2016 has just kicked off and many of us want to kick it off with a bang, setting resolutions to improve upon the past year. And because talking about your resolutions or goals with others often helps with the achievement of that goal, to press on with our yearly tradition, we have once again asked our fantastic CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their own New Year’s business Resolutions for 2016. Use their resolutions as motivation for your own business success and goals this year. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.
You may notice some similar resolutions listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Be a Sales Oriented CEO
My primary business resolution in 2016 is to have an outer-body experience as a sales-oriented CEO of Red Beach Advisors. Lots of consultants have this issue & I have never been an outside SALES guy! As an entrepreneur with a background in business strategy, customer success, & workforce analytics, my roles have been internal support & people knew they needed me. I dedicated myself to my firm in 2015 and did very well, however my 2016 goal is to exceed sales by more than 150% from 2015.
2. Spend More Face to Face Time
In a world of automation, I am resolving to spend more face to face time with my clients to better understand their wants, needs and desires and work with them to create and develop their living brands.
The more I can understand what the true goals of my clients are, the more I can help them succeed!
3. Question Everything
Life is too short and your business too important to let things run on auto pilot. It's time to ditch the regular meetings, routine procedures and the "way I've always done it" in favor of strategies that work. Equally important is to build new methods that not only bring in business, but don't leave you feeling used and drained. ASK: Do I want more clients like this? Are we getting anything done in these meetings? Is there something more profitable or enjoyable I could be doing right now?
4. Better Passwords
Strengthen your password. The best strategy for protecting your information is to use a strong password that contains upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. Consider using numbers and symbols that resemble letters to strengthen your password while keeping it easy to recall, e.g., “B@seb@11” instead of “baseball.” Also, be sure to use a different password for each secure site and change it every 30-60 days.
5. Create Systems for Growth
As I scale my copywriting business, I need to create systems that allow me to be organized and also, delegate more tasks.
I must stop reinventing the wheel for each new situation. Establishing processes and procedures will take time in the beginning, but should help me to be more productive in the long run.
6. Work Smarter NOT Harder
Now that the foundation is laid, the walls built and the business fully furnished metaphorically speaking, 2016's resolution is to work smarter and not harder. Marketing dollars will be analyzed, content curation will be streamlined and our focus will be on maximizing our personal and professional Return on Investment. We will discover our 2016 'stop doings' and our 'continue doings'. We will find and enjoy the Me in TiMe.
7. Follow Up Through & To the Top
During my 15 years of helping small business owners with marketing and sales, I have interviewed a lot of buyers and purchasers. Almost every one of them said that the biggest obstacle for small businesses is that they do not follow up or follow through. "Out of sight, out of mind" is real. Resolve to follow up and follow through with every potential, existing and past customer and you will be on top, because your competition will not be doing it.
8. Revolution, Not Resolution!
Say "no" for the right reasons; set healthy boundaries with your time.
Delegate tasks someone else can do as well/better. Do the things that only you can do.
Uni-task and produce quality work. Schedule time just for work or play. Let your voicemail work for you.
Delay tasks that are not urgent or important.
Embrace "good is good enough". Don't let perfectionism slow you down.
Time is like space. Don't clutter your schedule with things that don't align with your goals.
9. Get a Grip!
I intend to get a grip, which means I will upgrade my technology so that my website is mobile-friendly, and I will learn how to use my new AuthorOneStop app!
10. Corporate Sponsor for Parakeet
2015's goal was to make Lord Jello Worthington II the world's most famous Vice Parakeet of Markeeting. After making the front page of The Wall Street Journal, having a WSJ segment, and being covered in a few other publications, I'm going to call that goal met. Now, it's time to get Jello a corporate sponsor. In 2016, Jello is going to be the spokesparakeet for a brand or two.
11. Stay High with Andy Greenberg
When I relocated from Omaha NE to Lake Worth Florida, I gave up my local TV show and radio show. I used these for PR purposes for my public speaking and consulting business. My goal is to have the same where I live now in 3 months. It will be done!
12. Practice Flattery and Vanity
The keys to success... other than getting lucky and knowing the right people and being in the right places at the right times, be sure to practice the skills of Flattery and appealing to a person's Vanity. Flattery and Vanity... they could be the keys to your fame and fortune, and of course, you have to practice them to make them sound sincere. "My, what a great suggestion!"
(Is that sincere enough?) Practice it with your clients and practice it with your boss. Practice it with a smile right now.
