While we are all familiar with the making of personal New Year’s resolutions (maybe too familiar!) a recent and emerging trend is to make New Year business resolutions. The challenge of course is that, like personal resolutions, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. We want our business resolutions to stick.
So how do we do that?
Experts say that people who are able to make and keep resolutions typically know not to bite off more than they can chew. “I am going to lose 40 pounds” is a lot tougher and ripe for failure than “I’m going to eat healthier foods starting with more vegetables.”
Here then is one simple, easy-to-implement, small business resolution that can make a big difference in 2011:
Get the help you need.
One problem that a lot of small business people have is that they feel like they are in the battle all alone. Sure, they may have a great staff and some good associates, but the bottom-line responsibility is all theirs. But it need not be. Help is out there if you know where to look. Here are four places to get some great business assistance:
- Create a board of advisors: Entrepreneurs generally like to help each other. By creating your own board of advisors you give the people in your life a way to help you. Your lawyer, business colleagues, even your friends can all be part of an informal board. Even if it is as simple as hosting a dinner twice a year, you can create an invaluable way to get some important feedback and discussion. I have a friend who hosts a pizza party whenever he has a new idea; he uses it to share his thoughts and gauge the reaction of his panel.
- Find a mentor: While, like a board, mentors can also offer valuable feedback, they can do so much more. Mentors make introductions, open doors, and teach valuable lessons. And finding a mentor should not be difficult; it really is just a matter of asking. Just last week, an associate asked me to mentor him and of course I was flattered. Your choice would likely feel the same way.
- Get a coach: While mentoring is a personal relationship, another option is to find someone who can help you run your business more effectively. In this regard, SCORE is a very useful resource. SCORE counselors offer free and confidential assistance in all areas of business, either in person or via email.
- Hire an intern: With the new school semester around the corner, this is a perfect time to find some college interns. How do find an intern? Post a listing on college job boards, create a Craigslist ad or call your local university job placement center.
By simply making the resolution to get some additional help this upcoming year, you will likely make some amazing new opportunities for your business.