5 business resolutions for the New Year » SMEInsider

5 business resolutions for the New Year

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It’s a week into 2015 and most of us have already abandoned the detox or the plan to be in the gym by 7am every morning. Here are five business resolutions you really should stick to.

1. Promote yourself properly

People need to know you exist before they can buy your stuff – but the spammy scattergun approach does more harm than good. This year, think about how to get your message out there intelligently, without putting people off. If you’re not on Twitter, join it. Set up a company blog. If you just write one short, thoughtful article a week and put out one (non-salesy) Tweet or retweet a day, you’ll be laying down the foundations that will allow you to start pushing your products further down the line.

2. Drop the things that don’t work.

Even if you can’t adopt a full 80/20 rule just yet (the idea that 20% of the work you do produces 80% of the results, so scrap or outsource everything else), the New Year is a good time to take stock of what’s working and what’s not. It’s time to kill your babies, I’m afraid, so if you’ve got a pet project, product or line that eats up time and resources but still isn’t getting results, let it go.

3. Adopt the “Triple F” rule

As a wise business mind once told me, there are only three reasons to take on any piece of work: Fun, Fame and Fortune. If you get a request for a commission or you’re thinking of trying out a new business idea that ticks none of these boxes, it’s toxic. This year, practise turning down work that doesn’t fit with these priorities.

4. Try something new

Learn a new skill, try a new approach or just do something totally different. This can be something specifically related to your business or something you do just for fun in your own time: whether it’s learning JavaScript or taking a course in astrophysics, sometimes making our brains look at the world in a totally new way just helps us to step away from the same old ideas and think more creatively. Be adventurous.

5. Set realistic goals

It sounds obvious, but writing down a few measurable milestones can help to keep you focussed throughout the year. Pick just a few big things and make sure you have a way of knowing you’ve reached them (for example, “win an industry award” is far better than “be recognised in my field”). Once you know what these things are, you can look back over them every few weeks or even months and note down what you’ve done to bring yourself closer to the goal. This is a fantastic motivator.