Although some resolutions get broken before the last firework of New Year’s Eve has faded, deciding to make changes at this time of year is a great idea. It’s a fresh start, an open calendar full of opportunity and potential. Here are ten resolutions that could benefit your business in 2016.

1. Take Stock

The start of the year is the perfect point to look back over the last 12-months. What challenges did you face? What was particularly successful and what wasn’t? How did the company change between last January and December? A good overview of the previous year may help you to anticipate some of the issues that 2016 will undoubtedly bring.

2. Simplify

Is there something that’s getting in the way and making your job that little bit more difficult? It could be something as simple as an unreliable printer or some out of date software. Now is a great time to de-clutter and start the year as you mean to go on.

3. Plan

We all know the importance of planning. It’s essential when you need to adjust your company’s direction or define new goals. Setting up frequent planning meetings will increase flexibility – this will allow your business to adapt and take advantage of any unanticipated opportunities.

4. Plan More

As well as the day-by-day and week-by-week planning, consider an overall strategy for the coming year. You might also find it useful to look ahead even further with a five-year plan. Knowing where you want to be in 2021 will enable you to work out some very firm goals for the next twelve months.

5. Set Targets

Be specific and be precise. If one of your goals is to increase sales, then give yourself a focus by setting an exact amount and a deadline. It’s important that these targets are feasible though, otherwise it can get frustrating. Look at the previous year’s figures for a guide as to what’s realistically attainable.

6. Promote

If one of your targets is to attract new clients, then work out your marketing strategy early. Keep in mind that outsourcing your promotions to a specialist may prove more cost-effective in the long run. For example, if one of your aims is to use social media as a marketing tool and you’re Twitter and Facebook phobic, then it’s a good idea to delegate so that you can concentrate on your own areas of expertise.

7. Review

Go through your customer and supplier lists and assess your working relationships. Which ones have proved to be the most profitable? Are there any that have been troublesome or caused problems? Don’t invest too much time and energy into trying to force something to work, this is the time of year for fresh starts.

8. Structure

Working within the business on things like planning, promotion and reviewing is something that’s often overlooked when you’re caught up in the everyday running of a company. It’s worth ring-fencing regular slots in your schedule to devote to these areas so that you can keep on track in the coming months.

9. Learn

Picking up some new skills will add a different dimension to your working life – even if it’s in an area that isn’t directly related to business. You may find a new way of looking at things or you might tap into previously unknown reserves of energy and enthusiasm. Depending on how you learn, you could also meet some interesting and likeminded people that may prove to be useful contacts in the future.

10. Enjoy!

Take the time to reflect on your achievements and appreciate the people around you. You spend a large portion of your life at work so it’s important that you enjoy yourself when you’re there.

If you’ve come up with a set of New Year’s Resolutions for your business, please let us know – we’d love to hear about them.