It’s the start of a fresh new year- 2018! And, to make sure that you start it off on the right track, we have once again looked to the fantastic CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their own business-related New Year’s resolutions for 2018. Let their resolutions inspire your own success for the year ahead. 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. Storyteller of the Brand!
My goal in 2018 is to refine the story of my clients. To provide them with tools to differentiate themselves and demonstrate their uniqueness in their categories.
To demonstrate to them, that through authenticity, empathy and exceptional customer experience, a story can be developed and told that solidifies relationships and increases value. It is the year to build champions of the brand, and I want to be the one to enable that.
2. Sales Help Wanted!
We’re down in sales people, so my New Year’s resolution is to hire two new sales professionals, skilled in selling online services for our websites. In particular, our online customer service training. It won’t be an easy task. Most of the good ones are working already! But, we shall find them! We must find them!
3. Everyone Auditions
Over the years, I've grown a great network of close colleagues. I've also got a lot of what experts call distant connections. Next year, I will insist that anyone I hire or talk up as a referral will audition, i.e., prove to me they can do the job. My eagerness to encourage others, it's part of my core brand and has led me to be less tough and exacting lately. So, in 2018, everyone auditions before I put money or reputation on the line. After all, quality and integrity count as much as encouragement.
4. Making Success a Habit
My New Year's business resolution is to make more habits for success in my life. I'm at my best mentally, physically, and emotionally when I've got a plan. Knowing when I'll work out, make dinner, and having that set time for hobbies or reading leads to less anxiety and doubt for me. That makes me better prepared to handle whatever surprises get thrown my way at work.
RaShea Drake of Verizon
5. If You Build It They Will Come
We had this idea to launch a new line of celebrity rubber ducks that we called Costume Quackers that played off parody. Turns out this new line has become our biggest hit ever. In 2018, it seems only logical that we need to build on our success and thus, are already in production on six new ones from The Godfeather to Sargent Peepers Lonely Hot Tub Band to The GameBirds of Thrones. If you had any kind of success in your business in 2017, it's most important to ride that into 2018 and beyond!
6. Time to Go Vertical
In 2017, I had neck surgery and it killed my waistline as it forced me to be stuck in a horizontal position for hours, days and weeks on end... my goal in 2018 is to get up! By getting up, I want to try to climb as many of the great parks and mountains we have in the USA... Now, why is this my business resolution you ask? Research shows that by exercise and getting out into fresh clean air opens your mind to better processing so I can make clearer decisions for my staff and customers!
Chris Carter of Approyo
7. Avoid Employee Theft
Avoid internal theft in 2018 by updating your security measures. Three out of every four employees steal from their employers, resulting in over 20 billion in annual losses. Make it a top priority to update internal safety measures and processes to safeguard your business from both internal and external theft.
8. Sell Everything!
Find buyers for my sculpture, my songs and the Video Tombstone I invented (U.S. Patent #7,089,495). Find a publisher for my book "Cemetery of Lies." Find a publisher for my poetry. Sell millions of copies of my book about some easy-to-use advertising math I developed that can help all kinds of businesses make a lot more money. (The book is called "The Barrows Popularity Factor.") Plus, pick up a lot more business for my ad agency, eat more lobster and play more golf. Want a big 2018? Call me.
9. Work Less, Make More
I'm a multi-income solopreneur because I love the challenge and I never get bored. But, it can feel a bit like plate spinning to manage multiple projects. For 2018, my goal is to outsource more of the busy work that needs to be done, but not necessarily by me. By hiring help, I can get more done (and make more), but have more time to pursue personal pursuits, like a daily nap.
10. PR CEO Vows to Kill Buzzwords
I resolve to refrain from buzzwords and instead, dialogue normally with colleagues as a great new normal would include no more touching base or syncing up to make sure we're on the same page or checking in to see if we need to brainstorm to ensure our goals are aligned, provided we are streamlined and have the bandwidth to break through the buzzword clutter regardless what each of us brings to the table or what is on our plates because, at the end of the day, freedom from buzzwords is empowering!
