americans have, and it is one that you CAN change. Start off by learning how to manage your time and prioritize (see #2). Once you can master these skills, you are well on your way. As a small business owner, there must be things that you have always wanted to do but have been putting them off for various reasons: not enough time, not enough money, unsure of the outcome, fear of doing something big. Conquer that fear. Living one day at a time is important, but so is not regretting what you should have done. Move to a bigger space. Expand your product line. Increase services. Take time off work and go on vacation with your family. Stop talking, planning, and thinking. Do it!
As you've noticed, resolution number three depends on number two, and number two depends on number one. Essentially, once you make the decision to start pushing your business towards progress and success, you can start to work on prioritizing and procrastinating. All three of these resolutions will help your business, your employees, and yourself.
My 2010 resolution for America's Best Companies is to write about what YOU want to hear, and to give you clear, useful, and exciting information. Feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, with suggestions, questions, complaints (I'm not perfect), or ideas. Happy 2010!