When the last of the confetti is swept up on January 1, the real work begins for those who are setting New Year's resolutions. While many of these goals revolve around personal improvements, your business can also benefit from the reflection and commitment that a strong resolution entails.
Below, six entrepreneurs share the resolutions they will be striving to achieve in their businesses in the year ahead.
Realign long-term goals.
As you rush to get holiday promotions out and meet year-end goals, your overarching goals may not be top of mind. Jayna Cooke, CEO of event venue marketplace EVENTup, suggests taking a step back from the day-to-day to consider the future of your business as you enter the new year.
"My business resolution is to look at my long-term goals and make sure I am putting together a roadmap of how we are going to get there," says Cooke. "Things can get messy and you can sway on your path, but making sure you refocus at the beginning of the year helps things start out fresh."
Never eat alone.
Kenny Nguyen, founder and CEO of creative agency Big Fish Presentations, wants to get to know his employees outside of the confines of a formal office setting. By sitting down with individual team members for a casual meal, you can learn a lot about the people you work with every day.
"My recent resolution is to get lunch with a different team member every week. As we've grown, there have been new faces in our office that I wish to know better," he says. "Rather than chatting at the office, sharing a meal opens new conversations naturally. It's done wonders in learning what makes people in my office tick."
"Being mindful and having your mind full are two different things," says AJ Thomas, founder and executive director of inner-city education program Infuse Entrepreneurship. Practicing mindfulness may be difficult when you feel like you have a million and one things on your plate, but taking a breather allows you to be more focused on important decisions.
"In 2018, I'm working on creating time for myself to reflect, calibrate and appreciate moments a little longer than usual. It's so much easier to stay on the grind than to actually stay grounded," she says. "Being a great leader requires taking a pause and being present so you can be at your best when making decisions."
Build your personal brand.
Thought leadership content is a powerful tool in the arsenal of any entrepreneur who understands that their personal brand is intertwined with their company brand. Ben Lee, CEO of mobile app development company Neon Roots, knows that content creation is the way forward to winning the trust of the 2018 consumer.
"The structure of how business gets done is changing, and having a face and a human (or many of them) at the front of your company's brand is only going to become more important," says Lee. "Start writing content and get it out there, or hire a ghostwriter if you don't have time. Few things have generated returns for my business the way my personal profiles have."
Encourage sustainable growth.
Bryce Welker, founder and CEO of CPA review site Crush the CPA exam, isn't leaving his business growth up to the fate of the market. By taking proactive steps to invest in sustainable projects, you can be prepared for whatever the new year may bring.
"It can be easy to fall into a yo-yo effect where your business grows and shrinks as the market improves or declines," he says. "With any windfall received by our company, I am resolving to focus that additional capital on expanding our business in a manner that can withstand market decline. One way to do this is to invest in a competent employee by letting them lead a special team."
Improve internal communication.
"As good as you think your internal communication is, it can always get better," says Justin Lefkovitch, CEO and founder of marketing firm Mirrored Media. And there's no better time than after the holidays -- when your team members feel motivated and refreshed -- to implement new communication strategies.
"Miscommunication and oversight are common problems, but constant attention to effective messaging leads to better efficiency," he says. "Team text chains, live documents and daily recap meetings are all ways to ensure that everybody is on the same page."