11. No Resolutions - Goals
After the holidays and before the first week of January, I work on and set my goals for the year including business, personal and financial. It may just be semantics, but I feel a resolution is a rather nebulous, vague kind of thing whereas a goal is more concrete and substantial. My goals this year are a bit of "re-branding" for my studio business based on trends I see and augmenting my freelance writing and consulting businesses with some new success strategies.
12. Make the Ask
Our plan for 2018 is to ask for the business, already.
We do pretty well through word-of-mouth recommendations, referrals, and solid SEO, which means that we've let ourselves get away with avoiding "icky sales stuff"... which isn't "icky" at all if you have a product or service that can really help someone.
At the appropriate time, after front-loading TONS of value, we need to more boldly ask for the business.
13. Build Relationships First
I resolve to be more aware when it comes to my clients', prospects' and associates lives -- business and personal. In essence, building relationships and letting the business side of things take care of itself. This has worked well for me in the past, but sometimes life had become too hectic and it has taken a back seat, which is unfortunate because building relationships is my favorite aspect of business.
14. Plan to Protect Your Brand
Your company will be involved in a crisis and, if you aren’t prepared, the damage will be difficult to contain. Kick 2018 off right by preparing a crisis plan that focuses on four areas: listen, define, plan and learn.
Listen to what others are saying. Define the types of crisis that could happen and rank in order of severity. Plan your crisis team and ensure they are media trained. Learn about crisis behavior through watching; how others navigate their crises will help you handle your own.
Jenna Oltersdorf of Snackbox
15. 2018 Resolution: Say Yes Less
We had a really great year, we created commercials and videos for a lot of good new and repeat clients. But, as things wind down for the year, we're now doing our year-end-review. And you know what? We're still spending too much time chasing leads that make no sense for our brand. In 2018, we're going to spend less time saying "yes" to leads that don't make sense for us. On the upside, we focused our brand a lot this year. Yay team!
16. My Brainy Mission
Train/Coach executives and fast growing companies how to use Conversational Intelligence to better use their brains, so they can build communication, trust, sales revenues, productivity, exponential profit and improved market share. Neuro-transmitters, hormone cocktails, 5 brains, addiction to being right, 3 levels of conversation, creating connection so every interaction is easier, more fun and more fulfilling!
17. Create Corporate Athletes
In 2018, my goal is to have 30% of my staff and team members training for either an Ironman or marathon and we're already over half way there! The mental and emotional fitness one gains through physical training makes them all better leaders, team members, and human beings. My mission is to transform lives and help anyone in my company achieve personal growth through business success. This is my New Year's resolution to accomplish that goal!
18. Improve Time Management
My New Year's Resolution for 2018 is to improve my time management. My business grew a lot in 2017, so now I need to adjust the way that I plan my time to accommodate that growth.
19. Cut Unnecessary Expenses
My 2018 business resolution is something I have wanted to do for a while now, which is to build a detailed view of all outgoing expenses, such as software subscriptions, utilities, supplies, etc. and cut out anything that is no longer necessary. This decline in spending can help the company upgrade office equipment, as well as allow for more company outing opportunities.
20. Video Killed the Content King
In 2018, Celebration Saunas will be focused on reaching our audience through video. We are finding there is a direct correlation between posting a video & related article and our search engine ranking for industry-specific keywords. Many of our customers are between the ages of 40-70 and some have trouble reading the content on websites. Video, directly from the owner, personalizes the information gathering experience. This direct contact with the customer instills trust in the company.
21. Step Up Social Media Marketing
I plan on adding more personal content about my life as an actress and business owner on my social media pages. My followers are responding to video highlights of my skin care routine and how it relates to keeping me competitive in the industry.
Sample action items:
Write more blog posts.
* Increase Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest activity to daily.
* Add 20 new social media contacts per week.
22. Tripling Your Income??
Tripling your income? Impossible you say?! Not quite! Do you want to know the secret? The secret is a coach---maybe several! That's right! Top performing athletes have several coaches. Top actors have coaches. If you want to be at the top of your game, why wouldn't you have several coaches? As a coach, I have multiple coaches. Why? To give my best to my clients and stay on top of my game. Want to join me in tripling your income? That's the secret, plain and simple. Hire a coach.
