While the calendar has been changed to reflect the new year, it’s likely business as usual for most—at least initially. Client systems will hopefully continue to operate at maximum efficiency, calls to the support desk will resume once everyone returns to work, and the mail carrier will still bring the bills and checks (more of the latter are appreciated).
But the new year should be a time for positive change. A fresh start for every business: A time to reflect on what went well over the past 12 months as well as what didn’t and what must change. Before getting back to the normal routine after the holidays, take a moment to assess your business and make a commitment to do something that will make it stronger and more successful in 2013.
A new year’s business resolution may be tactical, such as trimming field costs by 10 percent in the first quarter, or more strategic, such as completing multiple stages of an advanced QuickBooks training program. You could even ask your team what they’d like to see change in 2013 and go from there. Whatever the resolution may be, don’t forget to put forth a plan of action, as well as the steps or activities that need to be completed successfully to accomplish your goal.
The key to achieving any resolution—whether the calendar shows the date as New Year’s Day or the Fourth of July—is the commitment the individual makes to seeing it through to completion. If the endeavor is simply too lofty for the resources of the organization, its chances for success are minimal. For example, doubling annual sales may not be a realistic goal for the owner of a long-established one-man solution provider not looking to make major investments or hire a new employee. But adding a new BDR service to their solution portfolio is definitely a feasible (and profitable) objective.
Of course, resolutions don’t have to be complicated or life-changing to be worthwhile, and some of the most beneficial activities don’t require a significant amount of time or money. By making a simple plan and blocking out an hour or two each week, most of these commitments can be seen through to a successful completion. Whether it’s a personal goal or a business objective, realization can only come from proper planning and execution.
There really is no limit to the number (or scope) of business resolutions an IT professional can make, but here are a few common suggestions:
- Join a new group or organization: Identify a local or regional organization where other professionals and prospective customers gather.
- Add a new service to the company’s portfolio: Research the opportunity with current and prospective customers, assess vendors who can help, strategize and construct a business plan … and then execute it.
- Take a class (online or at a local college): Identify an area of the business that could benefit from greater skills—and make a concerted effort to find and obtain the appropriate training.
- Commit to a weekly business review: Increase usage of internal metrics and employ industry benchmarks to identify opportunities and challenges. Then make changes to enjoy greater success!
- Invest the necessary time: The final key a successful new year’s business resolution is carving out the time needed to make it happen. How can a busy solution provider pack more into an already strained schedule? The most successful entrepreneurs begin by offloading a few of their more repetitive activities and training subordinates to take over some of their less-important routines. That frees up time to undertake new business endeavors and work on the strategic plans needed to ensure long-term success.
Now that 2013 has officially arrived, have you made your commitment to a new year’s business resolution?
Neal Bradbury is Vice President of Channel Development at Intronis. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual platinum sponsorship program.