Yup, it’s 2014 already! And since sharing a resolution or goal with others often helps with the achievement of that goal, it’s now a carolroth.com tradition to ask our fantastic CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their own New Year’s business Resolutions for 2014. Let their resolutions give you inspiration 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 the Wizard!
It's so easy to look for Glinda to come down in a bubble and just give me whatever I'm looking for. I'm resolving to forget the slippers, the bubble, and the wand... and be the WIZARD. I know that whenever I take control of my own future, great things happen. I resolve to keep that mindset in all that I do this year.
2. Stay Up-to-Date with SEO
Having a strong mobile and Internet presence is going to be so important in 2014. One of our resolutions is to stay up-to-date with any and all changes in the SEO arena. Search Engine algorithms change so frequently; we will stay on top of the best practices for SEO next year!
3. Get the Word Out More
In 2014, I want to get the word out more about company successes. This would be in the form of press releases for new client wins, client awards, new service offerings, etc. I will post these to all of the social media outlets and my LinkedIn Groups. Many companies have significant "wins," like we have in 2013, but are lax in promoting these wins to the media, industry analysts, and prospective customers.
4. Ramp Up Marketing Activities
My goal for the new year is to ramp up my internet marketing activities. This includes developing new valuable content for my website and distributing that content through social media sites and the search engines so that I can generate B2B leads for my business.
5. Publish My Second Book!
I'm publishing my second book in 2014! After selling out of my first book in one month, this second book will prove to be another best-seller! All from a guy who worked as an executive assistant in the grim reality of private banking for twenty years.
REINVENTION is going GREAT!
6. You Can Have it All!
You can do anything you put your mind to! I balance specific goals & process goals (if I do this, good things happen):
More new business - both specific goal & process goal (meetings per week)
More efficient - goals & process
More time off - the more efficient I am, the more time off I get with my family
Fun adventures with the family - plan 1-2 per year
Better health - and enjoy doing it - work out, eat better
You CAN have it ALL!
7. Get Ready for Your Close-Up!
#1 Celebritize YOU and your business in 2014! Forget what you learned in school about the media and treat your messages - who you are, what you do and what problem you solve - as the STAR! 2014 promises to be even more fast-paced when it comes to using media, where a strong message is a boost to your bottom line. Don't think about TV, radio or print anymore, because in 2014 the media is EVERYWHERE and we are our own broadcasters 24/7. This is especially true when we're using social media.
8. Revamp Client Acquisition
Not very creative, but both daring and crucial- we have always been top-notch at serving our writing clients, but we have sucked at client acquisition. In 2014, we plan to revamp our client acquisition channels, starting with a brand new website focusing only on our writing services, and then, pursuing ads on places like LinkedIn, FaceBook and Google. Organic SEO and social media will no longer be our sole client magnets.
9. Keep it Simple
Life- both business and personal- seems to work best if it's as uncomplicated as possible. Many cost-cutting ideas work beautifully if "keeping it simple" is the foremost thought.
Thanks to: Kathleen Anderson.
10. Be One of the Few
Only 8% of the people who set resolutions actually achieve them, according to research by University of Scranton. It is easy to set resolutions or goals, but where the rubber meets the road is actually achieving them. If you have set resolutions in the past and have not achieved them, possibly now is the time to figure out why and change those attitudes and behaviors, unless of course you like living in insanity? Make your resolution to be one of the few and stop being one of the many.
11. Fearless Investing in ME
As a small business owner, I live project to project in fear of spending any money beyond the day-to-day bills. The problem is that we begin to feel this world of scarcity is normal, when it really is a self-fulfilling prophecy. My aha moment came late this year, understanding the meaning of "it takes money to make money" and the value of investing in my company and myself. My New Year's resolution is to find a mentor that has already achieved the success I want to help guide me to my goals.
During 2014, I am committed to conducting as much business as possible while moving. I am saying goodbye to fattening business lunches and hello to brisk walks, Zumba, and yoga with my client(s) or staff member(s)!