23. Be a More Compassionate Leader
My 2018 resolution is to be a compassionate leader that is empathetic to the needs of my team. I want to make sure that I not only ask the right questions, but that I also listen actively to every response. My goal is for every person at Shapr to know they are a valued member of our team who feels comfortable sharing feedback, as well as talking about their interests outside of work.
Ludovic Huraux of Shapr
24. Actions That Move the Needle
It's so hard to balance consumption with production. Telling the difference between the urgent and unimportant, and the non-urgent but important can be hard, as well.
For 2018, I'm going to focus on important production. If a serious amount of time needs to be spent on something, I'm going to ask: "Will this move the needle? Am I likely to see a financial return by doing this?"
When photo or networking opportunities arise, I often shy away from participating because I am not confident in my appearance. So, for 2018, I am going to first start with wearing some lip color (I don’t wear make-up) and move up to eye shadow. I will also start buying a few quality pieces of clothing that I can mix and match so that when opportunities for videos, photos or networking arise on the spot, I will always be ready and confident in knowing that I am looking my best.
26. Resolving to "UN"resolve
Resolving to unresolve is a very practical business resolution. Every business challenge does not have to contain a final resolution - because in reality - some business challenges just ARE and, teaching yourself to see the signs of what is a battle and what is a war will make the business process that much more successful. Some battles can be won at the risk of losing the war - whereas some battles are best left to a retreat for the longer goal of an all out victory.
27. I'm No Longer Willing to...
My resolution for 2018 is that I'm putting my foot down and I'm drawing a line and saying NO to things that I don't want to do, that don't suit me or my business. I have a list of things I'm no longer willing to put up with in my business, in my life, from vendors, team members, etc. And I'm sticking to it. If I'm going to make 2018 the best year yet then I have to focus on those things and those things only. I'm simply not doing the things that no longer serve me or my clients!
28. Help Feed Kids Who Go Hungry
In 2018, we plan to share business successes with the community in which we are based. We are planning to donate a percentage of each purchase to help feed kids who go hungry. Each Binxy Baby hammock purchased will provide 10 meals to those in need.
29. Laser Focused on ROI!
My resolution for 2018 is to continue to focus on ROI with each of our expenditures. As we grow as a business, my plan is to remain laser focused on increasing revenue without a commensurate increase in expenses.
30. Push New Boundaries!
Our New Year’s resolution is to stay on the cutting edge of festival fashion in order to continually inspire our customers to reach new heights. Our mission is to inspire individual creativity and empower self expression. We aim to push new boundaries and create new fashion trends throughout each season of the year.
31. All About the User Experience
Our New Year’s Resolution is to improve the user experience of our website as much as possible. We will be working diligently each and every day to A/B test our site to determine what our customers like the best. As an ecommerce store, our website means everything.
32. Be Proactive Daily
My resolution for 2018 is to spend at least two hours every day doing something proactive to grow my business. When you run your own business, it's easy to get caught up in all the daily tasks and not have time to actually take proactive measures to grow. I'd like to put aside 2 hours every day (at a minimum) for this next year, so I can feel like I'm moving my company in a forward direction.
33. Keep Adapting
As we move into 2018, we realized the importance of digital transformation. We just redesigned our entire website in order to portray a more modern look and offer better functionality. Our resolution is to continue adapting and changing to better meet the needs of our customers.
34. Evaluate Each Point of View
With 2018 quickly approaching, my resolution is to view things from as many angles as possible, and not just stick with the status quo. I think it's important to continue innovating, especially in the world of technology. I plan to keep an open mind and explore different ideas.
35. Listen to Your Customers
My goal is to prioritize and focus on what really matters, both in business and personal affairs. I also want to make it a key focus to always listen to my customers, ask them questions, and thoroughly address all their concerns and requests. If you manage to see a given situation from their perspective, you are already way ahead of the game and growth will follow. I am always surprised how many people don’t listen to their counterparts.
