Sunday, December 30, 2007

5 New Year’s Resolutions for this Small Business Owner

Determined to be successful as a business owner in 2008? Me, too. Here are my New Year's resolutions. Have some of your own to share? Let us know!

1. Check out assumptions.

When I launched Maternitique last month, I had a promotional plan in place. I executed it. I held my breath and watched as the results fell short of what I expected.

I did the right steps of researching, planning, budgeting. What I didn’t do was ask those more experienced—or even anyone at all—what to expect. My steps were correct, but the expectations were too high.

In 2008, I resolve to more frequently ask fellow business owners for feedback and to consult with my team of advisors.

2. Enlist help.

Friends and family have been offering for months to help me check in inventory, spread the word about my store and take some of the grunt work off my shoulders. In 2008, I resolve to accept help.

3. Set SMART goals, not just goals.

I’m notorious for ingenious ideas, creative suggestions and out-of-the-box thinking. But my goals are often lofty, complicated and ambitious. There are often so many players to involve, so many elements to coordinate and so much labor entailed that they don’t come to fruition in the timeline needed or as flawlessly as imagined.

In 2008, I resolve to narrow down my big ideas into specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals. At least I resolve to try.

4. Make better use of my time.

The most SMART goals in the world won’t go anywhere without investing time and effort into them. To select the best of my ideas, involve other people in testing them for appeal, and really sink my teeth into executing them, I need to focus, create detailed plans with objectives and show up to work each day to make it happen.

In 2008, I resolve to be more respectful of my time.

5. Be a better boss.

Being my own boss is a joy. I love having freedom and no higher authority to report to. The downside is that when I’m not performing at my best, I become an irritating, frustrating boss.

Lately, I have lost my focus, thrown up my hands in frustration more times than I care to count, avoided working on problem areas and could probably have earned some kind of award for procrastination. Have you ever had to work with someone like that? It’s demoralizing. In 2008, I resolve to be a better boss to myself. I resolve to treat myself as if I were one of my employees.

Other suggested New Year’s resolutions for 2008:
Chicago Daily Herald

Small Business: Canada at

Small Business Trends

San Francisco Chronicle

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