Guest Post By Jonathan Trent
Edited by M. Hedayat, Esq.
It's that time of year again! As January winds down business owners are contemplating new projects, new ideas, and New Year's resolutions. Putting together resolutions can be an eye opening experience... or a chore. Sure, you want to continue improving what works, weed out what doesn't, and learn from the past to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. But when the rubber meets the road, how do you make that call?
Here's a simple method that has been used by small businesses for year.
(1) Review the significant business events of the past year - marketing, financial, etc.
(2) Ask yourself "What worked? What didn't? Could we have avoided that problem?"
(3) This is critical: repeat the process until you have turned over all events in detail
(4) Prepare these 3 distinct lists (be prepared to write and rewrite them as needed)
Things I Should Do Again: these worked and should be part of your workflow
Things Never To Do Again: these didn't work, or they hurt more than helped
Tweak and Try Again: With changes, these practices could work
Sounds easy, right? Too bad it's one of the hardest things you have to do as a business person. Not only is the self-reflection challenging, but the act of turning objective facts into recommendations and then seeing those recommendations through is... well, it's what distinguishes good businesses from great ones.
Until you really complete your own business evaluation and give yourself a business-practices audit (a more formal term for this process), here are 5 New Year's resolutions being put into effect by businesses right now!
Be More Earth-Friendly
There are several ways a business can go green. Using less power and less paper is a good start. Buy recycled materials. Install energy efficient lighting, heating, and cooling. This not only helps the environment but your business costs as well. You may be surprised how much a company can save after one year of saving energy and cutting costs.
Install a new office communications network. Office phone systems can be built to suit your needs. Connect all your employees like never before. Get high-tech with voice activated phones, 3-way calling, and messaging services. Information is relayed quicker and clearer when all departments are better connected. Messaging and conference calls can help to bring in new clients and seal important deals.
Reevaluate Company Policies
Send out a new list of rules and standards and make sure all personnel know what is expected of them in any situation. What is the company's policy of on social media? What are the consequences if it is misused during work hours? What should employees do if there is an emergency, power outage, or natural disaster? Making everyone aware of what is expected of them leaves no gray areas or confusion.
Offer Achievement Incentives
Gather and showcase the best employees based on sales figures, leadership, or morale. You could also send top employees to leadership or group training seminars. It's amazing what this can do for your company. You may see a great change in your staff. Plan and implement team meetings, pep talks, or even parties. A lively, encouraged team will want to excel and work in a fun environment.
Financially Prepare for Next Year
Create a nest egg and be financially secure. You never know if certain laws may be passed and it means drastic company changes. You need to prepare long term. Be ready for possible problems that could result in company losses. Owning a business can be tough and you many need to take extra care to avoid paying more taxes, fees, or business owner penalties. Get business taxes done by a professional and keep perfect records.
Don't forget to secure a Legal Audit to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry best-practices. How? That's easy: contact M. Hedayat & Associates, P.C. for your Free Legal Audit. With over 18 years of legal experience under his belt, a string of start up companies to his credit, and an MBA in addition to his law degree Mazy Hedayat is ready to roll up his sleeves and tell you where your business stands from a legal perspective.
About the Author: Jonathan Trent is a web marketing specialist with NextUC, a provider of audio, video and web conferencing solutions. He is a sports fanatic that enjoys writing about the internet and modern technology. He has written several articles about the advancements and future of communication and technology.