13. Blog the Night Away
My 2014 resolution is to blog much more. Blogging in 2013 helped my marketing firm business grow and I went from zero blog subscribers to over 1,900. I hope by the end of 2014 to have over 7,000 blog subscribers, as my blog is now getting nearly 25 new subscribers per day. Blog, blog, blog baby! You will be amazed at how blogging will help your business grow, especially if you promote your blog at triberr.com (which is free).
14. Make the Dream Finally Happen!
My New Year's Resolution is to "make the dream finally happen!" I intend to complete my book, "Bald Courage" so that I may inspire cancer patients across the country through my book and through speaking. Breast cancer took my life and my business to a halt. Now, I am back and I am grateful to be alive. It is the perfect New Year's resolution for me... and it is time for me to soar.
15. Stop Waiting for the New Year
It is a common habit. "Well, NEXT year, I'll do this better!" Why wait?
Why postpone financial success, time management changes that will make your life easier & business more efficient? Why hold off on implementing revenue generating programs? Isn't it really just a mechanism for rationalizing procrastination?
Resolve for 2014 that your business is too important to wait. Unless you sell Christmas Trees, there is no reason to wait to connect, innovate, improve, and reduce cost. Do it now.
16. Skip the SMART Goals
Skip boring, bland goals. SMART goals are forgotten before January is even over because they don't inspire you.
10X your possibilities for 2014 with a crystal clear vision. Start by re-connecting with your purpose and passion. Follow these 3 vision creation steps: 1. Choose a BIG challenge. 2. Make it personal. 3. Create a story that's full of emotion as you see yourself achieve your vision.
The best visions feel uncomfortable. Charge forward. Make 2014 your best year EVER!
17. Cut the Business Fat in 2014
My one main business-related New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is to cut the business fat! This means unsubscribing from blogs and newsletters you don’t read, stopping magazine and newspaper subscriptions you don’t read, cleaning out your home office or off-site office, saying goodbye to those who don’t support you and your business, ditching memberships that haven’t benefited you or your business and tossing out the negative mental chatter that's held you and your business back.
18. Turning a Book to a Screenplay
One of my major 2013 goals was to adapt my book, Shedding the Corporate Bitch, into a film screenplay - it was completed November 1. What an adventure that was.
For 2014, my main goal is to sell/option the screenplay, think "The Devil Wears Prada meets My Name is Earl".
Learning a whole new skill, business, and industry has been a whirlwind. But I am loving it! Here is to an awesome 2014!!
19. Is "the Answer" a Question?
Are you looking for the answer to craft your new year's resolution around? Could a question would be more useful? Have you considered that a question creates possibilities, including those that the universe knows that you haven't thought of yet? A decision, answer, or judgment limits your choices to what you've already decided is possible. Is that really in your best interest? Try these: What else is possible that I haven't even considered? Or how does it get even better than this?
20. Resolution #1 is to...
Actually, our one and only resolution is to continue working towards the aggressive, quarterly and annual goals that we have already set. We work in industries where things change quite rapidly and the resolution that we have found best is to STAY on our goal-driven tasks. Happy Holidays to Everyone!
21. Double it Up
We are planning to double our 2013 revenue in 2014. A lofty goal? Sure. The first resolution is to revise our business plan and create action steps for getting to our big, hairy, audacious goal.
22. Set Action Steps, Not Goals
Goals are nothing without concrete, doable action steps.
Choose 3 big goals, and then commit to taking 3 SMALL steps every week per goal to make your goal happen. The results you want will come about much faster.
Don't wait for New Year's - do it now!
23. Resolve to Evolve
For New Year's 2013, I decided that instead of resolving to make one or more broad, sweeping changes that would revolutionize my very existence, I would resolve to pick one, SMALL thing to work on to change my business. I advised my followers to do the same. What you accomplish with this strategy is an evolution in your business as opposed to a revolution. It truly works and I'm ready to do the same thing for 2014!
24. Expand Your Circle
Make 2014 the year that you expand your sphere of influence- those you influence and those that influence you. By adding more people and connections to your sphere of influence, you let in more opportunities which lead to new horizons and future potential. Making a change in your approach and increased desire to meet more people and take advantage of networking happenings will be an effort that is bound to add to your future success in so many ways. So, start the expansion.
