Many people view New Year’s Day as a fresh start, an opportunity to make changes and improvements to their lives. New Year’s resolutions like losing weight, improving relationships, or finishing a long-term project are so commonplace that they’ve become clichés; instead, why not use each new year as a chance to make some uncommonly good changes in your business?
Revisit Your Past
Making smart decisions can be difficult if you don’t have a clear sense of where you have been. Take some time to reflect on the original purpose of your business and the way that has evolved over time. What were your major accomplishments in the past year? Were there any mistakes? Have you been involved in a corporate dispute or business litigation? Have you launched any new products or services, made process improvements or innovations? What were the results?
As you think about what you’ve achieved, you will likely discover old ideas that are worth devoting new energy to, as well as a host of potential projects and ideas that may be worth adding to your list of goals for the upcoming year.
Listen to Your Customers
There are few things more valuable than honest feedback, and almost everyone is willing to share their opinion when they are asked. Consider surveying your customers for feedback about your business as a whole or about specific areas of concern. Less formally, make an effort to talk one-on-one with several customers. Ask about their experiences with your company and their overall impressions. Also ask them about their experiences with other companies: What makes them loyal to another business? What has led them to take their business elsewhere?
Negative feedback can be especially difficult to embrace, but it can provide unparalleled insight on your company’s potential weaknesses. Even better, it shows you a path that can improve customer experience and ultimately help your bottom line. Share positive feedback with your staff; it bolsters morale and helps focus on your strengths going forward.
Engage Your Employees
Studies have shown that engaged employees are more productive and loyal than employees who are not. Also remember that their hands-on knowledge of your business may provide them with perspective and insight that will enable smoother implementation of new projects and processes and spark innovation. Look for ways to incorporate employee suggestions and comments into company-wide initiatives and consider creating opportunities for employees to try out ideas in small test projects. After all, one great idea in a committee becomes your company’s intellectual property! Not only can this bring new and useful ideas to your attention, it also shows respect and appreciation for employee contributions, improving employee engagement overall.
Seek Out Experts
Just as your customers seek you out to provide the products or services your business offers, do not hesitate to hire experts to help you in those areas where you may not have a lot of knowledge or experience. Marketing experts can help revamp your company brand. An HR consultant knows the best ways to improve employee engagement. Business attorneys can help you develop corporate strategies that optimize your growth and success. Utilize the resources available to set goals and make the best resolutions possible for the year to come.