Hello 2016! What will the New Year bring for you? Typically, we reach midnight on New Year’s Eve with lots of excitement, laughter and a sense of hope that this is the year to make all our dreams come true. A clean slate, a fresh start.
Then it’s the first Monday back at work and you realize that everything you didn’t get to before the holidays is still piled up on your desk and you begrudgingly begin sifting through it (which takes a good week or two). With hope diminishing, rekindle that excitement by taking 30 minutes to follow the following advice from a recent article in the Review Journal:
Everyone sets resolutions, but successful people set goals that are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Goals come along with actions that will help you achieve those goals. And actions without deadlines will never happen. We all know that it’s pretty easy to say “I’ll get to that project tomorrow or next week” when there’s no one breathing down your neck about completing it by a certain time.
So with that in mind, here are 6 New Year resolutions every business owner should make to start the new year off on the right foot.
- Get organized. Physically and digitally. How can you stay focused on what you are doing at work when there are so many distractions? Besides keeping your desk area tidy and filing or removing everything that is not of immediate importance, you have to unclutter your digital world. Clean up the pathways through folders to get to where you need to go, delete all the emails from 2013 you still have sitting in your inbox…(Don’t worry we all know deleting emails is hard!) According to a recent article from the Review Journal, Successful people know that having an uncluttered, organized environment can help foster productivity and enhance mental clarity.
- Reduce operational costs. This is a very underrated goal. Think about it, if you can earn the same amount of money this year, but it costs less to run the business this year compared to last year, won’t you actually be making more money in 2016 compared to 2015? Reducing your operating costs is like free money. Sure, some things might take a few dollars to implement (like getting LED lighting or a new boiler) but the payback can be huge! Plus there is a free service in BC to help businesses see what they can do, if they qualify for incentives and advice on what technology to purchase. Visit BC Hydro’s Business Energy Advisor Program.
- Set your systems up properly. Tracking and measuring is key to understanding if you successfully met you goals at the end of the year. No matter what it is, make sure you have a means to track your progress. Whether it’s tracking the value of your social media interactions or your electricity bills, if you make changes to what you’re currently doing, you need to be able to measure the difference. Are you tracking your carbon footprint? If not, it might be time to start. 2015 was a pivotal year for climate change with the world committed to reducing all carbon emissions. Track your carbon footprint by creating an account at www.ecobase.net.
- Improve waste diversion. Recycle, recycle recycle…. and compost? Everyone could be doing better to reduce and divert waste at work. But you won’t know this until you take a look at what you throw away. Plus, depending on where you live, there may be fines awaiting you for throwing something recyclable in the trash. It might actually pay to recycle more. Try to get on top of this by engaging your staff in a fun and interactive waste audit, to get everyone involved in identifying what’s in the trash and what can be diverted. Click here to better understand the benefits of reducing waste at work and for a free guide on ‘How To Conduct Your Own Waste Audit.’
- Review your core company values. Are you still the company you were in 2015? If lots has changed, has this affected you values, mission and business plan? If so, make those tweaks (or overhauls) and then engage everyone in a fun and collaborative way so that everyone is clear on what the company is focused on achieving in 2016.
- Share your story. In this age, a transparent and humble business is a trustworthy business. Help yourself grow by sharing your story, why you started the company, how far you’ve come, what you’re doing for the environment, the community and your staff. Showing the broader public that you have taken the time to reflect on your journey and where you’re heading keeps you accountable to your actions, and shows everyone you are running your business for the right reasons.
Make sure you let everyone know your new, lean, efficient and sustainability focused resolutions, goals and timelines. With everyone in the same headspace and focused on the same goals, you will be unstoppable this year!