25. Give Your Biz Plan a Tune Up!
Just like your car needs occasional alignment for peak performance, a company's business plan requires ongoing adjustment to serve its owner properly. The economic climate changes daily, so be sure to reevaluate your strategy as the business progresses.
A good plan is designed to change often to meet fluctuating business conditions and new opportunities. Start the new year with your company vision in alignment with your personal vision so that you (and your team) are driving toward the same goal!
26. The "F" Word
Entering a new year gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect and re-focus on our key priorities and personal goals.
The "F" word: FOCUS.
It's something that had not quite gelled in my mind until I was watching an episode of Shark Tank last fall. It was a comment that Mark Cuban made to an entrepreneur whose business plan pitch was too scattered, despite their potential to make money.
"You need to focus," he said. "That's the recipe of success."
27. Three Legged Stool
It worked in 2013, so it's carrying over into 2014: 3, and only 3, goals. All activities need to be in support of 1 of these 3 goals. NO chasing after shiny new ideas and objects, unless they somehow forward one of the 3 goals. Goals that honor our personal and professional values get results!
28. No More Stupid Clients!
For 2014, I want a gaggle of clients that will listen to me! If I recommend doing a video, they say "yes!" If I recommend a DRTV campaign, they jump on the band wagon and write out a check. Okay, so this is a dream resolution. The fact is that we all want these kinds of clients, but more than that we want MORE clients. Even clients that question anything you do are better than no clients. So, my number one resolution for 2014 is to have a bunch of clients, even crazy ones.
29. Learn to Let Go
My main resolution for 2014 is to learn how to let go. I am going to aim to let go of small tasks and assign these duties to various parts of my team so that I can focus on other important aspects of my business. By letting go of a thousand small things, I will free up so much time to focus on the bigger picture at my company.
30. See Me Everywhere!
My New Year's resolution for 2014 is to build my brand, both personally and for my site. I plan to get my name out as much as possible to set myself up as an expert in personal finance and to market my site as the place to go for information.
31. Pinpoint Priorities
I resolve to lead my team to work on fewer priorities and communicate daily with each other to maintain focus and accountability. If ePromos can accomplish our top priorities, those that really drive the business, we can have a significantly greater impact than addressing even a hundred low-priority items. I will make sure that these top priorities are clear and simple, so they are understood at all levels of the company.
32. Surprise and Delight
My New Years' Resolution is to surprise and delight my clients as often as possible!
My customers pay for personalized service and it's my goal to go above and beyond what they expect as often as possible. Whether it's weekly check-ins to make sure that they have what they need, a few extra minutes on the phone, or just good old-fashioned excellent work, I want them to feel that they are in good hands, all the time.
33. Become a Social Media Pro
My New Year’s resolution is simple, to get more organized in terms of how I interact with loyal website users and potential new customers on social media outlets like Facebook. The one tool that will get me there is HootSuite.com. It allows me to plan ahead in terms of our Facebook feed, schedule all of our updates in the morning and have it all done automatically throughout the day. So far, it has freed up A TON of time to do the day-to-day operations of running Rather-Be-Shopping.com.
34. Write It or Pay
My New Year's Resolution is to write one blog post a week about an issue related to my business, Kuli Kuli, otherwise I will pay my boyfriend $100. As a former marketing professional, I know that content marketing and thought leadership is critical to growing a startup. Not only does it drive customers and SEO, it can also help to position your business as a market leader. As a young entrepreneur, the thought of losing $100 is a big incentive for me to write!
35. Ex-IRS Agents Webinars Galore!
As a professional tax firm that specializes in resolving IRS tax disputes, Landmark Tax Group's 2014 resolution is to provide 52 free webinars in 52 weeks. Our complimentary webinars will provide practical information for individual and business taxpayers to help them address their current tax disputes, reduce their chance of an IRS audit, and simple ways to stay off the IRS radar. Our intent is to help the public have a better understanding of their taxes and the agency that collects them.
