If you resolve to be in business in 2011, then these resolutions can solidify your efforts to keep the doors open.
Resolution 1: Love your customers/clients. Oftentimes business owners, large and small, eventually neglect their primary money stream usually because they get busy and mis-direct their focus on operations. A stay-in-business rule is to nurture your customers/clients with attention and appreciation.
Resolution 2: Streamline operations. Take a hard look at how you operate your business. Look for industrial efficiency in every process you use. When, not if, you find redundancy modify the process right away. Streamlining saves money, but more importantly it allows you to stay customer focused and lean.
Resolution 3: Consult. Now that you have returned your business focus to your customers and have evaluated the efficiency of your operations the next resolution should be to consult with staff, customers, and other stakeholders to find out even more ways to retain your customer base but to expand your market share. You get what you request and reward. Use performance management listening mechanisms such as:
- Become an “undercover boss”
- face-to-face meetings with key players in the company,
- surveys to all stakeholders that include incentives so that you really get a listening pulse about your business
- benchmark research – know your competition and work to gain an edge
Howard Schultz summarizes the point this way, “You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the expectations of management.”
Resolution 4: Study your business mission statement. Often a corporate mission statement is overlooked. Why? Because it becomes like white paper on white walls – you just pass it by even though it is posted right in front of your eyes. Make it your business mission resolution to “see” your mission statement every day and make a comparison with what you say is of value to your business and what you are actually doing. If your business is out of alignment with the mission statement do one of two things: 1. Get back in alignment or 2. modify your mission to reflect the changed direction of your business.
Resolution 5: Enjoy what you do. The honorable way to maintain a healthy business and a healthy you is to live with two principles: the highest ethics and integrity and balance. Superior business leaders know that integrity in all things is the best policy. Ask yourself if you are in complete integrity with your word, within your personal life, with your customers and staff, with yourself. If you find any area of integrity misalignment, fix it! Last, ask yourself if you are in balance – do you take vacation, are you happy, do you like being a business owner? The answer to these pivotal questions formulate the solid base for all of your business resolutions for 2011.
Your business will exceed growth and profit expectations in 2011 with strong resolutions. Be resolute. Work your business, using these resolutions, and it will work for you.