It’s 2017, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for our annual business-related list of New Year’s resolutions from the incredible CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs. Let their own business resolutions give you some extra motivation to fuel your prosperity in 2017. Their resolutions are presented below in no particular order.
You may notice similar resolutions listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Never Work Alone, Again!
Who said that I am supposed to be able to do it all myself, or know everything about marketing, sales & organizing? 2017 Resolution: Delegate, Outsource, Share. The best skill any entrepreneur can hone is time management. There are things in my business that must be done only by me. So, I resolve to no longer waste time doing the things that others do better & faster than I could. I resolve to spend my time doing only what I need & want to do. Share the load & learn from others' best work.
2. Saying Thanks to Our Customers
I want to do a better job at saying thank you to our loyal customers -- we have so many who have been with us since the beginning and have done 10, 15 trips, and we want to let them know how much we appreciate them.
I also want to empower our team to do more -- not because I want to do less, but because I'm excited about how much more we can do together if the team is more empowered.
3. Reclaim My Independence
My business resolution for 2017 is to get it running so smoothly and successfully that I can become a person again! I think a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners, particularly in the start-up stage, get so consumed and obsessed with our businesses that we forget how to actually exist independently. I would love to get a full night's sleep and spend an entire 24-hour period just enjoying my life by the end of 2017.
4. Make My Name a Household Word!
My business resolutions for 2017... Make my name a household word and be the go-to-guy for great work in advertising, public relations, songwriting, sculpture, literature, filmmaking, video tombstones, humor... and of course, humility. Plus, eat more lobster and play more golf. And as always, have a lot more fun and make a lot more money!
5. Dominate Guitar Lessons in IL
My resolution for my business in 2017 is to become the dominant music school in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois! We saw record growth in 2016 and will do even better in the upcoming year. I will also continue to develop cutting-edge, creative and fun ways to make sure that my students get the best results for all levels of players and all types of instruments, from guitar, bass and keyboard players, etc.
6. 20 Minutes, a Pen & Purpose
My resolution is committing DAILY to something I do already (but not consistently).
20 minutes with a pen and a purpose working with my why.
I am an idea factory... and when I ask a question of myself, focusing 20 minutes on writing answers to that question, amazing things happen.
Not all of the ideas are good or useful, but some are and that's where the magic is, because the more I do this, the more surprised I am about how deep my well of thought is.
7. Work Early and Late
If your business isn't already global, it can be. Just put in the time in 2017. Work for a couple hours early in the morning on European sales and a couple hours late at night on APAC sales. Expanding and diversifying your revenue is worth it.
8. Rush Me? Risk a Fee
Being a 3-1/2 year-old solopreneur who didn't travel the traditional business school route, I'm still taking (& learning from) my knocks as they come. For 2017, I resolve to add a fee for rushing projects outside of the agreed-upon schedule/terms. This fee will be the latest addition to my Terms & Conditions. Signing up for & engaging a strategic vendor when you want same or next-day service will only prove counter-intuitive. Time will tell if this new measure will teach delayed gratification.
9. My New Year's Non-Resolution
Again this year, I'll define goals, objectives, strategies and tactics to keep growing and improving my workplace communication consulting, training and coaching business - five specific ways to do what I do faster, smarter, better or cheaper. I'll also identify five new clients to acquire and five new allies.
Ask me in December how well I did.
10. Process Mania!
We've experienced a lot of growth this past year and to continue that desirable trend, we have to review, analyze and modify old processes, as well as develop critical new ones in 2017. In my years as an entrepreneur, I've learned that falling short in process development can cripple any business very quickly. So in 2017, we're going to hit it hard and make sure we're set up for continued success and opportunities to scale our business!
11. Follow My Own Advice
I love to give advice and help solve issues. However, I seldom follow my own advice. It's the classic "easier said than done", so for 2017, I am going to start taking my own advice personally and professionally. I am going to network and reach out to more people in my profession and I am going to work on bettering myself outside my 9-5 work day, as well!