36. Take the Negative Hit Faster
My combined New Year's resolution for both my skin care brand Kaunis and for myself as an actress is: “To take the hit faster”. In general, I’d like to be faster in decision making, contacting people and getting stuff done. But to be able to take the negative feedback faster and get over it really quick to move on would be awesome.
Anna Easteden of Kaunis
37. Host My First Summit!
I plan to host my first multi-speaker virtual summit: The Antianxiety Food Solution Global Summit. My goal is to provide practical food-based and nutritional solutions for anxious, stressed, panic-stricken and overwhelmed women so that they can feel on top of the world again! I will also share the new cutting-edge science supporting the powerful food-mood connection and will invite nutritionists, mental health professionals and allied holistic health professionals.
38. Think More and Read Less
In a world with endless supplies of information and points of view, my most valuable asset is my ability to think and create. Scanning through articles, clicking through postings and ordering books that contribute to the tower of knowledge stacked up on my night table rarely gets me to the kind of "ah ha!" moment I get when I let my mind just think. Asking "What if?" or "How about?" is an opportunity to create. Asking "What is?" or "How come?" only gets me so far.
39. Really Answer the Questions!
My 2014 resolution is to spend more time answering my tribe's questions. Sounds simple - but in the hustle and bustle of the business day, it can be hard for me to devote time in answering the "why" as well as the "what" whenever a question is asked about a process or particular situation. If I can spend the extra time answering the "why", I'll fuel even more motivation and understanding from what is already a very talented tribe of dedicated individuals.
40. Write Shorter Emails
My New Year's resolution is to send shorter emails. Using MxHero, a tool that measures the length of my emails, I found that 30% of them are over 100 words. This wastes time for myself and for my readers (mostly employees and customers). My goal is to get to only 10% of emails over 100 words.
41. Two Steps Forward
Do the two things that you know you need to do but have been putting off. They are important tasks but not your favorite things. These are things that can significantly change your business. Put them on your calendar and get them done. Create an incentive to help yourself do this. Your future depends on it.
42. Isn't it ALL Small Stuff??????
Growing up, we were all taught to not sweat the small stuff. As I get older, and hopefully a little wiser, I have come to realize that most of the stuff we really sweat about IS the small stuff. I, for one, will be taking the time to evaluate what are the REAL "gotta haves" in my life, what are the "nice to haves" and what makes up the rest. 2014 will be a year of sorting through the noise and the clutter and focusing on what really matters. Wishing everyone health, happiness, peace and prosperity!
43. ALL Year Resolution Secret
Our New Year's Resolution is to be your ALL Year Resolution solution! We want people to think of us as "that New Year's Resolution clothing line". Our goal is to sell 10,000 of our "I will" shirts. Personalize yours or choose from "I will make better bad decisions", "I will text less & talk more" & others. We believe people want a little help achieving their goals, so, like pinning a note to your shirt, we hope to remind them all day long.
Set a goal...succeed...be happy.
44. Say Goodbye to One-Offs
If you're in a service business, decline to work on one-off projects or with one-off clients. Instead, look for accounts that will provide you with on-going work. Then, watch your profits soar.
45. Yes is the Biggest Enemy of No
I will always make time to jump on quick calls giving free advice to entrepreneurs, but after the initial 'Yes' (taking the call), I will say 'No' quickly if a single call turns into repeat requests for free consulting time. Yes is the biggest enemy of No and No is what keeps you in business as a consultancy.
Fabian Geyrhalter of FINIEN
46. Embrace the Drop in 2014
My New Year’s Resolution for my business is to ride the roller coaster of entrepreneurship with my eyes wide open. As many business owners and entrepreneurs know, the downhill approaches can come suddenly.
So, I’m going to embrace the drop in 2014. I think it will speed up the growing pains of starting out in business and actually make it more fun as well.
My belief is that, sooner rather than later, the ride will no longer affect me the way it did in the beginning.
47. Focus on Thought Leadership
In 2014, I will focus on thought leadership for my company. I've spent a lot of energy in other areas and neglected the thought leadership aspect.
