A Fresh Start

As we all ring in the new year, it’s the natural time to reflect on the year that was and the year ahead. For small business owners and managers, it’s usually a time of taking stock and planning for the new year with strategy, budgets, and all that fun stuff. It’s also a time we tend to set resolutions or goals for the year – both for our businesses, and ourselves.

It doesn’t matter whether your business kicked butt last year or struggled to meet some of your targets – this is a new year, and a brand-new start. We are beginning again with a blank canvas. But with the mental reset and the fresh optimism the new year can bring, it can also lead to disappointment in regard to new year resolutions that fall short. How many of us have set a vague New Year’s resolution like losing weight, only to have it go out the window within weeks of January 1?! This guy!

Why do New Year’s resolutions go out the window almost as soon as you’ve set them? Are they too lofty? Too unrealistic? Most of the time, resolutions or goals fail for one simple reason – they’re way too vague! You want to lose weight? Cool, how are you going to that? What are the concrete things that you are going to stop doing or start doing to achieve your goal? And how will you measure this? What will you do if you stray off-course?

This couldn’t be more true when setting goals or targets for your business. It’s not enough to simply say, I’m going to make 10% more revenue this year over last. How exactly are you going to do this? What are the concrete actions your business will take to realize that goal? Matching strategic goals with bite-sized action items that can be measured throughout the year is critical. 

It’s important to measure your progress to know at any given point in the year where you are in relation to your goals, and what adjustments may need to take place. 

So, this new year, make huge and lofty goals for your business – shoot for the moon! But be specific on the how, otherwise you may be setting the same goals a year from now.