12. Promote My Business More!
I've often pushed the task of promoting my business to the bottom of the to-do list. I've decided for 2017 that in order to attract new customers, I have to make promoting Blu Skin Care a priority. I've made a New Year's resolution of doing more live social media promotion campaigns complete with tutorials. I will offer more discounts and contests in the new year. Bottom line, I will revamp my marketing plan and follow through. I'm anticipating at least a 50% increase in business in the new year.
13. Encryption and Security
Last year, Google ordered your site to be mobile friendly or else--and this year, they have effectively mandated that your site has a secure connection to rank well. Also, Chrome will start showing a warning on forms that aren't encrypted.
While all signs have pointed in this direction for the past two years, it's officially "go time". Come January, we're installing our security certificates, as well as updating all of our transactional and subscription emails to be fully encrypted as well.
14. Raise Your Game With Improv
Starting a new calendar year is always exciting. I love having the opportunity to start fresh and develop as a person and a business. This year, I really want to spread the word and share how improvisation in business and your life is transforming. I am extremely passionate at helping people grow and the philosophy of Improvisation is about saying yes to things and accepting and adding to situations that are happening. What could be better than staying positive and moving through obstacles?
15. Become a Primary Source
When you're a specialist, you have to work relentlessly to demystify your practice. Our 2017 business resolution is to be a primary source of information on endocrine illnesses we treat, including thyroid disease. Afflicted patients usually have no idea why they are fatigued, sick, and struggling with work. We will release educational videos and brochures about symptoms and treatments so that more people become aware of hormone imbalances, even if it means feeding our competition.
16. Definition of Insanity...
If we all keep doing the same thing and expect different results... well that is the definition of insanity.
Take a good look at your brand and the marketing that goes with it. Look critically! Is it telling your story? Is it attracting the right type of clients? Are people engaging with your brand? If not, IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!
Now is the time to look at how you can change how you communicate to be more effective and attract the people who will help you grow.
17. Post Positive
Noticed people's social media posts trending negatively? In 2017, my SMM goal is to make every post I publish offer a positive takeaway for my clients' followers. From a marketing perspective, this will make the client a beacon in a sea of depressing rant posts, hence, creating a feeling of goodwill for their brand. Even when addressing negative issues, I want my SM posts to offer a positive solution or helpful tip. Sounds simple, but have YOU ever gone 24 hours without complaining? Let's try!
18. Looking Back to Move Forward
I like to prepare for the new year by going through my files thoroughly. Not only does it help me prepare for tax season ahead of time, but I can sort through what worked and what didn't, learn from the previous year and let go of everything I no longer need, use or like, both physically and emotionally, so I can focus on having a positive 2017.
19. Give Up Authority!!!
I work for Taylor Studios Inc., an exhibit design-build firm in IL. I help write the content that goes into our exhibits. My 2017 Resolution is to "give up authority"! What exactly do I mean? I want my exhibits to be increasingly co-curatorial, with input & advice & help given by the clients and by the visitors themselves. Far too often, museum exhibits are designed as one-way conversations with visitors being passive learners. I want to let our visitors help create their experiences!
20. Fit Business
This upcoming year, 2017, our company is making the traditional healthy living resolution, but on an organization wide level. The company will support this endeavor by providing each employee with a membership at a local fitness club and additional lunch break time to incorporate a midday workout.
A fit business means more than positive financial statements. We believe it also includes an opportunity for each member of our team to live a fit, balanced life, even while growing a business.
21. Always Be Looking
Talent doesn't come easy, but as a small business, you have something special to offer prospective employees--a chance to really make a difference for a company instead of just being a small cog in a very large wheel. A business owner needs to constantly be searching for new talent at networking events, trade shows, and from its competition. My New Year's Resolution is to get out of the office more and find that talent, so I don't have to advertise when we have an opening.
22. email, Email, EMAIL!!!!
