Now that 2013 is officially upon us, most of us are reflecting on the past year and making our own resolutions about what we want for the new year. So, in that spirit, I have asked the wonderful CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their own personal business-related New Year’s Resolutions for 2013. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.
You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Make it All Count!
My new year's resolution is to Make It All Count! Every action I take, every course or special report I read, every purchase I research and act on...it must ALL COUNT!
No more throwing away my precious dollars or my even-more-precious minutes on items, ideas or action that will not positively benefit me, my business, my family or my life. My money is hard-earned, my time is finite - if it does not provide positive progress, I will NOT dedicate any of my precious resources to it.
2. Help Others Meet Their Goals!
My 2013 resolution is to help others meet their health and wellness goals. I want to empower people to tweak what they eat and how they move to create a lifetime of wellness!
3. Nail the Niche in 2013
Finally getting your niche identified is a must as you head into 2013. Most businesses think that they know who their customers are, but until you sit down and actually describe them and give your ideal customer a name, you really don't know.
Focused attention against your specific niche will be the best marketing spend you'll make in 2013! Getting back to basics will save you time, make your marketing dollars go farther, and bring you a much higher level of success in growing your business.
4. Pay Me Now and Pay Me Later
I deliver my work on time and within budget, but usually have to suffer the slings and arrows of slow payers and subsequent poor cash flow. No more, I say! I resolve to break my historically bad habit of not requiring a deposit up front before starting any project. By paying a deposit, the client will have less to pay off when the work is complete and I'll have more working capital along the way. Whether it's a press release, website content, or an ad, I will clean up my payment terms in 2013!
5. What is Your Passion?
When I worked in the corporate world- a poor fit at the time, I supported a variety of personalities.
One man in particular would always open his meetings with the simple words: "What is your passion?"
If you want to make just one resolution in business, it is essential to find out what is your passion.
Without passion for your job or your business...YOU WILL fail!
6. Have the Best Year Ever
Resolve to have the best year ever! Carefully set specific goals, be positive, work smart more than hard, and realize that time wealth and balance in life are as important as profit. Read great books, listen to great audio tapes, give back to your community, under promise and over deliver, and sincerely care about your clients AND employees. This year, do that one special thing that you always wanted to do, but just keep putting off. That's my resolution for 2013, make it yours as well.
7. Focus on Social Business
For the past 10 years, we have been chasing "Social Media" and applying traditional marketing tactics to Facebook and Twitter as pseudo broadcast channels. In 2013, we will focus more on transforming business to be more socially engaged, more aware of who our customers are, more open, and more driven to service wishes and desires of our customers while presenting them with services and products to make their lives better.
8. Plan to Improve Results
A) establish quantitative, measurable goals for next year
B) prepare a monthly operating budget by line item based upon my goals and compare my actual results to it each month
C) understand if I am ahead or behind plan and will implement written, objective action plans to get back on track
D) hold myself and my people accountable for achieving their goals
E) pay any bonuses based upon their results versus their goals
9. Set Vicious Goals
Shake off the dust and realize that you can be anyone you want to be and achieve anything that you want to achieve. Set the bar high and then, raise it higher. Your challenges and setbacks make you even more qualified to achieve success. It's YOUR year; go get it!
10. Just Be Human
Remember people buy from people, from human beings. Sure social media is great as a communication channel for attracting attention and beginning to build relationships. However, business still requires the human touch, the handshake, the open ear, the smile, the interactions between two human beings. Touch one human being each day with a phone call, a meeting or even a handwritten note. You will be a far better person for taking that action.
11. Do Well ($$$) By Doing Good
I resolve to pop the lid off of my money-making potential in 2013. I will do this by helping more people, using the plans that I have set forth to do just that. If I need more help and resources to get those projects going, I will ask for exactly what I want. My purpose in life is to inspire & motivate others to live life more successfully and to make their own contributions to the world. To do this, I will be more visible, available & strategic. I will follow my plans of giving to others.