48. Whistle While You Work
Doing 'Business' has to be converted from 'Work' to 'Enjoyment'. Practicing having fun throughout the day is mandatory. I'm uplifted & everyone I make contact with, from employees to clients, are all uplifted.
When I am enjoying, so is the world around me, & it all becomes a playground. It is in this kind of environment that everyone prospers, business grows & draws people to wanting to work with you and be around you.
Business, work, pleasure, and enjoyment of life are all combined into one.
49. Follow the Clues
My New Year's resolution for 2014 is to study the habits of successful real estate agents in my company and to look for small things that I can implement to mirror what's working. It's been said that success has clues. It's time to follow the clues.
50. The Squeeze Play
New Year, New You? Make a list of all the things that you don't want to happen. Make a real list and it should make you depressed, mad and sad. Now, write the mirror/opposite of each of those. i.e. (don't want) fat and overweight, (mirror opposite) slender and thin. Now, burn the don't want list and look at what you do want. Make it simple and ask yourself what is one thing that will take me towards my desire of being slender and thin. Now, smile and take the first step!
51. Think Smaller
My 2014 New Year's Resolution for my business is to Think Smaller. My goal is to expand my inventory to include smaller, inexpensive creative products, making my brand accessible to new markets and increasing reach and visibility.
52. A 401k for the Future
As a CPA, I help other people manage their finances on a daily basis. Following my own good advice, this year my resolution is to set up a 401k plan for my accounting office and to take advantage of contributing to a Roth 401k for myself so I can retire without a tax bill. This is something that requires an investment upfront on my part, but it will benefit both myself and my employees over the long-term.
53. Cut Down Expenses
For 2014, my resolution is to reduce any company expenses because there could always be a downturn in the economy, resulting in sales dropping, and thus causing any debt payments to become exceedingly more difficult. One tip I’d like to follow for myself and offer to other business owners is to cut the expenses and do not take on any more debts.
54. Set Down the Luggage
One of my favorite movies is The Darjeeling Limited, directed by Wes Anderson. It's a tale of three brothers who take a journey of discovery, burdened - quite literally - with their father's luggage. Ultimately, they unceremoniously set it down. Consider...what are you lugging around - a business division that no longer works, a tired brand, a relationship that is sucking you dry? Perhaps this year you could just set it down.
55. Sharing Through Internships
To give young entrepreneurs the opportunity to experience a start-up environment first hand through an internship. As is typical with most start-ups, we operate with a limited budget. Not only would she/he be able to make a meaningful contribution, but could become a valued member of the team as well.
56. GGN Push for More Fortune 500
As a full time small business entrepreneur and as Co-Founder of Global Good Networks, it is my goal to delve further into the Fortune 500 world and stop focusing on small businesses segments that have less growth potential and market size.
With major billion dollar Fortune 500 clients and partners already, it is time to find new services and value to offer them, so that we can secure bigger budgets than they are currently spending with us.
The goal is more reliable and larger budgets in 2014.
57. Gatekeeper of What's Important
My 2014 resolution is to improve as a gatekeeper, allowing objectives to be set, measured, and met. I feel off-track when I recognize there's too much on my plate. I plan on vetting incoming information and new ideas in about ten seconds using a question-based decision tree to keep business objectives my top priority. Having a system for managing incoming requests will help me work with increased clarity towards my goals, while protecting my time and energy.
58. To Build a Team
At the core of what I want to achieve in the next year is to build an effective, productive and efficient team, both onshore and offshore. That's a lot easier said than done, so it's not going to be an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination. It's especially difficult when managing people across multiple time zones, but it can be done. The escalator to success is currently broken, so I'll just have to get there one step at a time.
59. Commit to Specific Outcomes
Write down resolutions in permanent ink, describing the how, when and why. For example, don’t say you want to increase your exposure to prospects. Rather, say you want to raise their awareness of your company by placing 2-3 articles in trade publications each month through aggressive PR and outreach. Writing out specific goals on a large conference room wall calendar works well, as do electronic documents using services like Google Drive or Microsoft SharePoint.
