Happy New Year.  This is the time of year that we try to make our lives better by setting new goals.  As we do this in our personal lives, we often forget to set business goals. All businesses have room for improvement and this is the perfect time of year to start.  Below are my 2018 business resolutions that I plan to achieve and why.

  1. Increase my digital presence. At the end of 2017, I retained my first new client through LinkedIn.  This reinforced the power of social media in my mind.  I have used LinkedIn for many years and know other success stories from my network, but I had never experienced it myself.  The amount of business that is generated through current technology is tremendous.  The ability to work together virtually has opened the door for us to have clients throughout the nation and globally.  The need to be in the same location and meet in person has diminished.  We must embrace technology and all that is has to offer or be left behind.
  1. Read a professional book each month. Many articles have been written outlining the importance of continual learning.  The notion that learning ends once you complete your education and start your career is false.  We need to constantly learn and grow, and one way is through reading.
  1. Attend at least one business development event or meeting each week. This may appear as an enormous task, but a meeting for coffee can be as short as one hour. The power of meeting and interacting with others is enormous.  I view it as planting seeds that may not grow for a long time.  By meeting you are putting your brand and services in their minds.  When an opportunity arises, you may be thought of.  We never know who our connections know and may encounter.  
  1. Strategize weekly instead of monthly. Everything evolves quickly, and we must react accordingly.  The idea of reviewing your strategic planning monthly is too slow.  By strategizing weekly, we will stay current on our goals and can adjust as needed.  We will then find ourselves in a much better position to realign our strategy and increase our chances of success.
  1. Strive to use and learn the newest technology. What works today may not be the best choice for tomorrow.  We must constantly learn what new advances have been made and how new technology can improve our efficiency.
  1. Reach out to people in my network whom I have not contacted in a long time. Once you do connect with someone, effort must be made to deepen the connection. All of us have hundreds, even thousands of connections in our individual networks.  We need to try to keep in touch.  If you are short on time, send an email or make a phone call.  Put your name and company back in their minds.
  1. Drop what is not working and move on. Try to let go of what is not working and try something new.  Change is hard for everyone, but often change is great.  I always think of the definition of insanity when contemplating a change.  You cannot expect different results by doing the same thing.
  1. Keep a positive attitude and outlook. The importance of remaining positive is key even when the forecast is bleak.  Perseverance and remaining focused are paramount for the long term.  No one experiences easy sailing all of the time.  Difficulties arise with no warning.  It is not what happens, but how we react to it that makes the difference.
  1. Try new things and embrace change. By forcing ourselves to embrace change, and be open to new ideas, we grow.  Change is hard, but not bad.  Old school is doing the same thing because we have always done it that way.  New school is doing what is the best for the situation.  Choose to embrace change and exit your comfort zone.
  1. Introduce as many people in my network as possible. Networking and relationships are a two-way street.  The true value in networking and developing relationships is to help your contacts as much as possible.  By helping our contacts, we are helping ourselves.  Everyone appreciates being thought of and an introduction to someone new.  When we help our contacts, we are indirectly having them think of us.  It is a win-win.

What are your goals for the new year?  It’s still not too late to take a few minutes and make a plan. if you have not  done so already.  The year is still new.  Spring will be here before we know it and if you set goals now you will be glad you did in a few months.