New Year Resolutions: Business Edition
It’s that time of the year again. For better or worse, 2016 is almost over, and with it comes talks of 2017, new things to come and all the changes people plan to do. While everyone is setting up their typical new year’s resolutions that includes everything from losing weight, cutting off sodas, traveling more, to other life changes, businesses also should reflect on changes they can make. The start of a new year is a great time to look back at what works and what hasn’t worked over the past 12 months, what tone you want to set moving forward, and what your clients and team should expect.
Setting the tone for 2017 should be about revisiting your company’s core values (if you don’t do this periodically already). Your values should help dictate how and why you and your team make decisions and approach projects and conflicts. It’s these values that add consistency to decision making, regardless of what it pertains to or who’s making the decision. For example, at Motoza we value teamwork over individualism. This mindset allows us to face conflicts, whether it involves client work, determining scheduling, or assigning work in a consistent manner. Our mindset? Work as a team, rather than overloading yourself or a co-worker. It sets a tone that it’s ok to ask for help, and that overburdening yourself with too much work isn’t what we expect someone to do in order to excel.
For your company, look over the past 12 months of 2016. Have you been consistent on staying true to values you maintain? Do you have clearly defined values that you’ve shared with your team? If not, what changes can you make to ensure you do moving forward? Use these values to set expectations for the new year.
Setting realistic, measurable goals is also important for the new year. While I’m an advocate of having ambitious annual goals, it’s also important to make sure you have the capabilities of making them possible. I’d love to see that a $200,000 a year company can make it to $10 million in one year, but unless you have a very specific weapon in your arsenal to make it happen, it’s better to look more realistically based on past success. Look over what you’ve done during 2016, and define specific areas that can be improved upon to provide better results in 2017.
The importance in having accurate, measurable goals reflects largely on not only your morale but also on team buy-in. Having the team involved in knowing where the company is headed and your targets are can be a great source of motivation for the team as a whole. However, if your goals are not measurable (“we’re gonna make a lot more money this year!”) or realistic (“we want to grow our client base by 20x!”), then the high potential of not meeting these goals can really hamper on a team’s motivation.
Create realistic, specific, but ambitious goals and plan to measure them routinely. Being able to break down goals into quarterly milestones can help you track your progress throughout the year. This way you can adjust accordingly if you’re below your expectations. In addition, it’s good to have on-going strategy meetings (weekly or monthly based on your goals) to make sure leadership and the team are on track to hit these milestones. Just having conversations and making sure those responsible are aware of the goals is a great way to keep motivation going consistently.
2017 is right around the corner and the prospects should be exciting. Taking this time to sit down and create your business goals for the new years! What are your New Year’s resolutions?