1. Set Your Goals—and Your Watch
High-caliber athletes, students and entrepreneurs, even the young cookie-selling neighbor next door all set goals. And yet, not everyone achieves their desired results. In fact, according to research1 only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year resolutions and objectives.
So what’s the secret to success? Getting SMART is a good place to start: (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals require a tangible action plan to turn what are only ideas into a new reality. When you have steps to act upon, milestones to cross off and a time frame to work with there is simply nothing you cannot achieve.
Prior to setting 2017 goals, first determine if goals are multi-tiered or part of a large objective.
Before you set your goals for 2017, consider if they are part of a larger, more time-consuming and multi-tiered objective. For example, do you want to grow your business or is your business requiring you to expand? Growth is a long-term goal that will call for many phases and reevaluation along the way. Perhaps you are pursuing a promotion at work or want to strike out on your own and start your dream business. All are possible with a SMART roadmap, realistic expectations and timeframe, and the right kind of support.
2. Make it Personal
It’s no secret that today’s businesses, while high on technology and time-saving tools, are increasingly bound to social and human capital. People are the most prized asset of any venture, and understanding what motivates them in the workplace or in an entrepreneurial dynamic is fundamental to growth and success.
Remember that when it comes to choosing a team, whether they’re consultants, employees or vendors, choose the right match for you. Skills are essential, but so is compatibility and similar work/life ethos.
It is also essential to prepare your team for what’s in store with new plans, and to ensure that everyone understands their roles. Make your team part of the new endeavor to keep motivation high. If you’re part of a team that is undergoing new direction, make an effort to understand your boss, his or her goals and the company’s path forward so that you can align your growth and advancement with theirs.
3. Operation “Best Year Ever”
When you’re gearing up for growth, you need the right tools to back you up. The latest in technology and support is indispensable to make the most of your time and investments.
Take a look at your office tools—your phone system, mobile devices, computers and printers. Making investments in equipment that helps you accomplish more and supports the efforts of your team makes sense. For example, if your printer is three years old or more, your workgroup is losing productivity. An upgrade to advanced printing technology from Xerox® will improve your output—quantity and quality. Finding the right printer or multifunction device is key to meeting the needs of your team and making your work shine.
Xerox® ConnectKey Multifunction Printers can help you control costs while stepping up productivity. ConnectKey® Technology offers built-in security so you never have to worry about the confidentiality of your information being shared, plus a host of mobile solutions that let you print documents right from your phone, tablet or other mobile device.
4. Motivated Marketing
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for new ideas and created attainable goals, augment your plans with a feasible business plan that includes marketing objectives and a roadmap. Just as you wouldn’t start cooking without a recipe (unless of course, your business just happens to be cooking), be prepared to follow a specific marketing blueprint (i.e., X promotion implemented by X date; 20% increase in website traffic; X accomplishment at work). Here are a few tactical actions to support the efforts of your sales team and drive new business, or promote your personal “brand”:
- Take advantage of free social media tools to communicate your message to more prospects and create demand for your products or services.
- Consider pay–per-click advertising or an email campaign if you have built a target list.
- Review your brand and make sure it is incorporated in all of your marketing. If you haven’t done so already, determine a look and feel (type style, graphics, color scheme, logo) and stick with it.
The use of even a little color in marketing materials improves impact, enhances your image and is proven to increase response. High-resolution color printers from Xerox can help you implement impressive marketing campaigns without increasing costs or requiring a huge investment in time.
5. It Starts With You
One of the most important truths for the independent business owner is the often stark reality that the buck stops with them. Not only with business plans and budgets, but with inspiration. With no one setting deadlines or creating incentives, we must be our own cheerleader—and our own taskmaster.
Whether your goal is to take your own business to new heights, to become a better leader at work or to just be a better person, it’s important to create some self-governing principles to help guide your direction. Craft a personal mission statement that you can return to when you are uncertain or encounter roadblocks.
Build in rewards when you achieve your milestones and engage in activities that support your vision such as conferences, classes, or connecting with other people who will challenge and encourage you. For help with making budgets and putting your plans down on paper, see our Small Business Templates page.
1. University of Scranton, 2014.”
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