13. Culture, Teamwork, Success!
My business resolution for the New Year is to improve on our strong company culture of openness, teamwork and diligence. In our first year of business, we have been able to foster a close-knit team and will continue to build on our unique company and culture in the new year.
14. Making a Difference in 2015
For 2015, it's important for us to make a difference. Last year, we brought the whole rubber duck industry back to the USA where it began to be the only ones making them here once again. But in 2015, we want to go one step further with my New Year's Resolution to make a revolutionary product for baby safety and to do it 100% in the USA. Thus, in January, we plan to launch the world's safest rubber ducks made out of food and medical grade materials and 100% made in the USA... The Good Ducks!
15. Making Travel Affordable!
My resolution is to continue changing the American consumer's perception about what high quality international travel should actually cost. Many of our competitors have convinced the consumer that the cost of a trip to South Africa, China and Patagonia, for example, is exorbitant. This is a falsehood perpetuated by our industry and inaccessible for the vast majority of Americans. This is a shame, and there are few companies like ours that work hard to change this.
16. Business Skinny in 2016
We've set a goal to "lose weight" in our business in 2016. To do that, we're looking for creative new ways to bundle our services in a way that creates less offerings, less confusion and more value to our clients.
17. Smoking Brain Syndrome
One of the greatest challenges business owners and entrepreneurs face is information overwhelm or “Smoking brain syndrome”.
Eliminate smoking brain syndrome by:
STOP trying to remember anything.
Write everything down.
Review those notes daily.
Decide if you’ll do them now – do them later – don’t do them at all - have someone else do them for you.
BOOM- smoking brain syndrome is a thing of the past.
18. The Marathon Called Success
Three and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 3 moderate colon cancer. My 2016 New Year's Resolution is not to use this as a reason to not do anything to take Operation Just One Can advocacy effort to the next level. Despite being in the midst of this "Gethsemane", I decided everyday DOES count to get something to happen. Then, at this point next December, I WILL have seen miracles evolve. It is all about choosing in and pushing forward.
19. Use Failures to Grow
It doesn't matter if you generally had a good year or a bad one. Every business has failures they can learn from. With the start of the new year, take time to look back and acknowledge those failures and figure out what went wrong, so you can catapult into the new year with renewed vigor. Do this, rather than get depressed over failure or feel invincible due to success. Growth in business (as in life) is about learning from our mistakes and constant improvement.
20. Stop Being Busy!
It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Most businesses love being busy. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about being 'personally busy'. Many of us try to take on too much, especially business owners. So, my New Year's resolution is to delegate more so Rescue Me can stay busy, but I can get some time back. In fact, I just did a blog post about it.
Megan Dixon, Founder of Rescue Me
21. No Goals!
Don’t set goals (i.e.: make $x in '16).
1. Instead, choose results, like ut $x into ____ investment, new house, hire VA, buy computer.
2. List 3 ways that you'll feel when achieved - i.e.: happy, satisfied, excited, or proud.
3. Work backwards from the results. Break them down into tasks to do each day to get to target.
4. Each day, look at list of tasks, cross off as you go, ask yourself, “what do I get to do today to achieve my intention?” Feel.
It's less overwhelming, more exciting this way.
22. Fulfil My Mission of Abundance
I've chosen the word ABUNDANCE to guide everything I do in 2016 and my resolution is to make sure that this principle stays front and center in my business and client work. My mission is to help 10,000 entrepreneurs start new businesses and it's time to start living that vision fully. My resolution is to constantly check myself and make sure that's happening.
23. Visualize Your Goals
My resolution is to stick to my resolutions using a calendar and a few markers. On January 1st, I'll commit to a daily action related to my resolutions. I'll draw a big circle on each date I keep the commitment to myself. Once I can draw circles in each date for several days, a visual chain will appear. I've done this before and with daily success, there becomes an urge not to break the chain. From there, I'll commit to new daily actions. For visual impact, I suggest color coding each action.
24. Pay It Forward
The goal is to introduce 30 of my best friends, business, associates and clients to others in the hope that they can be of service to each other. I will do this without any expectation for a benefit from it.
I will also follow up to see if anything came out of the introductions and if not, how I can facilitate the process for them.
25. The Clock is Ticking
I will not sell my time for dollars. More dollars can always be made, but time spent is time lost forever. Time can NEVER be recouped. You can never earn more time and bank it for later use. Time is truly the most valuable asset we have.
I have never heard of anyone on their deathbed say, 'Gee, I wish I had spent more time in the office'.