My business resolution for 2017 is to focus on my own company email marketing strategy. I have built multi-million dollar companies utilizing Email Marketing as a W-2. Now, with TSQ Marketing in its third month, my goal or resolution for 2017 is to focus on building my email list and share tremendous value with the members of my email list.
23. Less Dependent Upon Google
There are many ways to generate e-commerce, but for the past six years, we've lived mostly within the bubble of organic search traffic. Since Google introduced its 4th ad--potentially pushing all organic results below the fold--we've researched ways to diversify so we are less reliant upon organic search: bold marketing in social, targeted radio, direct mail, and email campaigns. 2017 is the year we release the hounds on all of those fronts with the aim of being more well-rounded and profitable.
24. It's Time to Say No
In business, we're constantly saying YES, but there are times that we need to say "No". Sometimes, saying "No" is the only option to create the YES for a successful business and in the long-run will create a stronger company and a higher bottom line. By saying "No" to certain commitments, this will ensure that I can again say "Yes" to the passions and community I love to serve. Having an operation domination mentality to the business and family will help you make a stronger impact.
25. Create the Controversy
It's time to double down with creating controversial content to market my agency. We've found that for as many people who are taken aback by our unapologetic approach, so many more people appreciate our candor and in-your-face approach and cutting through the noise.
26. Enjoy the Process
Life is the process, not the destination. Too often, we get hung up on achieving specific goals. But, life is about evolution and experience. What seems important today may be irrelevant a year from now.
So, don't get so monomaniacal about your goals that you lose sight of the overall vision. Take action. Observe the results. Learn from them. Repeat.
You may find that by living in the moment and taking repeated action, you reach your goal anyway.
And with a lot less stress...
27. Modernize My Website
In 2016, I did a major overhaul of one of my business websites. You wouldn't know it to see it; the work was all on the back end. There are still a few items to address.
The plan for 2017 is to do a much bigger overhaul of the two other websites - in those cases, you would know it to see it. But, I so often put off projects like this, that it takes a New Year's resolution to kick my butt.
28. We are Bringing Sexy Back
I want our staff to "bring sexy back"! I have initiated and gotten the company a personal trainer to get our "big butts" in shape.
We will have a goal chart for fat loss and sexiness achieved. I am going to send the biggest loser or me to a workout boot camp in California for a week, all expenses paid for two! That's how we make our resolutions in my business.
Chris Carter of Approyo
29. The Only Resolution I've Kept
I create an annual strategic plan with goals. The plan doesn't have to be completed in January, but should be done every year. That allows a review of what has been done and where the business is going in the future. Goals don't have to be short term, but must be reviewed for progress and continued applicability. Don't resolve, plan!
30. Giving Back
In 2017, we will be implementing a formal Giving Back program. As part of our commitment to giving back to our community, we will be donating 10% of proceeds to local charities. We will also be dropping off donations on behalf of our clients at the end of our organizing session. We are excited that when clients chose AKorganizing, together we will be Organizing for Good.
31. Growth and Conversion
This past year has been devoted to developing a great product - a free telemedicine solution that thousands of clinicians and patients currently benefit from. As the New Year approaches, our resolution is to focus on platform growth, user engagement, and conversion.
Brandon Welch, PhD of Doxy.me
32. Stay on Budget
Since it’s no secret that I like to spend money on marketing, I’d have to say - Stay on Budget - would have to be right at the top of my list for New Year's Resolutions. I’ll have to have someone repeat it to me all year long if it has any chance of working.
33. Lifelong Learning = Success
My New Year's resolution isn't new from year to year... it's the thing that keeps me climbing up the success ladder. I thrive on learning! My New Year's resolution is to keep learning. I not only learn new things for my industry, I learn things outside of my industry. This makes me well-rounded and can give me a different perspective that is useful within my industry causing growth. Be a lifelong learner.
34. Doing Everything I Enjoy!
Entrepreneurship is a long and winding road. It taught me more than ever imagined. I learned not only what does and does not work, but also what I enjoy doing the most.
