Have you made your 2019 New Year resolutions yet? It’s the time of year when our thoughts turn to setting personal goals, and it’s fascinating to see what we prioritize.  For example, for 2018, the top New Year resolutions made by Canadians were…

  1. Improve personal fitness and nutrition (33%)
  2. Create financial stability including goals to spend less, save more and settle debts (21%)
  3. Enjoy more travel and leisure (13%)

It also feels a good time of year to start something new – more new businesses are registered in January than any other month of the year. For those of us already in business, it’s also a time to look at our own department, company or organisation and think how we might improve it / grow it during 2019.

So here are five top business New Year resolution suggestions from those already out there growing their businesses.

1. Share your goals with someone

To achieve a goal, you need to commit to it. According to a study by the American Society of Training and Development, you are 65% more likely to achieve a goal if you commit to it to another person. If you then schedule in meetings with that person to assess progress, the success rate rises to an impressive 95%.

2. Involve your employees

Sharing goals has another major benefit – employee engagement. As business author Kevin Eikenberry says:

“Involve others in goal setting and planning. Yes, it is your business. Yes, it is your financial stake and you are the one taking the risk. And yet… your team members are invested in the business too. They spend their time, effort, and energy. Wouldn’t you like them to be more personally invested in the success of the business?”

3. Get the right people involved

Achieving your goals will inevitably involve more time and effort from everyone in your team. If your workforce is already working to capacity, the additional workload may not be welcomed with the enthusiasm you hope for. So, consider the best way to help yourself and your team by adding additional resources. You could:

  • Recruit a new member of staff, allowing existing team members the time and headspace to use their experience to make goals happen.
  • Delegate aspects of projects to specific staff members with the right skill sets.
  • Outsource specific tasks to freelancers, who have the flexibility and skills you need, but without the costs and commitments of new employees.

Our regular networking meetings here at the Chamber of Commerce offer an ideal opportunity to meet new partners and suppliers in Woodstock and surrounding areas, or ask for recommendations.

4. Be persistent

Just as gym membership rises in January as people resolve to keep fit, so attendance also falls away considerably by March! Those who persist with their training are the ones who achieve the desired results. As Melissa Bettin, owner of American Standard Safes says:

“Persistence is key. There will always be obstacles in your path. It’s important to find a way to work around then in order to be successful.”

5. Be realistic

Goal setting is about blue sky thinking – but only up to a point. We’ve all seen smart-suited entrepreneurs on CBC’s “Dragon’s Den” valuing their fledgling company at millions of dollars based on superhuman growth projections. They never get the investment because they are being totally unrealistic.

So, make your goals reasonable and achievable. If you are a two-person company, setting a goal of securing five new major clients each month may be unattainable and unsustainable with your current workload. Instead, setting a goal of two new clients a month could be achieved, to push the company forward without any negative impact on current performance. If you exceed this goal every month, that’s great news; you can always reset the goal to reflect this success later in the year.

Personal New Year resolutions – a few suggestions

The Financial Post asked leading Canadian business people for their financial New Year resolutions suggestions, and there were some fascinating results. Our two favourites are:

“Always buy your gasoline on a Sunday, preferably in the evening, because that tends to be when you will see lower prices than during the rest of the week.”
Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst, GasBuddy.com.

“Resolve to maximize your charitable tax credit by giving more than $200 for the year. For every dollar you give beyond that amount, you get a 29 per cent tax credit federally, and you may reach over 50 per cent tax credit when you factor in the provincial credit.”
Gerry Vittoratos, Canadian tax software company UFile

Helping your business achieve more

Remember, your local Chamber of Commerce is here to help your business achieve more in 2019. Browse this website to discover the many benefits of Chamber membership, or call us during office hours.