The truth is, there is no way of knowing when we wake up in the morning that this is the last day I will be alive. DON'T WASTE YOUR VALUABLE TIME!
26. Explore Uncharted Areas
In 2016, we have decided to venture into areas where we have not gone before, i.e. take up orders that are not in our comfort zones, that push us further and help us grow both in character and as a business. There's nothing wrong with playing it safe, but it is our main goal this coming year to go out there and take risks, get involved in orders which are more challenging in terms of their magnitude, stricter client requirements, etc. which many shy away from. The intent is to broaden our horizon and expand.
27. ''Self-Talk'' Transformation
If you say “I can’t handle this”, you more likely can’t. Your subconscious mind believes the thoughts it hears. You can limit your abilities by telling yourself you “can’t”, that “this is too hard”. This is going to be the year I say I can. I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I am successful in business. I can exercise and have a healthy body. Join the self-talk revolution and create the life you before could only dream of.
28. The Answer is Yes
"The answer is yes, the question is how." This is not just a statement, but a way of life. I believe all things are possible if a person desires it enough to make it happen. This is the cornerstone to H J Whitley's life, "The Father of Hollywood". When your only belief is success, it is your only outcome. Even when life offered lemons, he turned it into lemonade. He made his lemon orchards into Hollywood.
29. Get Everyone Fan Braggin'®
Our goal is to get the world to Fan Brag. Fan Braggin'® is promoting someone else in business. It's leaving positive reviews and sharing good business. Fan Braggin'® is being intentional about word-of-mouth referrals. We started the Experience Pros Radio Show in 2009 in Denver. We're now broadcasting in 12 markets and we're planning to add television in 2016. Everywhere we go, we hope to shine a light on companies doing good things and taking great care of their customers. #fanbrag
30. The Stock Market
There is no doubt in my mind that Koos van der Merwe, a Technical analyst calling for a collapse in the US economy starting in 2016 is correct. His prediction based on the Kondratieff Wave and the Presidential Cycle is very convincing and his predictions over the last 4 years have been exceptionally accurate. I shall be selling my stocks and moving into cash in 2016, probably from mid-March.
31. Cannabis Cocktails
I'll be changing the world of cocktails by including the formerly forbidden healing ingredient named Cannabis. My 4th book, Cannabis Cocktails will be published in June 2016.
My resolution is to change the world as we know it now!
32. Business New Year's Resolution
My goal is to create over 30 online videos for my business.
The focus of the videos will be digital marketing tips and trends. By creating high quality, informative videos, I'm confident this will be a great marketing outlet for our digital advertising agency in 2016.
This will require a lot of preparation, equipment and time. We have already executed on the strategy though, so we're looking forward to creating more online videos this upcoming year!
33. Resolutions Aren't About You
New Year's Resolutions don't have to be all about you. You can resolve to "Pay it Forward." My resolution is to finish the workbook that goes with my new book, The Homeless Entrepreneur. As a formerly homeless person, and a TED Global speaker about homelessness, one of the things I do is help other entrepreneurs, particularly the boot-strappers! Since starting a business got ME off of the streets, I think “giving back” by helping other homeless people is a solid New Year's goal.
34. Be Present and Grateful
My business-related New Year’s resolution is to take the time to enjoy the work that I do. Being present and grateful for what I have is a healthy change of pace from the constant “growth” mentality that has driven me in the past and continues to drive most businesses. I want a solid business with healthy and happy staff. While growth is great, 2016 will be all about a ritualized appreciation of life starting with my business.
35. Educate, Educate, Educate!
My New Year resolution is to educate as many women possible that you do not have to live with pelvic pain. Pelvic pain is physical, mental and emotional. Millions of women in the US suffer and can’t have a normal sexual life. I’m a perfect example. I had it, but overcame it. I invented a medical device solution that helped me, and is now helping other women today. I need to reach as many women possible and let them know there is hope and a solution and you can enjoy a pain free sexual life.
Tara Langdale-Schmidt of VuVatech
36. Focus on Solutions, Not Sales
Engage directly with IT professionals to solve problems and provide solutions instead of pinging them with sales messages.
Buying behavior has changed for consumers across all types of purchases whether buying an app for a smart phone or a sophisticated IT solution. Embotics resolves to let our product convey value to busy IT professionals. We encourage free downloads and trials and let them come to us with questions.
