Strategy

The New Year’s resolutions of successful entrepreneurs

Patrick Stafford /

The New Year’s resolutions of successful entrepreneursNow is the time entrepreneurs need to be thinking about developing a strategy for the year ahead and working on getting those bad habits out of their system, and what better way to do that than by developing a New Year’s resolution?

While the budget may be squared away, Christmas is nearly over and that upcoming break is closer than ever, now isn’t the time to stop – 2011 is only a few short days away and smart entrepreneurs need to be prepared.

Whether it’s finally developing a social media strategy, working to create a better corporate culture or finally releasing that great new product, a New Year’s resolution can help spur businesses into action.

We’ve compiled 10 of the best New Year’s resolutions from Australia’s top entrepreneurs to help you organise yourself and your business before 2011 begins.

Naomi Simson – founder, RedBalloon

I’m going to acknowledge all those people who contribute with 10 thank you’s per day. I’m also going to show gratitude and recognition every day.

I will focus on employees as the mainstay of new economic resilience.

Guy King – founder, Stateless Systems

Unconventional success doesn’t happen with conventional action.

Ruslan Kogan – chief executive, Kogan Technologies

You should allow your customers to interact with your website as much as possible. This is the best way to find out exactly what your customers want so that you can give them exactly what they want.

Your website should integrate with social networks like Facebook and Twitter to allow this sort of interaction.

Kye McDonald – founder, Skye Recruitment

As small business owners and entrepreneurs we are too focused on making our businesses work and grow that we lose sight of the fact, that at some stage, in the future we need to replace ourselves.

Text step in the growth of our baby is to have somebody else do the role we are doing now. That way we can take our business to the next level as we turn our gaze to growing our business rather than running our business.

So your New Year’s resolution should be to put in place the program that will replace the “you” in your current role, so you can move onto the next one.

Kirsty Dunphey – chief executive, Elephant Property

I want my primary business (Elephant Property) to become even more heavily systemised so that not only can it function, grow and flourish without me, but so that it can also do so without any of our other primary team members (primarily my two business partners who are both young mothers themselves).

I want our business to focus on properly educating our clients up front so that they understand the way that we do business, what our “non-negotiables” are and what we can be flexible about.

There have been times in the past where we’ve compromised and taken on a client that wasn’t agreeable to our way of doing business and the result is never mutually beneficial. Being more open and honest at the commencement of the relationship will mean that neither our time, nor the client’s is wasted.

I want our business to find more reasons (and to seamlessly systemise them into our business) for our clients and customers to tell people they’ve never experienced dealing with (in our case) a property management company like ours before.

Gabby Leibovich – chief executive, Catch of the Day

One of the best lines I’ve heard this year is, “Don’t let better get in the way of perfect”. Many business owners wait for the perfect timing, perfect solution, perfect opportunity rather than actually jumping in the water and launching their idea.

Being first to market is extremely important.

Andrew Thomas – chief executive, Thomas Duryea Consulting

Take the opportunity to have a break. Leave the laptop at home, head off for a time, and recharge the batteries.

Before you barrel back into the office and get buried in BAU, operational tasks, and your inbox; spend a couple of days doing some clear thinking about the six months ahead. It’s a great opportunity to do some ‘blue-sky’ planning now that you’ve had a few days out and the phone isn’t ringing off the hook like usual.

Pull out your business plan, review how you’re tracking, and refresh your goals and targets for the second half.

Reinvigorate your team, make sure they’re clear on their goals for the second half, and energise them toward a huge finish to the FY. Clear the decks of annoying tasks you’ve delayed, clear your email, clean your desk, and kick off with a fresh run at it.

Don’t let January holidays turn into an excuse for getting no sales over the line – ramp up hard when you and your staff return from break.

Tristan White – chief executive, The Physio Co.

My New Year’s resolution is to lead and grow our team at The Physio Co. into the strongest culture we possibly can.

Hal Pritchard – chief executive, Everten Online

I think there has been a shift recently from just cheaper prices to a combination of requirements. Customers want fast shipping. They want greater range of choice. They want better customer service and they want more options like gift wrapping and split shipments.

In January I will spend some time sending out questionnaires to my customer base asking which of these are the most important, whether they would be willing to spend the extra to have them. From there we will draw up an implementation list.

I think I need to talk and get together more in 2011 with other online retail owners and discuss our strategies. Online retailers need to help each other out and produce a united face or focus about what we are doing. Have ordered quite a few products online during the Christmas break I think by talking together we can give each other ideas and promote good sensible business practice if we share our experiences.

Kate Morris – chief executive, Adore Beauty

Customers are likely to appear price-focused for at least the next 12 months. Don’t forget though that what they are really after is the best value, not necessarily the cheapest price.

Think about ways in which you can offer your customers more value than your competitors. Perhaps it’s expert advice; the easiest purchasing process or fastest delivery; a superior product range; a loyalty program that offers them added benefits; or even a payment option that they prefer.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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