I walked into the gym yesterday and found it overcrowded... filled with men and women of all shapes and sizes sweating it out. Can't wait till February, I thought. That's when the glow of New Year's Resolutions starts to fade and people start slacking off their getting-in-shape plans, and my much-desired peace and quiet returns to the gym.
And that got me thinking...
Now that January is almost over and we are well into 2016, the glow of holiday season is fading and all those resolutions that we made for the New Year and all those goals that we set for ourselves and for our businesses.. well, they are beginning to seem a bit frayed. How do we stop that from happening?
All resolutions begin with good intentions. But whether the resolutions are personal or whether you are making them for your company, majority of those resolutions get broken within the first two months. Research suggests that only 8% of people who make New Year's resolutions are successful in achieving their goals.
So, as January rolls into February and our New Year's goals meet real life, how can we hold on to the energy and enthusiasm that powered us at the beginning of the year, and make it last throughout 2016? How do we keep ourselves motivated instead of slipping back into the old habits?
Here are a few things a Small Business owner can do to keep the momentum going for their business resolutions:
1) Keep the list short - Change is hard. Long laundry lists of goals that need too much effort get overwhelming and tend to get abandoned within the first two weeks. So, pick only one or two goals that resonate with you most and that will drive the most significant change for your business. Keep the resolutions specific and realistic and you will have a higher chance of achieving them.
2) Involve your team - Small Business owners have a tendency to do everything themselves. But most small business owners are already doing too many things and adding to that workload is not the best way to achieve those goals. Try to delegate the work to your team members and make them accountable. Small incremental changes go a long way especially when the entire team is involved and is cheering each other on.
3) Communicate - Let everyone in your team know the changes that they are expected to make to their work routine. Be specific. Be realistic. Over-ambitious resolutions communicated in vague statements like 'Increase revenue by 50%' or 'Get more Customers' do not have much chance of being implemented.
4) Use Technology - Make Technology your friend and use it to drive the changes that your resolution requires. If your resolution is to make your paperwork more organized, use a document management tool. If you want to streamline your projects, try using a Collaboration tool or Project management tool suitable for your business. If your goal is win more repeat business by staying in closer touch with your customers, go for a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software that focuses on customer engagement.
5) Measure progress - You cannot improve something if you do not measure it. Setup milestones and periodic checks, and follow through on them. Have weekly or monthly meetings to discuss progress with all team members. In such cases, accountability and peer pressure often works positively as it motivates everyone to deliver some progress on a weekly or monthly basis.
These steps will help you keep the energy and motivation flowing for your small business throughout the year. Remember to celebrate your success and pat yourself and your team on the back when small milestones are achieved. And when you slip, don't take it too seriously. You will fail sometimes. Don't let that stop you from continuing to work at your goals.
Shampa Bagchi is the Founder & CTO of ConvergeHub, a cloud-based CRM software that powers business growth. Connect with her on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/shampabagchi/