12. More Sales Calls More Business
Get the laws of probability working for you. The more sales calls you make, the more business you will close. Business is a numbers game. Increase your contact/call numbers- increase your business.
13. Respond in Minutes, Not Hours
Decades ago, getting contacted by a business within several business days was acceptable. Then, email made the conventional response time 24 hours or less. Now, with social media, recent research has shown that you have 30 minutes to leave a customer satisfied with your answer.
Next year, we're dedicating an employee to be constantly monitoring our social channels, so that they can begin answering a question the second they receive it. In 2013 (and beyond), we've learned that every second counts.
14. Ditch the Resolution
Don't wait to do things in your business for the new year! Begin making those changes and implementing them NOW! Start keeping better records or organize those files now instead of waiting around! Your business will thrive and grow more now rather than later!
15. Reviewing the Situation
As was made famous by Ron Moody in "Oliver', I am Reviewing the Situation...http://bit.ly/zyXEzo.
Now is the time of year to evaluate where you are & what is important to you. In 2013, we will be reviewing our client relationships. Those who believe in long term relationships that are profitable for all parties concerned will be embraced. Those who are merely looking for the lowest price will be replaced with clients who see our value as a strategic marketing partner. #GettingYOUNoticed
16. Remember Rule #6
"The Art of Possibility" introduces us to a vital rule: "Don't take yourself so damn seriously." My resolution is to have a blast living this maxim.
When we take ourselves too damn seriously, we're set up for a number of problems. One is that we won't take risks, for fear of looking foolish. Another is that we're too sensitive to criticism, forgetting the big picture and getting lost in image-management. Finally, work isn't fun anymore and we become horrible bosses.
Remember Rule #6.
17. Your Heart's Desire 2013
As 2012 draws to a close, make your quiet time precious to review the year. Reflect on your happiest moments and what they all hold in common. Or, do you have a secret wish of something you would like to accomplish but were never in a position to give it a try? Create a plan of action to put your idea(s) into the real world.
Many people may scoff, but with the drive and plan to make something happen, anything is possible. Education and perseverance help make it a smooth sale!
18. Follow Up with Your Resolution
My business-oriented New Year's resolution is to review my list of business goals for the year on the first Monday of every month for the second half of 2013. Most resolutions are good ideas and, if followed through, effective and valuable. However, it is my experience that they are long forgotten by March. Make following up part of your resolution and greatly increase the chance of their success!
19. Acquire More Clients
My goal is to acquire more clients in 2013. The best way for me to do that is to do an aggressive, targeted marketing and advertising campaign so that I can attract more qualified prospects and close more sales. Overall, my goal is to acquire at least 5 to 25 new clients per month this year.
20. Build More Social Equity
The world we live in gives us an opportunity to market like never before. Most people take the opposite approach and launch products first, and then attempt to build social equity. I've learned that building social equity first is a great way to get exposure for things that you launch later, and this New Year's Resolution is dedicated to building a ton more social equity.
21. Education, Fluff or Buff?
Without meaningful education, employees become disengaged and businesses become weak.
In 2013, AmericanWay University is making learning easier than ever by launching custom online courses and webinars geared towards the assisted living industry. Truth is, money will be spent on employees. You choose if you want it to be towards investing in growing skills or cleaning up messes? Want a strong 2013? Lose the fluff and add more buff to your business. We are removing obstacles to help you grow.
22. Working on My Business in 2013
In 2013, I will spend more time working on, not in, my business. I will spend more time developing and marketing info products. I will find new ways of monetizing my existing wealth of content.
I hope you have a successful and prosperous 2013.
23. Pay Attention to the Numbers
I am notoriously delinquent in keeping track of metrics - those golden yet pesky numbers that tell you how well your marketing and other efforts are paying off. Even when I schedule time to review Google Analytics and other metrics, I have found that I don't do it consistently. And if I'm really busy, this is the first thing that gets bumped from the schedule. I know that strategic decisions are made with metrics and I have resolved to do better with looking at and evaluating them in 2013.