Michael L. Torto of Embotics
37. Delegate & Help Others Succeed
Many small business owners are control freaks that have a tough time letting go. When running a business, this is an absolute track to failure. There is not enough time in the day for owners to have their hands in all aspects of the business. The best way to run a successful business is to empower your employees to become successful. Recruit and train smart, motivated employees and give them the autonomy to get the job done. Your employees will flourish and so will your business.
38. Lean Back and Listen
Let the community do the talking and share experiences.
It is important to give your social community a chance to not only interact with your brand, but with each other. Spreadshirt resolves to get out of our customers’ way and let them talk to each other. We will facilitate peer to peer interactions without censoring. This is a great approach to building community and brand loyalty.
39. New Year's Resolution
My 2016 New Year's Resolution for my business is to boost our social media presence. We're building our audience, but I think we could do so much more with original content, special social media discounts and behind-the-scenes photos of 5 Starr Salon and Spa!
40. New Year's Resolution
Our goal for 2016 is to advertise our e-commerce website more to attract more customers. Our e-commerce site can put our company on the map on a national level.
41. Lights, Camera, Sales
As the owner of a gourmet fortune cookie bakery who sells almost exclusively online, my success directly correlates to regular new product rollouts. My resolution for 2016 is to develop and photograph my new creations well before my designer needs them for our websites and social media campaigns. I am overflowing with ideas to bake and I have several new hires who I expect will free me up to be able to tame the ravenous content monster. My chocolate dipped delights are ready for their close-up.
Be 100% present in the moment.
43. Choose What Success Looks Like
Instead of making a resolution punch list, this year, go further by figuring out what a successful 2016 means for you. If you have struggled with fulfilling resolutions before, this could be a remedy to that issue. Many people don’t set an expectation because they don’t want to choose or be responsible for their own life. Many don't realize they have a choice. So, decide for yourself what a successful 2016 would look like by creating an action plan around your success vision.
44. Disrupt and Don't Conform!
My business resolution for 2016 is to not be a follower in my industry. My goal is to be disruptive and not conform to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by renewing my mind and strengths in running a business. With this new mindset, I’ll be able to focus on my business in a new way and grow from there!
45. Massive Momentum in Minutes
I purpose to be more intentional with how each activity is conducted throughout the day. Efficiency and effectiveness are my top two priorities. 1) How can I do it faster? 2) Does this need to be delegated? 3) Is it impactful, not merely impressive? 4) Am I energized or agitated by this task? 5) As a result of this commitment, has it challenged and changed the fibers of my internal being? One minuscule act has the power to create MASSIVE IMPACT! A tiny seed produces a towering tree!
46. More Write Equals More Invites
The things you think you do worst can be the main thing that keeps you in first. I love to write the short pieces with quotes and ideas, but it is the articles that can be printed in newspapers, magazines and blogs that can keep your brand moving for years to come.
My resolution is to write more articles, so that I can get invited to more opportunities.
47. Hold More Parties 4 Employees
My resolution for the New Year for my business is to hold more parties for employees. Retaining good employees is more important than ever. Hence, my resolution is to focus more and more on employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees are also the best referrals for future hiring.
48. Your Health and Your Wallet
It's a cycle we keep feeding year after year: Americans indulge over the holidays and then, make New Year's resolutions to get healthy. The great majority of us also tend to overlook something else that needs to be healthy – our health insurance plans. Sometimes, it isn't even our fault. Healthcare can more often be a maze of confusion rather than the safety net for good health that it is supposed to be. Resolve to be diligent in taking care of your health and your bottom line.
49. Turning Down the Heat in Here
In 2016 I resolve to:
Enable distributed energy from renewable resources.
Enable coordination between power utilities and communities to provide locational specific benefits.
"It is in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply — and the way forward is through technology.”
- President George W. Bush, 2007 State of the Union Address
"Basically, the technology for disposing of waste hasn't caught up with the technology of producing it."
~ Senator Al Gore 1992
50. Make a Difference
The meaning behind companies is what motivates and engages both employees and consumers. My resolution is to make a bigger difference through my company next year. We already give back to the communities that create our wares, but I want to do more to help break the cycle of poverty and engage in a positive cycle of growth in these communities. In 2016, we will keep that vision front and center.
Antoine Didienne of Vavavida
51. Pair Up for Success
2016 is going to be the year of partnerships for us. We've had so much success when we've partnered with people and other groups that have diverse experience. We learn from them and they learn from us, and in the end, it's our customers who win. We're focusing on building our network to be even more expansive and diverse, so we can pool that expertise to create the best product, the best customer experience and an even better business!