36. Create a "Do Not Do" List
My resolution is to have a “Do Not Do” list. Moving forward, I will make sure my ideas align with our mission statement, and if they don’t, move on. In the beginning, I was the guy that tried to do everything on his own. As I’ve grown, I’ve definitely learned there’s a lot of value in networking and building relationships. The relationships that I’ve formed are what’s opening doors for the future.
37. Make 24/7 Training Available!
My main business resolution for 2018 is to create and deliver more online classes, on topics ranging from mind-body mastery, to law of attraction, relationship skills, communication skills, and emotional mastery.
38. Mentor More Military Spouses
One main business goal stems from the buzzword I identified for 2018, roots. Moving from duty station to duty station, military spouses have short term roots. One deep-rooted way to thrive professionally as a military spouse is through a portable career. As a milspouse entrepreneur, part of my mission is to promote portable careers, so I aim to double the number of military spouses I mentor who are considering becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA) whether freelancer, on a team, or as a small biz.
39. Crack Down on Email!
My New Year’s Resolution for 2018 is to crack down on the amount of time I spend sifting through, reading and responding to emails. I feel as if I’m missing out on so many opportunities by keeping my head down glued to my screen when the real world is physically passing me by.
Lori Cheek of Cheekd
40. Invest More into My Business
I felt like I didn't think about investing in my business until the end of the year, when taxes started creeping into my mind. I want to make sure I start investing earlier and often, so I can grow it even more and make my own life easier through smarter choices. Sometimes, we put our heads down, fight fires and forget to think big picture. I want to change that next year!
41. Aligning Practices with Values
Our resolution is to support our goals of changing the face of finance. We commit to hire exclusively women and people of color as we grow our impact investing business in the new year, aligning our money and resources with our values of diversity and inclusion. Through both our investment portfolios and our own company practices, we are contributing to an inclusive economy.
42. Spend Time with Social Media
As a business owner, the 2018 resolution for the business is to spend more time on social media. We want to do more Facebook Live Chats, have an active presence on Instagram, and make products available for social commerce. Social platforms have the capability to drive consumers to our website, email sign-ups, and conversions to sales. We will encourage engagement with our brand through social discussions, public reviews, and other social-based incentives.
43. It's No Longer Optional!
It is no longer optional for business owners, especially solopreneurs, to use tools to make potential customers feel that there is a real person behind the business persona. A profitable business is first and foremost about building relationships. So, in 2018, I am focusing on incorporating more video and audio in my social media and blog postings. And... there are so many free or very low cost tools to create audio and video that, for me, it's a no-brainer!
44. It's All About My Audience!
For years, we've been teaching digital marketing courses for small business owners to help them effectively market their business, increasing their revenue and adding value to our community. We love teaching in person, but everyone is so busy and this year, we're going to focus on providing the same value, but making it easier for our clients. Online classrooms, here we come!
45. Delegate, Not Micromanage
Learn how to delegate more – I have trouble trusting that others can do my job (or even tasks) as effectively. To help relieve worry related to this, take more time to better train our assistants/interns initially to make sure they are learning the right way from the ground up. Don’t assume they always know. Strive to become a better communicator, but don’t micromanage.
46. More Cash to Reward Employees
My business goal for 2018 is to have half a million in cash in savings by the end of the year, so that we can do $100k in bonuses for our staff. This year, we were able to give $40k in bonuses to our team of 60 employees, but we would like to double or even triple that number for 2018. Retention is incredibly important for a business like ours, so the more bonuses and benefits we can give our employees, the better.
47. Expand with Partner Strategy
My New Year’s Resolution is to develop our partner strategy. It's a challenge, but it's the best way to develop markets in Europe and Asia and can also help us acquire new customers in the US. There are companies we could partner with that have their own product but sell to similar customers, companies that would benefit from including us as a part of their solution, and companies who have a business model of reselling products like ours. I’m excited to start off this new project in 2018!
48. Get Smart, Every Week
Attend at least one workshop or training per week, either in person or online. Working in a start-up, it's particularly important to always be gathering tools and resources from other companies and industry experts. I sometimes dismiss email invitations to attend webinars but often find that if the presenter and content are good, I end up walking away with a wealth of new knowledge, all within one hour and at zero cost. Knowledge is power!