24. Connect to My LinkedIn
My 2013 main business resolution is to connect to my LinkedIn connections. I have valuable business owners on my page who have connected with me and I plan in 2013 to reach out to many of them and build business relationships and partnerships. This is my number #1 task for 2013.
25. Move Steam Ahead!
What better way to start off the New Year, but by picking up the pace in business for 2013. Now is the time to gather your staff for a mastermind meeting to plan ahead for an even better 2013!
We like to plan a New Year's resolution for our personal goals. How about asking your staff what's their New Year's resolution for improving business growth and profitability?
Establish an agreement and then, make the company commitment a priority starting in January 2013.
- Happy New Year!!!
Thanks to: Faithe Rogers.
26. Don't Wait to be Asked!
Rather than waiting for a customer or client to approach you, go find them. Shyness has no place in a winner-take-all competitive marketplace.
27. Lose Those Twenty Pounds!
I’m going on a crash diet in 2013. I firmly resolve to lose those twenty pounds – of paper. I’m going to limit my diet to vegetables, fruits – oh, wait, that’s a different diet. I resolve to lose twenty pounds a month. How? By limiting the amount of paper that comes through these doors. This way, I will work more efficiently, and both my clients and I will benefit.
28. Delete, Create, Promote!
1. Clear inbox of all unread newsletters, promotional emails and delete subscriptions that I never read anymore!
2. Create the year's project-creation and marketing calendar and follow it!
3. Take more time off to have fun away from electronics!
4. Finish creating my deck of Wisdom Cards, promote it and make millions!
29. Paying it Forward in 2013
My 2013 resolution is to grow my professional network through earned media rather than spending money for advertising. Specifically, this will be accomplished by promoting the talents of my colleagues, fellow authors and business owners through reviews, blogs, social media and feature interviews. The more one gives, the more that comes back through favorable publicity, referrals and - most importantly - the nurturing of new friendships and the building of trust.
30. Why Santa Works Year-Round!
My biggest New Year's Resolution is to do three high-payoff marketing activities EVERY morning, BEFORE I do anything else on the biz. It's so easy to forget that consistent marketing is what brings consistent profits. Do you think Santa makes his list and checks it only once a year? Consistency in marketing brings in a steady cash flow and alleviates sleigh loads of unnecessary stress.
31. Business Disaster Planning
Hurricane Sandy's devastation to businesses on the East Coast should have every company owner planning for disasters. This includes a physical and financial plan that takes into consideration property damage, supply chain disruptions and ample insurance coverage. Of all businesses that close after a disaster, 25 percent never reopen their doors.
32. Becoming Clear is a Necessity
We are going beyond setting goals. We are working out a plan to become very clear and concise on what it will take for each and every goal to be met. We are having a brain storming weekly session to create the process to achieve each and every goal.
33. Benefit from 200+ Experiences
Having helped leaders not get over-extended and then miss great opportunities, consider that until you truthfully know your financial strengths and weaknesses, how can you justify anything except “do more with less” or even "do even more with even less”. Often, the results of “finding those million dollar blind spots” is some combination of improved profitability or risk mitigation.
34. Reward the Right Behavior
When I have special offers or promotions, I am going to offer them to people who have opened a set number of recent emails first. It really should pay to open emails from people - and I want to reward subscribers who are interested, loyal, and willing to make the time to read what I send out. This also means that I'll be pruning my list more and managing my outbox. My goal is to engage more with people who want and need the content/services that I have to offer.
35. Create Multiple Income Streams
Look at how you can integrate additional income streams into your core business. For example, if you own a salon or fitness business, integrate a Fat Burning coffee product or a Purified Water Filter that you offer clients anyway. You do not need to stock or sell these products; their companies are part of The New Business Paradigm and just by exposing it to your clients, you make money and show them how they can too. It is the new win-win-win of working smarter, not harder.