"Follow your passion" is the common theme among leaders. Review of previous years has me realize the most enjoyable highlights. The plan for early 2017 is to launch a community to share and teach the better strategies for business development and sales and empower members. My theme is "Believe, Become, Empower!
Understanding the highly successful economic strategy of the new President, Donald Trump.
Jacob Singer of Regnis
36. Expand Globally
We want to optimize our website in order to offer better services for all users and try to get higher ranking for target keywords. We plan to develop a new function which allows users, especially business clients, to get local followers, likes, or views. In addition, we will perform research about the new features on Instagram, such as live streaming, and develop more useful functions to enhance user experience. At the same time, we wish to expand our service all around the world.
37. Lunch and Learn
My New Year’s resolution as it relates to business this year is to gain 5 happy pounds by taking a different staff member to lunch every week. I learn more about my staff and shamelessly eat yummy food, sounds like a win!
38. I Resolve to Give Back in 2017
My New Year’s Business Resolution for 2017 is “To Become a Mentor". After building my business for over six years, I feel like I’m living the American Dream. I’ve given birth to an invention and it’s the most rewarding feeling. I’m ready to give back by connecting with other aspiring entrepreneurs and share my knowledge and experiences, so they too can also feel secure in taking the entrepreneurial leap and begin to build their dreams.
Lori Cheek of Cheekd
39. Build a Charitable Component
My New Year's Resolution for Lemonly is to build a charitable component into the business. One idea I have is to offer a free cleaning every month to someone in need.
Most importantly, it's great to give back to the community. Charitable giving from Lemonly will also let our customers know we are a socially responsible cleaning service and they can trust us. Social entrepreneurship is on the rise and we want to be a part of that.
Caleb Wetherell of Lemonly
40. Give Good Energy, I do!
I will give them out, I even gave one to Donald Trump! Quartz crystal a power stone. It has been called the "Universal Crystal" because of its many uses. It enhances energy by absorbing, storing, amplifying, balancing, focusing and transmitting. It channels universal energy. Quartz also enhances thoughts, as they are a form of energy it directs and amplifies energy, it is extremely beneficial for manifesting, healing, meditation, protection and positive energy.
41. Giving to Non-profits Managers
I have been a leader in the military, in the field and in the corporate office. I've learned how to do it right... AND learned the hard way what DOESN'T work.
I have a resolution to help at least 5 non-profits with their manager development and needs. When volunteering, many people contribute their money or work at a fundraiser. My goal is to help non-profits be strong, more efficient through the strengths & voices of their managers!
42. Ya Gotta Tell It To Sell It
In 2017, invest in MEDIA TRAINING! Every business person has a story and that's a good thing; it's how you capture people's attention. It's what makes them invest in you emotionally when they decide to do business with you. You're a storyteller; who you are, what you do and how you got to where you are, is your own unique story. So, make it a good one, because if you can't tell it, you can't sell it. And, if you don't have a compelling story that solves THEIR problem... your competition will!
43. Military Themed USA Made!
A few years ago we brought the whole rubber duck industry back to the USA where it originated, before it all went overseas. But in 2017, I would love to take another step forward and actually begin making military themed rubber ducks here in the USA. That's right, presently they are all made in China! Just doesn't seem right. We plan to start with the NAVY this year. Sail on Sailor!
44. Reveal Our Brand to the World
Having launched our first collection in Autumn 2016 and ensured a smooth system of design through to production, we are now ready to present our products to the world and establish trade relationships both in the UK and internationally. And so, our New Year's resolution is to 'get out there'; to meet buyers from retailers, boutiques, agents to distributors by exhibiting at key trade shows in Paris and New York and arranging face-to-face meetings with individual buyers.
45. Just Keep Swimming!
Throughout 2017, there are certain times when things often get tough. Impossible deadlines near and items pile up on your desk. This is commonplace in business. It's easy to crack under pressure, drop your head and simply move on. Instead, I'm intent on not only moving forward and getting things done, but by doing it with a vengeance. Our goal is to be the number one travel agency in our great land. Watch out, 2017, MickeyTravels is coming at you hard and we'll be disrupting your world!
