Every year I make a list of things to work on the the new year. These are things I’d like to do better or more of. And, as the years go by, I find this process gets more helpful. This is because, I have gotten better at acting on my resolutions rather than just thinking about them.
As a consultant, I try to help my clients do the same things. Here are what I see business people focusing on for their 2008 New Year’s Business Resolutions:
1. The usual suspects: Increase revenue and profits
But rather than just focusing on more revenue and more profits, I see people wanting to make their businesses better, knowing that will result in more revenue and profits. They are focusing more on inputs rather than outcomes.
2. Get better at getting better
They are focusing on their core businesses and getting better at that. They are also focusing on creating and maintaining the processes they need to continue being good at their core business. I see them making the transition from personality-driven, entrepreneurial businesses to process and strategy driven businesses that are well-managed.
3. Improve customer experience
This is a big one for 2008. Small business owners are realizing growth does not come from good marketing alone. You need to deliver a great experience to your customers if you want them to keep coming back. And when you do, they will most likely reward you with more business and referrals. This will be a strong trend for 2008.
Large companies have been focusing on customer experience for a while. Small businesses – not so much. But small business have a huge advantage because their management is typically much closer to the customer. They can easily make their customer experience more personal. But now more of them are starting to realize they need to get into their customer’s heads and see the world from that perspective if they want to increase customer retention and referrals.
So, what about you? What do you resolve to do better (or more of) in the New Year? And, more importantly, how will you stay on track and actually execute your resolutions?