36. No Resolutions, Just Results!
Statistics say that the average person makes a resolution and doesn't keep it past 30 days. So, why set myself up for failure? I'm not! It's that's simple. I haven't made any resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, or anything like that in years (I'm okay with my fluff and I don't smoke), but I have made "promises" to myself to stay on target with different goals and personal challenges.
This year, I've got a great app for planning and an accountability partner! No Resolutions, just results!
37. The Open-Minded Paradox
My Business/New Year’s Resolution is to try to be more open-mined when interacting with others and to seek to find open-mindedness in others.
Confirmation bias and harmonization of repetitive thinking are two examples of the numerous human frailties that seem to make open-minded thinking difficult, particularly in large groups seeking a common goal, while unable to demonstrate real progress in reaching that goal. Yet, who among us would deny being open-minded?
38. Take a Break!
In 2013, my business resolution is to allow myself more downtime. As a serial entrepreneur with 4 start-ups under my belt, my days fly by in a whirlwind of flurry and activity. For 2013, I will strive to take more breaks and attempt to work much fewer 18 hour days. Will it happen? That remains to be seen.
39. Incentivizing Employees
Our business resolution at Uproar PR is to continue incentivizing employees to help us build our business. Each quarter, we take a hard look at our employee programs and find ways to improve upon them. No matter what a company does, I feel it is important to constantly keep your programs interesting and fresh!
40. My 2013 Resolve
I resolve to acknowledge that: You are your own best guide and your intuition always overrides "experts" advice. Life is meant to be effortless and flowing. And working harder does not equal better results.
41. From Book to Film - Mercy!
If you told me a few years ago that I would create a business around my life story - that of a really ugly person, I would have said that you were nuts. Well, my goals in 2010 and 2011 were all focused and achieved around that. Now, in 2013, my #1 business goal is to translate that book for film and have it picked up by year end. Ambitious- yes! Doable? Absolutely!
My tasks, activities, resources and needs are in place, and I am ready to go. Mercy!!
Wish me luck.
42. Thou Shalt ALWAYS Take FREE PR
If an opportunity to get interviewed for the advocacy project I run comes up at the last minute, I pledge in 2013 to not say no. FREE PR and FREE EXPOSURE opportunities denote that radio talk show hosts ARE interested! You just don't know who might be listening. You don't know IF a listener has connections to take things to the next level.
43. I May Be Fast but I'm Not Easy
In 2012, I learned the not-so-subtle difference between providing exceptional customer service and being a patsy. I think the straw that broke the wussy's back was working on and delivering a video on Thanksgiving Day. Or it might have been missing the Bruce Springsteen concert so that I could finish a launch video for a client. There IS a difference between giving 110% and being a fool. In 2013, the new watchword is boundaries"! I'll continue to provide great service, but on my terms!
44. Resolutions Suck- Try Evolving
Basically, you want to evolve yourself!
There is no better time than NOW to make a change, so instead of wasting effort on New Year’s resolutions which mean nothing, try a New Year’s evolution in 2013, and maybe you too will discover some of the amazing joy and confidence which I have found!
Try out a New Year’s “evolution” on yourself, and focus on the positive side of life instead of what you don’t like about life.
Resolutions last days…
Evolution Lasts a Lifetime!
45. 2013 Resolution
To become the next Christopher Hitchens, noted author, speaker, philosopher and atheist, but without the PhD or the drinking.
46. Less IS More
I am a Life Coach and have to confess that I have been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of resources that hit my inbox. I realize how much time I have wasted deleting or sometimes skimming countless tips from experts, so I decided to spend some time auditing my inbox and will make some cuts in 2013. I think of my E-zines like my friends; I would rather have a few really close ones that I rely on, instead of hundreds of acquaintances that I never really get to know!
47. I Wrote the Book, Didn't I
I set aside every excuse and wrote a goal setting book, "What's Your Excuse?" Then, I made every single excuse you can think of and frittered away a whole year of business. This year, no matter what, no matter how, Canvas Creek will effectively launch the certified coaches program. I knew that I wanted to do this since the first moment of concept inspiration. People want to become coaches; I want them to do it... now, all I have to do is launch my excuse for success. It's time. No Matter What!