46. Framework with Flexibility
My business resolution for 2017 is to develop a flow in my schedule that consistently allows me to invest time in income-producing products, while also being available to serve my clients well. I want to have "framework with flexibility;" to not get too stuck in my ways or routines; and to use strategic workflows as scaffolding for accomplishing all I reasonably can next year at a pace that is healthy for me.
47. Business for 2017!
My 2017 business New Year's resolution is to manage my cash flow more effectively. In order to maintain a healthy growth for my business, I plan to prepare a better cash flow projection in 2017. I will create a detailed
monthly business plan and look for ways to reduce expenses. To increase revenue, I will seek out new vendors and suppliers for my clothing products. To further boost my incoming cash flow, I will stop giving out 90 and 60 days turns, giving me a better cash flow for 2017.
My number one business resolution for 2017 is automating more of my tasks using more extensions and manuals. For example, when I have to train new employees or virtual assistants, I actually have to train them personally, which takes from 20-30 hours total. With new manuals, I can potentially reduce that time down to 5-10 hours.
49. Awesomism Jobs in 2017
As a small business owner and mom of 4 kids, every year I hope the next brings a strong economy that provides jobs. You see, my youngest child is Autistic and 17. Most of us as adults hope to have a career and not just a job, while many within the autism community would appreciate the opportunity to have work! My Business goal for 2017 is to help turn autism into Awesomism by having businesses work together with the autism community and give hope to the many families living with autism.
50. Become the Industry Standard
Pick something you do really well in your business and go above and beyond this year. If one of your selling points is that you offer stellar customer service, make it a point to go the extra, extra mile. For example, our CRM Coaches will help users with platforms outside of our own product. By no means are we Google Calendar experts, but when you can provide a user with some supplemental knowledge, it really proves that you’re willing to do your job, plus a little extra, to help them succeed.
51. Rethinking the To-Do List
I typically flag my to-do list items by priority and business impact. I'm adding a new flag to the list: kindness. When I evaluate what to do on any given day, I will consider whether it increases the amount of kindness in the world around me. Items that benefit others with compassionate consideration will move higher on the list of what I set out to accomplish each day. The result will be greater engagement and connection with employees, peers, partners, and customers.
52. Shipping Sustainability
One of the biggest problems we have in our business is shipping because most of our products are very fragile. We often use way more packing than we would like to ensure it arrives safely to our customers. For 2017, we are converting to 100% sustainable shipping methods by using bio-degradable packing peanuts, reusing recycled boxes, and paper bags from the supermarket! Our company is eco-conscious and we want every part of our experience to make the world better!
53. Making My SO Happier
My New Year’s Resolution is to make my significant other (SO) happier. Now, you may think “what’s this got to do with business?” My answer is, a lot. Making my SO happier will have a butterfly effect on my business life. For example, making my SO happier will mean from time to time leaving work before 20:00. This will have a knock on effect on my work life balance, which in theory should have a knock on effect on my productivity. Another example, go for less after work drinks.
54. The Services Of Tom Hardy
My New Year’s Resolution is to try and secure Tom Hardy as a Brand Ambassador (he loves vaping). Ever since stumbling across my wife's browsing history and noting her lack of interest in my professional life, I've decided to try and make my work more appealing to my wife. I think securing the services of Tom Hardy as a brand ambassador would certainly peek my wife's interest in the business, thus improving my work/life balance, as we would then share a mutual interest.
55. Knowing Our Customers
In 2017, we want to know our customers better. We have always listened to the needs and expectations of customers, but there is a line between just knowing what a customer wants, and really knowing them as individuals. By better understanding them, it will improve all aspects of our business from product development to order fulfillment and everything in between.
56. Boost Social Media Following
In 2017, I'd love to continue to boost our social media following. Our content is really personalized and it shows that we're just not bug experts, but we're helping others in our community resolve pest issues that can be embarrassing for them. If we can continue to portray that image on social media, then we will be able to gain more followers around our community.