60. Take a Break
Take more time off. Although this might seem counter intuitive, if you've been working hard and you're achieving success, you deserve it. Plus, it'll give you the time you need to refresh yourself and come up with better ways to serve your customers. And it doesn't necessarily have to be an extra two weeks of vacation. Commit to setting aside one extra hour per day to non-business activities – you might be surprised at how much more effective you become.
61. Make Wiser Business Decisions
As the owner of a start-up company, my business-related New Year's resolution for 2014 is to make wiser and more effective decisions. Avoiding decisions, making snap judgments, and analysis paralysis is so 2013! Because when it comes to ensuring the success of my business, being able to make decisions quickly, wisely, and effectively is the only way to go.
62. Mastermind to Success!
Join or create a Mastermind Group! The gift that keeps on giving, this group ensures that you face the challenges your business has and allows you to appreciate the knowledge that you and your peers have acquired by being able to share it in strict confidentiality amongst yourselves, so that you can all succeed. You build intimate, trusting relationships, which give you referrals, advice, a kick in the pants when you need it most and celebrate recognition when you achieve your personal and business goals.
63. Better Perspective = Better ?s
2014 will be the year I change my perspective & take control of my business results. I will move from questions like “Why did this happen to me?” & “What is wrong with the customer/industry/world?” to questions like “What can I do to ensure a better result?” & “How I can influence the positive reactions my customers have to my service/product?” Changing the questions & perspective we have to one that is introspective & focused on better results is a foundation of success.
64. Building on Strengths
My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is to focus on building on individual and organizational strengths, so that we can further bolster Rightsize’s core processes, both pre- and post-sale, while also developing our staff to be the best that they can be every day. We are committed to building a team that can work together to directly impact performance, while at the same time enabling us to reach our goals of providing best-in-class customer service and driving future growth.
65. Global and Digital Expansion
Since 1991, we have provided image consulting services to individuals seeking to increase their success in the workforce. Traditionally, we have provided face-to-face services through one-on-one and group training, through private pay, state, federal and local government contracts. In 2014, we are expanding our brand by offering services online, via webinars. This allows us to reach audiences globally. Services will be accessible on computers, iPads/tablets and mobile devices.
66. Go Hybrid
SaaS, cloud and other web solutions have a lot of hype. Many SMBs already have software in place, and can't afford to move their entire company “to the cloud.” To reap cloud benefits without much disruption, SMBs can consider hybrid solutions that connect on-premise software with cloud-based services. Examples are Web-based sales tax calculation services and Web services for creating cost-effective, personalized marketing campaigns. Connected Web services are a trend to embrace in 2014.
67. Lengthening My Telomeres
I discovered something that I can do to improve my business and its performance that no one else can: become healthier by lengthening my telomeres. A telomere is the segment of DNA that occurs at the ends of chromosomes. The longer your telomeres, the better. Dr. Elaine Chin said, "You are your company's greatest asset." Getting at least 7 hours of sleep, eating well, exercising and meditating helps. My business resolution is to lengthen my telomeres one sleep, meal, workout and prayer at a time.
68. This Year, Ask More Questions
Ask more questions, listen better and improve discernment around what and how to act. Create space and time for everyone in the company to disengage, reflect, and recharge periodically. Together.
David Hassell of 15Five
69. New Year's Resolution
Our New Year's resolution is to launch a new tour that is trendy and popular among tourists, both domestic and international.
70. Reaching 77 Countries
A key New Year’s resolution is improved reach and availability of my new business book from 7 to 77 countries by December 25, 2014. Currently, it is available in Australia, Canada, Japan, India, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the U.S. through major book retailers. Future actions include: broadening the overall platform, expanding editorial opportunities, and building on bulk book sales.
71. 2014 Should Involve Video!
If your company is using digital in any way, then 2014 is the year that you've got to step up your game with video. 2013 brought video out from its comfort zone on YouTube and into new spaces like Vine and Instagram. There are literally millions of people walking around with high-resolution shooting capability, an advanced effects library and top-notch editing in their pockets. You have no excuse not to create and share video that explains your company in a way that no brochure or website can!
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!