8 New Year Resolutions For Business Professionals

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by Tom Watson on December 14, 2010

With December nearing an end, it’s time to start thinking ahead to the coming year.

This inevitably leads to the discussion of crafting some New Year Resolutions, which is an important component to your future success.

A resolution is similar to a blueprint in that it gives you a picture of the end goal. The more detailed the resolution, the more likely you’ll achieve the end goal, whatever it may be.

I know that many of you are apprehensive about how the new year will play out. After all, 2010 was a crazy year. Unexpected layoffs, companies going out of business, jobs leaving the country and flat earnings make for a year that most of us would rather forget.

This leads many to sit uncomfortably, waiting to see what will happen next. Still others want to know when things will return to “normal” while everyone else looks for any sign of recovery. I have news for all of you…

You can not afford to wait any longer.

You can’t just sit around and try to “get by” until the economy is once again safe because there is no such thing as “safe” anymore. Most jobs are no safer than the majority of your customer accounts are. You can counteract this trend by being proactive and creating some New Year Resolutions that can help guide you to financial security.

Not creating any resolutions is a risky proposition, as those who don’t learn from the past are prone to repeat the past. With that said, I have a small list of items that should be considered for your list of resolutions. Some are quick and easy while others require more thought, but each is important on some level and needs your attention.

1. Work on maintaining a positive attitude. A positive attitude will take you farther faster than you can imagine. If you have any employees, you need to work doubly hard to keep them positive too. At the end of the day, if you or your employees are not happy it will show through to your customers, so always put on a happy face.

2. Keep in constant contact with your current customers. These folks are your bread and butter. Though some of them may be a pain in the butt at times, they come in handy when your car payment and mortgage are due. Make a commitment to be more than a just another vendor to them. See yourself as a partner to their success. When you take this approach, their success becomes your success.

3. Keep in contact with your potential customers. These are people who either have inquired in the past or who you would like to have as your customer. Call them, email them or just plain mail them something that provides value. You want them to think of YOU when they need your services.

4. Be grateful for what you have. Some people may have more, maybe much more, but untold numbers were dealt a hand much worse than you can imagine. Always keep that fact in your head the moment you feel a pity party coming on.

5. Make a habit of giving back to the community. This can be done in any one of a thousand ways. Perhaps volunteering your time in one way or another to a charity is a good fit for you. This could also mean donating your services to those in need. The options are simply endless when it comes to giving back.

6. Cherish your employees. If you are to the point where you have a few employees, never forget just how important they are to your success. Without them you would have trouble doing it all yourself, right? I thought so!

You many need to hold them accountable from time to time, and you may also need to rid yourself of the bad apples who slip in occasionally (because YOU let them in), but always treat them like GOLD, for without them you couldn’t make your company what it is.

7. Make better use of technology. Use social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln and You Tube to get your message out there. Canvassing office parks and cold calling may be effective when mastered, but your time can be leveraged much more effectively though the new media channels.

8. Set goals for yourself. You need something to shoot for, and goals do that for you. Remember to write them down and hold yourself accountable for attaining them. Try not to make them too easy (or hard for that matter). Create several if possible, both short-term (1 – 3 months) and long-term (6 – 12 months) and keep them visible (posted on a wall or mirror if need be) so you don’t lose track of them.

Setting New Year Resolutions for yourself will create a measuring stick by which you can judge your efforts in the coming year. Whether you utilize this list or create your own from scratch, take a few moments to create one that takes your business to new heights.

Remember, there is no such thing as “safe” anymore. You need to be proactive and stake your claim to a successful future. Let everyone else sit around and worry about what happens next.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 daniel wall December 15, 2010 at 8:07 am

hi i like your pod cast and web site are u on face book u ever clean medical building how did u keep track of all your tasku did in the building
daniel wall

2 Tom Watson December 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

Hi Daniel, I’m glad you like both the site and the podcasts. At the moment I don’t have a Facebook page, but I’m going to get to that in a few months.

Concerning medical buildings, yes, I have extensive experience in that area.

How you keep track of what was done in a facility is really rather easy. When the job is new, it starts with having a check list. The check list is made from the bid you submitted in the first place. Whatever you agreed to clean in the contract is put on the check list. After a few visits you know the place like the back of your hand.

On a more practical level, everyone comes up with their own system. Mine goes like this, you turn off the lights in each section that you complete the cleaning in (of course you must first turn on ALL the lights upon entering). This way, when you have several people working, each person knows that when the lights are off, it’s been cleaned. Though this may be redundant, I then ask the lead crew member to do a final walk-through (turning on the lights) to make sure nothing was missed. This leaves the site perfect, makes the customer happy and keeps the checks rolling in month after month.

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