Seven Business Resolutions for 2015

The new year is right around the corner – it’s time to take business action

The end of 2014 is drawing near, which means now is the perfect time to evaluate the year’s successes and determine areas for growth for 2015. Join the Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC) and fellow Vaughan entrepreneurs in the new year for our Business Plan seminar series and plan for success for 2015.

Seminar 1: Why are you in Business?

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 6

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., Committee Room 244

Date: Thursday, Jan. 8

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., second floor atrium boardroom

Register online, call 905-832-8526 or email vbec@vaughan.ca.

Here are the top seven proactive and manageable business resolutions that should be on every business owner’s list — no matter the size of your business or how long you’ve been operating:

1. GET CLARITY: determine what you’re good at (and commit to doing it even better)

Your strengths are ultimately the keys to your success. Identifying and naming your strengths is key. When you tap into your strengths, you can stand out from the crowd and be unique.

Personal development objectives for 2015:

  • Highlight your strengths
  • Articulate how you’re different
  • Avoid overused words like passionate or dedicated
  • Come up with a unique term that captures your specific strength and allows it to become embedded in your company culture

2. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE: do it regularly and do it consistently (and follow a content marketing plan)

Consistent messaging will help ensure your success as a business. The first step in marketing starts with getting your ideas, objectives and mission down on paper. Successful marketing depends on several well-planned strategies that work together. Advertising and public relations alone won’t cut it.

Promotional objectives for 2015:

  • Pick the best strategies for your business and budget; ensure they’re working in tandem
  • Keep your marketing plan top of mind every day; it’s only as strong as its weakest link, so avoid having it fall by the wayside
  • Review your plan regularly
  • Keep notes throughout the year on what worked, what didn’t and opportunities for the following year

3. GET CONNECTED: form new connections (and find ways to leverage them for your business)

Networking opportunities allow you to learn more about your connections and figure out if they have long-term potential. It’s also a chance for these connections to sell you on a continued business relationship — so if they radiate trust and enthusiasm, then you know you’ve struck gold!

Networking objectives for 2015:

  • Meet new people
  • Collect lots of business cards
  • Seek out professional opportunities for future exploration
  • Save the selling for the followup when you can really focus on the sales objective

4. BE THE EXPERT: never stop learning (and become known as an expert in your field)

Whether you’re a one-person consulting business or a 250-person manufacturing operation, you’ve spent years developing the knowledge that has either made your company a success or will make your company a success. In a fast-changing economy, continuous learning is the key to maintaining expert-level knowledge in your industry. Part of having authority status is being both an educator and an advocate for your clients.

Learning objectives for 2015:

  • Don’t try to please everyone
  • Focus your efforts on a small number of possible clients
  • Micro-specialize: develop a deep understanding of your niche and cater your marketing efforts

5. GET IT DONE: be more productive (and learn to delegate)

Productivity is the combination of intelligent planning and focused efforts. Defining a short, targeted list of priorities helps to focus teams and create alignment behind projects that are most important.

Productivity objectives for 2015:

  • Remain committed to your clients
  • Create a list of daily tasks you need to accomplish
  • Delegate those tasks that keep you from growing your business
  • Focus on your goals
  • Remember that the actions you take each day, even the seemingly small ones, can make a difference

6. BE THANKFUL: show customer appreciation (and do some good)

Your current and past clients are the foundation of your business. Without them, your business would not exist. It also costs far more to acquire a new client than it costs to generate business from an existing client. Showing appreciation for your clients can set you apart from your competitors, increase loyalty, improve retention, inspire sales and even build relationships that last a lifetime. Effective marketing relies on repeat exposure and showing appreciation is an affordable and effective way to keep your marketing wheels in motion.

Customer appreciation objectives for 2015:

  • Reach out to your clients on occasion and thank them for their business; this is also an opportunity to remind them that your business exists

7. MAKE MONEY: increase sales for 2015 (and your profit margins)

Making a plan and setting goals is the best way to give your sales a boost in 2015. As the saying goes: fail to plan, plan to fail.

Money making objectives for 2015:

  • Identify where you would like to see your company a year from now, and then a year from that
  • Identify what you need to start doing today to get there

Register now for other sessions in this seminar series:

Seminar 2: Making it Profitable

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 13

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., Committee Room 244

Date: Thursday, Jan. 15

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., second floor atrium boardroom

Register online or call 905-832-8526 or email vbec@vaughan.ca.

Seminar 3: Planning Your Success

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 20

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., Committee Room 244

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 21

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., second floor atrium boardroom

Register online or call 905-832-8526 or email vbec@vaughan.ca.

Seminar 4: A Bright Future for Your Business Success

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 27

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., Committee Room 244

Date: Thursday, Jan. 29

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr., second floor atrium boardroom

Register online or call 905-832-8526 or email vbec@vaughan.ca.

Julia Gersh
Small Business Consultant
Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC)

 

 

Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at vaughan.ca.

2 thoughts on “Seven Business Resolutions for 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s