10 entrepreneurs share their New Year’s resolutions

Kate Morris

Adore Beauty founder Kate Morris


So often we start the year with good intentions and never get anywhere – entrepreneurs included.

But there’s something to be said for New Year’s resolutions. They can spur you into taking action in a way you’ve never done before. And the beginning of a new calendar year is certainly a good time to get started.

Getting your cashflow in order, communicating more with employees and simply marketing your business better are just a few of the regular resolutions we see at SmartCompany. But there are plenty of others.

We’ve canvassed some of the country’s hottest entrepreneurs to see what their plans are for the year ahead. They range from the smaller, more team-oriented resolutions to totally rethinking marketing plans. Be sure to read them all – you may just get an idea or two:

1. Get the word out

The head of one of the country’s hottest online stores, Shoes of Prey, says his resolution is to simply make more people aware of the business.

“For us, our resolution is about working out how we can let more people know about our site. Our conversion rates have improved, now it’s just about letting people know we exist and doing more marketing,” says Michael Fox.

Fox’s plan is a sound one – do the hard yards first, then the marketing. If you have a good product, let people know about it.

2. Execute the idea

The Catch of the Day group has had a stellar year, so you mightn’t think co-founder Gabby Leibovich has much to do. But apart from his own personal resolution – “I need to do more exercise” – his corporate plans involve “more execution”.

“We are already the biggest and the fastest growing, and this is the year where the whole team is pulling together to keep improving execution and keep growing the profits.”

Don’t get lazy. Take Leibovich’s example and don’t just think of ideas to improve – actually follow them through.

3. Nurture the team

The head of Australia’s Spotify operations had a busy 12 months, with the local launch of the product. But Kate Vale has a very specific resolution, apart from promoting a healthier workplace.

“To get more one to one time with my team,” she says.

Working with your team on a personal level is incredibly important. Vale’s resolution is a testament to how businesses should focus on making sure employees feel recognised, even when they’re part of a large team.

Vale’s second resolution? Of course, to “listen to and discover more music”. Seems fitting.

4. Focus

99designs has turned into a global powerhouse, but Mark Harbottle isn’t slowing down. Part of his resolution this year is to “find some real focus, rather than spreading myself too thin across multiple businesses and projects”.

It can be hard for entrepreneurs to simply focus on one idea – they have so many of them. But Harbottle’s advice is sound. Don’t spread yourself thin. Instead, achieve greatness by investing all your energy into just a handful of projects.

5. Think big

Kate Morris, the head of online cosmetics store Adore Beauty, says her resolution is to focus on the big picture.

“I find that without a concerted effort to avoid it, it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of day to day operations,” she says.

This is why many entrepreneurs end up hiring a general manager, and perhaps it’s something you ought to consider this year as well. Remember to set aside time for strategy – otherwise your business will never grow.

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