49. Set "Unreasonable" Goals
Don’t waste time with “reasonable” goals. Instead, consider what you truly and uniquely believe differentiates you from the crowd, and put resources behind it. Then ask, “How do we get to 10x improvement?” To get to 10x better, you need to reject the incumbent conditions and constraints. You need to commit to using your creativity and new technology to run a completely different race than the current set of competitors are running.
50. Brand Building: Communicate
Being newcomers in the men's grooming industry, we need to differentiate ourselves from the sluggish industry giants. Quality ingredients & superior scents can only take us so far & the customer's re-buy potential is based on their experience interacting with us.
In 2018, we hope to achieve complete satisfaction in our communication with members of our NMR tribe. There will always be issues that arise & each new customer conflict should be seen as a chance to prove our core brand principles.
51. From "Create" to "Connect"
My 2018 Business Resolution involves connecting with more business owners and content creators. I want to build more meaningful relationships in developing a support system on this entrepreneurial journey, as well as in recruiting partners (e.g., affiliates and contributors) for my upcoming events. I’m keeping this resolution front-of-mind by making, “connect” my word of the year for 2018.
52. Operate at Level 10 Integrity
Recently, we updated our values to include: “Operate at Level 10 Integrity”; this is already informing many facets of our business (Ex: Instead of including misleading pay ranges or broad statements about competitive rates in job postings, we give candidates accurate information so that they can decide if applying is the best decision for them). Our New Year’s resolution for 2018 is to make sure that we are holding this high standard company wide, above even profits & other important considerations.
53. Resolve to Say No
As business owners, we're always looking for the next opportunity and eager to please our customers and buyers, but sometimes it's to the point where we stress ourselves out. This year, I resolve to say no. I will listen to my limits, understand my value, and anything that does not serve my business vision or goals, I will say no to.
54. Thoroughbreds Wear Blinders
Be a thoroughbred- wear blinders. Stay focused on your purpose. Avoid the shiny distractions. Post this message on your wall: Is it supporting my business? Is it generating revenue for my business?
If yes, do them. If no, find activities that do.
Mitch Krayton of Krayton
55. Working WITHOUT Meetings
After several days of teamwork, we decided to define a new resolution for next year (2018): "*We will start working WITHOUT meetings*".
The objective of this resolution is to *eliminate interruptions at work* as much as possible. A 30-minute meeting does not rob you only 30 minutes of your time. It steals 15 minutes before (you need to prepare) and 15 minutes
later (to return to focus on your work).
The worst enemy of every creative person is the interruptions.
56. New Year's Resolution for 2018
2017 has been a fantastic year for my business partner Anton Skarlatov, the company and myself. We managed to automate 25% of our bookings, earned higher ratings and added a few more services to our portfolio like Locksmith and Childcare. I'm very pleased with what we’ve accomplished by now and yet, we still have goals to complete. The biggest one at the moment and our New Year’s resolution is to reach 1M customers served in the UK. I’m positive we'll achieve it before the end of 2018.
57. Highlight My Customers More
I plan on using social media, word-of-mouth, and business-to-business connections (like networking events) to help highlight our current customers and help facilitate new introductions.
58. Balancing Act
Since I have two unique businesses (teaching management skills & bookkeeping!) it takes juggling. I want to maintain a good balance between them and try to get as much passive income as I can!
59. Shifting Focus
As the founder of Porchlight, a design agency rooted in retail, I’ve had 14 years of learning, improving and setting New Year’s resolutions. This year, my #1 resolution is to work ‘on’ the business and not ‘in’ the business. My role should be that of a leader and mentor, focusing on the direction of the business and planning for the future, instead of integrating myself into the day-to-day activities. My goal is to remove myself from the everyday minutia and focus on the big picture.
60. Resting for Success
My resolution this year is actually to take more time off for myself. I need to make sure I allow myself to recharge if I want to perform my best and help my business succeed. My plan is to spend time camping, hiking, and generally just being outside. Not only will the fresh air and exercise be good for my health, but I also get a lot of my creative inspiration from nature. This way, I’ll be able to get my rest and come back to work with fresh ideas.