48. Take it to the Next Level
We made a bold move bringing the rubber duck industry back to America where it was invented. Someone had to, as every rubber duck was being made outside of the USA! It was a great beginning in 2012, but in 2013, the goal is to totally recoup the tremendous expense of creating this venture, in addition to having the Hatched in the USA ducks provide a minimum of a quarter of our revenues. It will only expand from there year after year. A bold prediction that we are confident of achieving!
49. Learn Less and Do More
Next year, I intend to learn less and do more. The biggest risk now is not of having too little information to be successful, but having too much. It's all too easy as a business owner or entrepreneur to spend so much time and energy learning about product development, marketing, social media, on-line tools and so on, that it becomes difficult to actually get started on new products and to get marketing activities underway. In 2013, I intend to stress less about learning and do more!
50. The Best Thing to Remember
I promise to treat my business like a spouse- never let it see me sweat.
51. Take Steps to Achieve Goal
Mistake #1 in setting New Year's resolutions is in believing that all you need to do is make up your mind to change. To be successful, you must plan and manage the consequences needed to get to the behavior change you want. To do that, start small. By setting small sub-goals, you have more chance for success. Also, create a visual to measure your progress and share it. The more people who see your progress will reinforce you for it. Thus, you will be more motivated to keep at it.
52. Connecting Once Again
In 2013, we resolve to bring back our web video series, Media for Hire, because it's a great way to connect and have fun with our online audience.
53. I Can Hear You
As always, our big focus will be on listening to our clients - but even more on making sure our interpretation of the client's needs are accurate. Even when a pitch seems to get the whole room excited - we can get caught up in false assurances that we are on the right path, when the client has a totally different understanding of what the end result will bring. We've added more ways to interface and report back to clients to prevent miscommunications and frustrations all the way around.
54. Leadership Training on Cruise!
My business-related New Year's resolution is to conduct a Health, Wealth, and Leadership Excellence Cruise Event in 2013. I have already started talking about this wonderful event as I believe that for every dream to become a reality, we need to share it with as many people as possible.
I also want to grow my business income by 10X so that I can spend more luxury quality time with my lovely family. When thinking about various ways to generate passive income, the sky becomes the limit!
55. Become a Household Name
Market myself- Market myself- Market myself!
-Flooding all of the social sites, constantly, with my name
-Blogging articles with my name
-Radio shows, from FM, AM to internet radio
Everywhere where masses of people can hear, see or read, my name is to become a household name, so if a person mentions it, the other says, "Oh yes. I've heard of him also".
A person must hear or see something 4 to 5 times before purchasing. It is my job to ensure that happening for me.
The squeaky wheel gets oiled!
56. Life lessons from Lewis&Clark
I am a big fan of Lewis and Clark, the great explorers of the western U.S. I am convinced that how they approached their mission is exactly how we should approach challenges that we face in life and business...life is full of unexpected twists and turns, dangers and unforeseen opportunities, like their expedition. There were no maps to guide them (as is often the case in life). They had a goal (find a water passage to the Pacific) and the rest they improvised. Sounds like a life well-lived to me!
57. Create Tons of Content
Our business New Year's Resolution is to create as much content as possible throughout the year. Our company goal to provide businesses with marketing solutions, so we will consistently aim to produce informational pieces that will help businesses learn the tools of marketing, see what's happening in the industry and stay informed. We will also aim to create pieces on Inbound Marketing - a concept that companies in the information age need to consider!
58. Spread the Wealth
One of the mistakes entrepreneurs make is to try to do everything themselves. So this year, resolve to hire professional help. By doing this, we open the possibilities for doing work that cannot be delegated. Having assistance allows you to focus on work that is creative and revenue enhancing. The systems that are in place can be shared or delegated to competent help. Training and hiring professional help supports them financially and helps build their resume as well.
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!