57. A New Vision Board Is In Order
One of my top New Year's rituals for 2017 is to create a vision board. Many people make traditional vision boards by cutting images from magazines of what they want for their life, but I look forward to putting together a business-specific board that represents all the big plans I have for my company, including my revenue targets and philanthropy
goals. Once it's finished, I will hang it up in my office where I can look at it every day to remind me of the big picture, literally!
58. Create a What-Not-To-Do List
Steal back minutes: Create a weekly NOT to do list! Only focus on your unique abilities and outsource, delegate everything else.
59. Stop Chasing the Business
2017 will start with our leadership team creating a "Strategic Business Plan".
A strategic business plan is a step-by-step written plan on achieving business goals and objectives. The plan should include company vision, mission statement, critical success factors, strategies and actions for objectives, and a prioritized implementation timeline.
Don't Chase The Last Data Point - Follow The Plan!
60. To See More High-Performers
My New Year's resolution is to double the amount of our franchise partners who make it to our high performers trip in 2018, (this year in 2017, we have 12-15 that are going to Nicaragua). To go, they have to increase their annual billing by 1 million dollars from the previous year and that means thousands of caregivers with new jobs and seniors with more safety and care in the home. Our mission is to enrich the lives of others. That means our franchise partners, our seniors and their families.
61. Do Less & Scale To 100+ People
My resolution is to ‘do less’. I don’t mean to work less. Scaling to 40+ employees has been one of the most challenging things I’ve had to do as an entrepreneur. When you go from being a founder with 2-3 people who do every task to 40+ people, you have to learn to trust and push others to run with the ball or even put out the fires. So, my resolution is to not just say ‘I’ll do it’ but ‘do less’ by developing the rest of the team, so we’ll be able scale to 100 more people.
62. Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
My New Year’s Resolution in the workplace is to continue to seek out ways to reduce my business’s carbon footprint on our way to becoming carbon neutral.
63. Ensure Every Child Rides Safe
For 2017, we will pledge to try and ensure that EVERY child rides safely via a booster seat on EVERY journey. Along with continuing to spread the word about our own BubbleBum inflatable car boost seat solution, we will start an initiative of donating to charities that provide car seats to those less fortunate.
64. Help Little Ones Flourish
My New Year's Resolution is to continue providing education and promoting the importance of neurodevelopment in all little ones. We will continue developing neurodevelopmental resources and living our mission of seeing every little one flourish.
65. Highlight Beautiful Smiles!
In 2017, we want to continue sharing our patients' successful orthodontic treatments on Facebook. Every time we have a patient get their braces off, we take a photo of their beautiful new smiles and share them on our Facebook page. These showcases allow potential new patients or their parents to see the type of smiles they can expect from Maple Orthodontics!
66. Encourage Creativity
Our New Year's Resolution is to encourage creativity within our company and not limit our imaginations.
67. Lock In 2017
Our company provides IT consultation and managed services to a number of businesses, but our goal for 2017 is to focus on security. We want to prepare our clients and protect them from the rapidly growing threats in the digital world. By staying up-to-date on the most effective cybersecurity trends, we will continue to provide the best services to keep our clients’ data and networks safe.
68. Invest in Online Marketing
One of our New Years' resolutions is to improve our company's internet marketing efforts. We have been busy meeting the demands of our current clients, which has taken time away from investing in new channels to grow our business. While we have done a good job thus far, quadrupling our leads in the last 4 years, we would like to continue on this path and enhance it going forward. SEO continues to be a big priority for our company in 2017.
69. Customer Satisfaction is Key
Put customer satisfaction before all others things. Our goal is to focus on providing our customers with all of the information they need to make the best choice for themselves. With an emphasis on catering to our customer's needs, we hope to not only make sales, but also work to earn their business long-term.
Do you have a business-related New Year’s resolution for 2017? Please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!