52. Stop Trying So Hard!
Stop trying so hard. Since 2015 was my company's year to really take flight and acquire new contracts, I have found that I said "yes" to everything and everyone. I pushed the proverbial envelope to the extreme and that's just not healthy for anyone. In 2016, I promise to sit back and rely more on my instincts and the teams of professionals that I have around me in order to successfully and effectively get the job done for all of my clients.
53. Inspiring in 2016
My resolution for 2016 is to be inspiring for my small team. I strongly believe that if you have the right people working on something, you'll be successful. Sometimes, I get focused on tasks and project management, and I want to consciously focus more on leadership in the sense that I will be thinking about how to engage my team and create success for them individually.
54. Turn Managers into Coaches
My New Year’s Resolution is to drive our team to become better at coaching one another. This begins with my commitment to coaching our managers to become even better at giving employees continuous feedback and staying focused on getting 1% better every day. Supporting an environment where managers are coaches will help us grow from 65 this year to 120+ employees by the end of 2016.
55. 2016 New Year's Resolution
Our New Year's Resolution this year is to gain more reviews on Google. We will be encouraging customers who are impressed with the work we've done for them to let the world know how their experience was.
56. Use the Free LinkedIn Shovel
LinkedIn free membership gives you a lot of information as to whom viewed your profile to your LinkedIn Pulse Articles. I will be digging a little deeper in this data to find potential ideal clients and then, making outreach. Being a free or even paid member and not taking advantage of this data that is right in front of you every time you visit your LinkedIn Profile is a big mistake.
57. Take Control of Your Calendar
Take control back over my calendar! Actively blocking off time to get actual work done, before the meeting requests start flowing in.
58. Life is a Staircase...
I would have to say that my business New Year's resolution is to take on the new year with profound insight, understanding and clear new business goals-- while putting emphasis on the "first step". You see, so often as business owners, we tend to look at the "big picture" and not think about the process of small steps it takes to get to the big picture. 2016... the year where small steps complete the ultimate vision.
59. Keep My Energy Barrel Filled
I work with my "human thoroughbred" clients to ensure their energy barrels are kept full. We need to take care of ourselves like a star racehorse to perform professionally. I normally follow my own advice, BUT my yoga teacher moved a few months ago and I've not yet found a replacement class. So, 1st on my 2016 to-do list is to make time for weekly yoga classes & other self-care routines. When we ARE the business, we need to protect the "Golden Goose"!
60. Do Less
My resolution is to "do less." I don't literally 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 single task to 40+ people, you have to learn to trust and push other people to either run with the ball or even put out the fires. My resolution is to not just say "I’ll do it" but "do less" by developing the team so we’ll be able scale to 100 more people.
61. Credit & Capital, the Two C's
You've got the greatest idea/product(s)/service since sliced bread and romance, but no money for marketing. You will never get distribution. With enough capital and credit, you can explain your dreams and put them across to a consumer audience. There is no doubt that in our advertising driven culture, you're nothing without exposure. Credit and capital, the two C's are the secret to success. Keep that FICO score up and success will not be out of your reach. Reach for the Cs.
62. Get Your Money Right Tour
My business resolution for New Years is to go on a Summer Tour teaching financial literacy to low income populations! The tour is an extension of free courses our company offers through the Get Your Money Right Bootcamp.
63. Stop Chasing Goals
Our team's resolution is to stop chasing goals. Goals are usually inflexible, effortful and defer your happiness to tomorrow. Instead, get process oriented. Cultivate a meaningful intention focused on a loving passionate purpose filled with benefits for all. Make the process enjoyable and you'll enjoy life now and each day - supremely in the present. A joyful process is sustainable and therefore, you accomplish far more.
64. To Help Every Baby Flourish
In 2016, we will strive for the opportunity to reach as many babies as possible to be a part of the foundation that helps them thrive. Our mission is to see every baby flourish.
65. 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.
66. Acquire New Customers
My New Year's resolution is to make a list of the customers I want to target. My goal is to acquire at least 10 new customers per month.
67. Give Back to Start-Ups
My New Year's resolution is to find a constructive way to give back every month to other start-up businesses. Also, I plan to video conference more to allow for a healthier work/life balance.
68. New Opportunities
Using the same methods, I hope to turn over a new leaf and breathe new life into certain prospects to generate better leads and greater opportunities for the business.
Do you have a business-related New Year’s Resolution that wasn’t included? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!