New Year’s Resolutions – New year, new business, new you.

New Years ResolutionsLose weight. Learn a new skill. Be more patient. Travel more. Improve your relationships. Every New Year you might find yourself considering something to conquer personally, and you decide with determination this is the very year it will finally happen. You start off with a bang once the celebration wears off, but then a couple months in you find yourself taking out your running gear once a month versus every day.

Face it: Personal New Year’s resolutions are tough. Life can present unexpected challenges which take you off course or set you on completely new paths. Instead of declaring a personal resolution in 2014, make a business resolution instead. After all, if your business is good, perhaps some of the things you struggle with personally such as stress can improve as a result. Good business equals a happier business owner.

So how do you set business resolutions? Here are three simple steps to become professionally renewed in 2014:

1. The good and the bad list: Create a table with two columns. Label the columns “What Worked in 2013” or “What Didn’t Work in 2013”. Think of everything you tried to improve within your business or any mistakes you made where you experienced net-negative consequences. Once complete, rank the three best things and the three worst things. For all of those six items, simply write a statement of how you intend to keep doing more of the right things and, for the worst, how you intend to prevent repeats in 2014. Keep this list with you daily; publish it if you have a team, for they can each impact the best and the worst. This is now your professional improvement road map for success.

2. Resolve to take a risk: So now that you have some focus with the list above, consider taking a calculated risk. Resolving to take risks can be a scary thing indeed, but every business which goes from good to great has a history of risk-taking somewhere along its continuum. Choose to take at least one risk with your business. It can be an investment decision, a people decision, a location decision, or an expansion decision. Pick something you may have considered in the past but eventually ruled out because the time was never perfect to step into the breach. Here is the secret: Risk never finds the “perfect” time. Which is the whole point. You just don’t know how it will turn out, but even if it doesn’t work out as intended, you get better and braver as a business owner for having tried. Odds are, if you run a solid business in general, you are the person best able to make good decisions on which risks to take.

3. Spice up your leadership: Now here is the tough one where we get a little more personal with you as a business leader. What did you not do well with your team in 2013? Be honest. Where did you fail them? Where did they fail you, and how did you contribute to the situation? Now search in books, online in general, or reach out to fellow business owners and share your leadership shortcomings. You will more than likely find many answers and resources to help you identify and make solid improvements. If you did not do #1 or #2, doing this alone will help your business. Great leaders = great businesses. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to show those you lead that you strive to be a better leader. This is what will make you both human and inspirational to your team every day. Inspired team members work harder and smarter for you.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we have resolved over the last few years to work on developing the best business practices and evolve our system leadership style to get ahead of the rapidly changing business environment both in the franchising and moving industries. We did this because we realized we were not growing as quickly as we could. It was important the franchisees were our partners and agreed to and helped shape this resolution. The results have been continuous with 48 months of continuous growth and 32 consecutive record months, which has led to more personally satisfied franchisees year over year as measured independently by Franchise Business Review.

“Now more than ever, we are working in partnership with our franchisees to identify and spread the best practices from various locations across the system, and we have a common playbook in the form of a five-year vision for the system. In addition, we see less risk aversion in leadership across the system, which leads increased investment in trucks and people and super charges customer service. 2014 is looking good already!”– Kelly Rogers Franchise Development Director

Good luck if you still decide to run like Forrest Gump in 2014 or learn eight new languages. Personal goals can be fun and rewarding. But don’t forget the time and importance your business represents in your life and how it can impact your personal satisfaction. Resolve to run a better a business and see what happens this year!

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