Managing Your Business

You've Made New Year's Resolutions for Yourself; Now, How About Resolutions for your Business?

On the personal side, you may have made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat less, exercise more or express gratitude more.  All good ideas to make 2020 better for yourself. But, have you thought about making the same types of resolutions for your business? Here are a few ideas for business resolutions to make 2020 your best year yet.

1.Make the Hire and Stop Overanalyzing it

Most people follow the maxim: “Slow to hire and quick to fire” to make sure you hire the right person and make the change as soon as you realize you don’t have the right person. While that is generally good advice, it could be slowing you down from growth. In Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh, they provide the counterintuitive maxim of “Hire Ms. Right Now, Not Ms. Right”

If you are in growth mode, they suggest you hire the best person available for where you are right now. If you are growing from a small two-person team to a team of thirty in 2020, then finding the person with experience leading a team of 200 within a multinational company may not be what you are looking for or be you can afford. The person you are looking for is someone used to high growth where you still know everyone by name and still have to get your hands dirty on the day-to-day. The person you hire to lead a team today, may not be the leader five years from now when your thirty-person team now exceeds 100, 200 or even 1,000.  That doesn’t mean you don’t hire them right now to get you there.


2.Delegate yourself out of a job - sort of

As an entrepreneur, you always have things you could be doing. Some of these are important and you won’t ever get to them until you delegate some of your other duties to other people. You either have people on your team who can handle some of your work, or you don’t have the right people on your team. In the book, The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhou, she talks about delegating and training your people so that you are out of a job. For a business owner, that means delegating more of the day-to-day tasks so that you can focus on the more important bigger picture issues.  While you do a task for the first few weeks of 2020, ask yourself whether someone else on the team could be doing this. You can still keep an eye on things, but free yourself up to act more like a CEO with the long term success in mind, than someone washing the dishes at night to have clean plates the next day. We all know, sometimes, you got to wash the dishes, but before the end of the year, hopefully you find someone to do that consistently, so it isn’t you.


3.Eliminate dysfunction and discord

First of all, life is too short. Running a business is hard enough without dysfunction and discord in your business. While you can’t choose your family, you can choose your employees. So, there is no need to put up with dysfunction. You already know that if you spend several days talking about one employee, it is a good sign that person may need to go.

If that person is exceptional, super-productive, or a great salesperson, you may want to talk with them about the problems they are creating. Perhaps they are simply demanding excellence and everyone else is the problem. They may not know their behavior is causing problems. Of course, it could be that this person is just extremely difficult to work with.

You may have values of teamwork or value culture. At the end of the day, as the boss, you will have to decide whether those values overrule whatever productivity you are getting from this employee. If they can’t be moved to a different role where they won’t cause so much strife, perhaps it is time to let them go.


4.Learn Something New

I already hear you. You don’t have time with business and family commitments. Learning new things about business is like exercise. If you make it part of your daily routine, it not only becomes a habit but part of your lifestyle. If you commute to work, check out a podcast on your drive. We talked about some of our favorite podcasts for entrepreneurs here.  You can use apps like Blinkist to get brief summaries of the latest business and other helpful non-fiction books. Do you run? Do you walk your dog every day?  All of these present opportunities to learn things that will help you make your business better in 2020.


5.Market, Market, Market

When you are focused on the nuts and bolts of everyday business, it is hard to think about marketing and promotions. Without it, however, your business will die. You can finally take the leap and hire someone or find an outside source to help with your marketing.

If want to DIY, you can finally write down a marketing plan for yourself that is realistic so that you make sure you spend the necessary time marketing. You can find some tips on basic social media marketing tips here. It may also be as easy as making sure you set aside some time to tackle those online reviews that bothered you throughout last year.


6.Plan for success

You may have written a business plan 18 months ago before you started the business, or you may have just jumped right into it. It’s time to wipe the dust off your original plan to account for everything you have learned and all of the change. Or, if you haven’t done it before, it’s time to plan for 2020 to make it the best year yet. Creating a basic business plan doesn’t require a fancy MBA and isn’t too time-consuming. You can find some tips on how to create your business plan here.

7.Button up the legal

You may have been flying by the seat of your pants and gotten by so far. But, in the deep recesses of your mind, you know there are some things you need to take care of legally.  Have you been keeping annual meeting minutes? This easy online minutes manager can help. If you are an online business, have you updated your privacy practices?  Here’s a brief article for a quick legal checkup for online businesses.  


8.Take care of yourself

While this article has focused on resolutions for your business, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of that business. So, keep those personal resolutions. It may seem selfish to carve out time for your physical, emotional and mental health. But, it will help your business as well as you and set a good example for the rest of the team.

You already know there is no magic pill to make 2020 a success. However, you know the basics to make it happen. It’s just a matter of actually putting in the work and sticking to it. With a few improvements, there is no reason this next year can’t be the best for both yourself and your business.

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