There’s nothing like a new year to infuse us with the energy and motivation for setting goals and plunging head first into the work needed to achieve them. And while resolutions tend to focus on the things we want to achieve on a personal level, resolutions pertaining to your business are perhaps more important.
Entrepreneurs know the value of hard work, innovation and perseverance and, when approached strategically, business resolutions can help to amplify your efforts. Here are the five resolutions I’ve set in relation to my business for 2022.
Take stock of where you’re at
Nine times out of ten we’re so busy getting on with the business of running a business that there is little time to assess and evaluate where things are at. A new year is a great time to take a moment to consider the trajectory of the business and also to plan where it needs to go in the next 12 to 18 months.
My approach is to list both the successes and the not-so-successful endeavours of the previous year, as well as the anticipated challenges and opportunities of the new year, and to allow that to inform the overall strategy.
The old axiom “what gets measured, gets managed” rings true. Only when we have a clear idea of what is going on can more effective strategies be put in place for managing a business
Communicate your goals and vision
No entrepreneur is an island and much like it takes a village to raise a child (to mix analogies) so it takes a community to run a business. As such, communicating your vision, goals and values is essential. We need our employees, clients, stakeholders and supporters to understand the plan, which can only happen if it is effectively communicated.
Commit to effective communication in 2022. It could start with an integrated strategy meeting to kick off the year, supplemented by quarterly emails outlining the progress, the challenges and an overall look at “where things are at”. When people are made to feel part of something their commitment to making a success of it typically increases. What’s more, sharing the vision and goals with others also creates an opportunity for them to share their own views and insights on how to best achieve the desired outcome.
Expand your network
Love it or hate it, networking is a key part of being an entrepreneur. Our contacts and connections are our currency so it always pays to expand that network, in line with your growing business needs and goals.
The pandemic has made networking in the traditional sense more challenging but it has also created an opportunity for a more dynamic approach to interacting with others – thank goodness for digital communication!
This year, commit to making connections outside your immediate area of business interest. This could mean visiting a trade fair on something only tangentially related to your core business or joining an entrepreneurial support group. Approach it with an open mind and the results are sure to be more positive than you can imagine.
Define what success looks like
As a goal, “success” is as vague as losing weight, getting fit or watching less TV. A definition of success needs to be agreed upon to ensure it can be achieved. As such, when making plans and setting goals, be sure to also define what success in relation to those objectives looks like in practice. Useful when defining success is to draw on the mnemonic SMART acronym that calls for goals and plans (and definitions of success) to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
Another way to think about it is to consider what, at the end of 2022, you would like to be able to say you achieved in your business this year.
Develop an empathetic culture
Empathy is increasingly recognised as a key business skill, with even the World Economic Forum acknowledging its value in a professional context.
At the most fundamental level, empathy is simply the ability to understand the other person’s perspective which is useful for managing stressful situations, building rapport and improving interpersonal relationships.
This year, why not commit to being a more empathetic entrepreneur? Start by actively listening, by starting conversations with the goal of understanding the other view (rather than imposing your own) and validating the role, knowledge and expertise of individuals.
By: David Seinker, Founder & CEO, The Business Exchange