New Year Resolution Ideas For Business Owners: Set Objectives, Plan, Do, Delegate

1. Set objectives

As the song from South Pacific goes: “If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?

Without objectives, you can end up drifting. Does another year of plodding along just getting by, or getting nowhere in particular really sound all that appealing?

So set some objectives and give yourself something to aim for. It helps if those objectives are realistic and measurable, so you can track your progress and see where you might need to change course to reach them.

What level of sales would help you develop your business as you’ve always dreamt? How many customers might you need to attract to achieve those sales? You’ve got yourself a measurable objective.

2. Plan to achieve your objectives

You won’t need me to tell you that if you set objectives and then just set them aside and do exactly as you were doing before, achieving those objectives may be more down to luck than judgement.

Also, if your objectives are particularly adventurous, they can initially seem too large to ever get too.

So you need a plan, one that breaks your objectives down into steps or stages, with a list of tasks to help you clamber the ladder of your objectives bit by bit.

3. Actually do it

You’ve set some realistic and measurable objectives, you’ve developed a plan to achieve them, now it’s vital to actually follow that plan.

Sound obvious? Well it is, until the phone rings with a customer enquiry, or there’s a problem with a supplier…..and you’re soon just plodding along again.

If there’s a risk of that happening, invest in a notice or whiteboard and write up in big letters your objectives and your performance to date. When they’re highly visible, they’re less easily forgotten about than the plans gathering dust in a drawer.

If you’re going to reach for the “I just didn’t have time” excuse, it’s time for resolution #4.

4. Delegate

Hijacking the theme song of the Record Breakers tv programme of the 1980s: “If you wanna be the best and you wanna beat the rest, ooh ooh DELEGATION’s what you need”.

If you don’t have the time to set objectives, let alone develop a plan or follow it, then you must be spinning so many plates that you’ll do yourself a mischief. It’s no joke seeing folk who’ve literally been working themselves into the ground.

Big businesses didn’t get that way by having their founders do everything from the first sale to the first £billion.

If you don’t want the “expense” of letting other people do some of your tasks, consider that your time is money too. Is your time better spent doing what you do best, or managing all the accounts, the IT, etc, too? Could you not earn more by focusing on what you do best than the cost of having others do the other jobs for you?

There are people who see delegation as a sign of weakness and doing everything themselves as a source of great pride. Well, compared to leaders of bigger more £successful businesses, your lack of delegation is actually a major weakness. And might sitting atop of a bigger more successful business be something more to be proud of?

Happy New Year!

Inspiring desire to visit a shop and buy things – my favourite Christmas TV ad was Asda’s!

The Christmas television advertisements that grab all the headlines actually leave me a little cold. Although they’re clearly successful at inspiring news headlines and public chatter, I’m left wondering where’s the reason to actually shop with those people.

My favourite ad this Christmas inspired chatter, store visits and actual purhcases – Asda’s “Best. Christmas. Ever” ad. (EDIT: Asda has unfortunately now removed the ad from Youtube!)

Whilst I may have long since passed my 8th birthday, Asda’s ad put the idea of a chocolate igloo in my head. Forget all the expensive gifts I could have written to Father Christmas for, I now wanted a chocolate igloo.

So having shared my enthusiasm for this advert and product to anyone who happened to ask what I’d like for Christmas, my mum decided to break away from only ever shopping at Sainsburys and Aldi to venture into Asda to get me one. Whilst she was there, she found gifts for other people too.

It wasn’t just my mum by all accounts. On her first visit to Asda they had sold out of igloos, so she put her name on a list to be contacted when stocks returned. Alas they never did call her back, but by chance she went to check another day and found one.

Perhaps it was just regular Asda shoppers buying all the igloos. Or just maybe they struck gold and attracted new people into their stores?!

They certainly inspired a few new purchases – and a newfound place for my mum to meet her friends for coffee.

It’ll be interesting to see what if any impact the ad has had on Asda’s Christmas sales – whilst we await the results, feast your eyes on the magnificence of a chocolate smash igloo!

Update 17/01/18: Maybe those ads really did work… Asda claims victory in ‘Big Four’ sales battle

Update 20/02/18: Asda sales rise on strong Christmas

Update: 09/11/18: M&S to air low-key Christmas ad in attempt to drive sales “Last year the struggling retailer’s ads featured Paddington, but while the ad attracted nearly 7m views on YouTube alone, its Christmas sales were a washout.”

The book all business owners should read: A Christmas Carol

It seems that there are so many businesses that do little other than exist to extract as much money as possible for their owners/shareholders. They hire the cheapest possible labour, selling on their wares at huge mark-ups as if they’re the coolest thing in the world – via obscure company structures to avoid paying as much tax as possible.

It’s not only limited to the big names, there are no doubt some smaller business owners who are only to happy to make a quick buck with scant regard for anything but their bank account.

It’s for that reason I think all business owners and leaders should read A Christmas Carol.

If you focus on nothing other than extracting every last possible penny for yourself, then you are doomed, doomed for all time – and you might not benefit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future to show you the error of your ways.

If you’ve got a good business plan, you can still make yourself a tidy living – and help all those who work for you and otherwise rely on you to do so too.