The new year has arrived, and all the resolution-makers are in full swing improving themselves for 2017: hitting the gym, curbing their spending, changing their diets, and kicking bad habits.
But what about making some professional resolutions and improvements? Surely your business could benefit from some fat-trimming or muscle-building as well. So in the interest of professional progress, let’s take a look at five resolutions for business success in the new year.
1- Start Fresh
Now’s the time to take stock of your workplace environment and ask yourself if the things you rely on each day are helping or hindering your progress. Because if your office space is more riddled with workarounds than it is conducive to productivity, you’re going to spend a lot of time on the wrong things.
For instance, what about that touchy fax machine you spend twenty minutes fiddling with each day just to get a document to a client? Or the keyboard with the missing “t” key that requires you to copy and paste all day? Or perhaps it’s the coffee machine that needs to be carefully monitored during each new brew just so it doesn’t erupt. Do you really want to spend another year holding it at a precise 45 degree angle just so that coffee will come out in a steady stream?
While you don’t need to completely overhaul your workspace and break the bank in the process, see what replacements are doable within the budget and make those investments. Although they may seem like big expenses now, think about all the extra time you’ll have each day for productive things. And time, as they say, is money.
2- Try Something New
Improving your immediate surroundings can really do wonders for your outlook, but it isn’t a panacea. You should also think about switching up your daily work routine to keep things motivating, if not a little challenging for yourself. If you tend to do a lot of routine tasks day in and day out, you may find they start losing their meaning. When this happens, you can easily grow distracted, and that’s when your work starts to slip.
Avoid this trap by trying something new. This can be any number of things: moving your desk, learning a new skill that makes your job easier, going to lunch with someone in a different department; anything that can give you a new perspective and keep you sharp. You’ll find that shaking up your routine can help you move out of your comfort zone, that deceptively desirable place where creative ideas and motivation go to die.
3- Be More Social
You can’t operate a successful business in a bubble, so make a point of opening yourself up to new opportunities by upping your presence on social media this year.
Even if you prefer one platform over another, try posting across as many networks as you can so that you’ll cast a wider net to your audience. Make the most of social platforms by using them to share ideas, connect with customers, and welcome feedback as a vehicle for improvement.
If you’re company is new to social media such as Twitter, for example, you can follow some of these great tips to get started.
4- Delegate Where You Can
You are only capable of so much in a given day; it’s unrealistic to think you can do everything on your own all the time. As you approach this new year, start thinking about the kinds of work you excel at and what your challenge areas are.
It may be helpful to make a list of all your tasks in a given time frame, say a month. Make note of the tasks that you’re best at and most enjoy (often these go hand-in-hand), and those that you struggle with and don’t enjoy as much.
When you’re done, look over your least favorite tasks and see if any of them can be delegated to another team member who would perhaps be more efficient and preferably happier doing them. This will cut down your workload and your stress factor, freeing you up to spend more quality time on the things you’re best at.
5- Don’t Let Fear Limit You
The new year brings with it the prospect of change, which for many can be scary. But change is also a catalyst for bigger and better work, and after all, you only got this far because you were willing to make a change, right?
So instead of being limited by your fears, channel that energy into positive change. By giving yourself permission to take some calculated risks, you open your business up to a world of new possibilities: partner with another business, market your services better, invest the time into that company rebrand you’ve been meaning to do for the past five years. Go for it in 2017.
You never know what might happen. And not knowing is the most exciting place for you (and your business) to be.