61. To Install a Clock on My Wall
I often find myself never remembering the time when talking with a client. I feel awkward having to look at my phone or computer. My business-related new year's resolution for 2018 is to put up an oversized clock that will take up half of my wall - easily visible, quick to read, and guaranteed to help me always remember the time. Now, what should I do about remembering the date?
62. Create a Playground
My clients sometimes bring children with them to our meetings. When the children run around or start to get fidgety and loud, they might disturb our employees or even hurt themselves. In 2018, I will provide a small area for the kids to play in that will include toys and picture books. It's hard to be bored as a child out running errands with Mom if there are toys around to make the time worthwhile.
63. Be My Own Best Customer
I started a global branding and marketing firm 16 years ago and my resolution is to treat myself as well as I treat my best customers. I want to respect my time on my calendar as if it were an important meeting with a VIP because it is! I no longer want to sacrifice my time to write, think, exercise, plan, etc. to squeeze more meetings and calls into my day. Wish me luck.
64. The Resolve to E.V.O.L.V.E.
In order to consistently evolve, it takes an unwavering internal resolve.
E.xercise and eat healthy daily
V.oice my convictions unapologetically
O.pen my heart to limitless possibilities
L.ead by example personally and professionally
V.olumize the power of excellence and execution
E.xpand my cognitive capacity, clarity, compassion, creativity and confidence
I commit to being: 1) Emotionally whole 2) Spiritually grounded 3) Mentally alert 4) Physically strong 5) Financially prosperous
65. Action Improvement
Any good carpenter knows to "measure twice and cut once."
I've decided that in 2018, as a good Consultant, I'll simply "listen twice before I speak once."
It seems we might learn more and offer better advice to our clients by choosing that pathway.
66. 2018: Inspiration Via Travel
In 2018, my resolution is to travel outside of the country at least one time. What does traveling outside of the US have to do with running a successful design business? My main sources of inspiration come from the environment around me. When I learn from others in different parts in the world, I can apply that experience and knowledge to my future designs. Gaining an appreciation and immersing myself in different cultures is all part of the job- it's the most fun one, too!
67. My 2018 Checklist Process
My New Year's resolution is to have a quality assurance process. I listed all things that need to be done monthly (social media, work-life balance, productivity, accuracy, system check, and budget) and made a checklist for each task. This way, I'll be able to follow-up, call the department's attention and do the necessary adjustments, so we can make sure we deliver 100% satisfaction to our current students and will be able to serve more in the future. Hey, there's always room for improvement.
68. Review NOT Doing Lists
I rewrite my to-do lists each morning, and it really helps me stay on-task. What I've discovered I need to do more, though - review my NOT doing lists.
As much as to-do lists help, I need to track better the "not right now" list I keep to ensure that I keep a bird's eye view of the big projects I should be working toward.
69. Even if There's a Volcano...
I will stop watering down my message and I will persist in sharing it. Even if there's a volcano involved (I run a writing retreat for women in Bali - which has an active volcano).
70. Stop, Continue, and Start
What do I need to STOP doing? What do I need to START doing? What do I need to CONTINUE doing? Go to your office white board or put a big piece of flip chart paper on the wall and put these questions on top of three columns and make the list. Leave that list on the wall for 2018 and you will have a better year than 2017.
71. Giant Calendars
Calendaring! We get better with it every year, but want to continue to improve upon it. It can make or break a business and is crucial to connecting with everyone. We use it to set up emails, social media posts, sales, ordering and everything else in between to make running the business so much smoother.
72. A Year of Ethical Empowerment
2018 will be the year I empower more creative, ethical business managers with the social media marketing and PR savvy they need to succeed in the digital marketplace. I call upon my fellow marketing pros to do the same. I personally have a few decades of music biz experience and several years of modern PR coordination (including a focus on human and animal rights nonprofits). This year, we should combine our skill-sets and our passions to help lift each other up and put compassion above profit.
Do you have a business-related New Year’s Resolution for 2018? Please share it below. And, as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!