Happy New Year: 5 Resolutions to Make This Year a SuccessHappy New Year !

Wow — it’s hard to believe it’s 2012. I’ll probably write 2011 for a couple of months before it sinks in.

All the holidays are over; the company’s gone home, and all the fattening foods are relegated to the trash bins — replaced by vegetables. It’s early enough we’re still keeping our new year’s resolutions.

I want you to add another item to your resolution list: Resolve to make this year a success

Make this year a success

Plan for a successful year

If you want to make this year a success, plan for it. Set goals that are challenging, fit your mission, and are concrete. Then:

  • Try something new – doing the same old things will likely generate the same old results. Try something new. Add some new marketing tactic to your arsenal.
  • Get to know your customers – engage customers more in social media by asking them questions, asking for their ideas, or create something new for your company like a YouTube video, product concept or new promotion. Let them know they matter by responding to everything they post on your wall or every mention on Twitter.
  • Delegate more – don’t try to do everything yourself. One person running a business can’t accomplish nearly as much as a team working together toward a common goal. Your job should evolve toward being a MANAGER, not running the business. Hire great people to run the business, inspire them, and celebrate their accomplishments (and help them learn from their failures).

Measure KPIs

KPI are key performance indicators — basically those aspects of your business that create success. Part of making this year a success is measuring KPIs and striving to improve them.

  • Determine what your KPIs are. And don’t be fooled into just measuring KPIs that translate into immediate success, like controlling costs. Look for KPIs that underscore growth — things like customer satisfaction, new product development, and superior customer service.
  • Track performance on KPIs. Some KPIs are easy to measure, but others are harder. Set up a schedule for assessing your KPIs and build a dashboard so you can see how you’re doing at glance. Success relies on not just seeing how you’re doing, but charting your KPIs over time to see what changes are occurring. So, your dashboard should contain views of KPIs over time. Look at how your KPIs change over a period, such as a month, quarter, and year, but also look at how today’s KPIs compare with the same date last year. This removes some confounding elements such as seasonality and gives you a clearer picture of how your business is really going.