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New Year's Resolutions for Your Business


As we ring in 2017 around the world, thousands of people will be making New Year's resolutions - but only about 8 percent of people who make them will keep them.

New Year's resolutions go back nearly 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians, who would make promises to the gods as the New Year came about. Two thousand years later, the Romans made New Year's promises to the two-faced god Janus (for whom January is named, as it was Caesar who shifted the calendar so the year started with that month).

Resolutions today are, in most cases, promises we make only to ourselves and not an ancient deity, and only about 8 percent of resolutions are kept for the full year. They are generally promises of self-improvement, but resolutions to improve your business can - and should - also be made.

Forbes recommends making decisions rather than resolutions: decisions are concrete steps to take to meet goals. A decision accountability team composed of other people impacted by your goals is a worthwhile tool to put you and your business in that 8 percent.

Keep your business current by keeping your skills current. Need to brush up on software, or need a refresher course in plant selection? Now is the time. Additionally, invest in a new skill for yourself: learn a new program, new equipment, or another new skill to strengthen your business in 2017.

If you aren't sure what skills you should learn or re-learn, turn to your client base. Find out what your customers want to see from you and go from there.

While you're interacting with clients, resolve to follow up with them. Paychex, a provider of payroll services for small and medium sized businesses, recommends visiting two existing customers each month. Recognize the value of face-to-face interaction instead of just email, and put yourself in their shoes.

Plan for the future with your goals for 2017. Resolve to save or invest any extra money - remember that at some point, there will be another recession. The more you save now, the better off you will be when it inevitably hits.

Finally, resolve to have a legal review at least once a year. New regulations seem to always have an impact on the landscape industry, and meeting with a lawyer can help ensure your business is up to scratch.

No matter what resolutions, goals, and decisions you set, make 2017 the best year it can be for you and for your business.

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December 10, 2018, 3:56 am PST

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