Make your 2013 Count

GoalsIt’s January. The holiday season has come to a close as 2013 bursts on the scene. I saw this post from a cool guy I follow on Twitter this week: “Is it really a new year if it’s the same us?” Wow. There’s a lot of depth packed into those 43 characters.

In our businesses (and well, life for that matter), how do we respond to that question? If we’re not careful, the real greeting for our customers and friends is simply, “happy year” for there really isn’t anything “new” about it.

So in the spirit of never settling for the status quo, I challenge your thinking and leadership to these three daily strategies that ensure there really is something new about 2013…for both you and your customers.

Fix or at best move the dial on the biggest irritant your customers (or employees) have.
Most customers (and perhaps your employees) put up with a “lot” before abandoning your company. It’s the little things that become the big things over time that customers can’t tolerate. So what are those little things – that attention to detail we are missing that will cause your customers to pause, smile and appreciate your service. How do you know what those little things are? Ask them.

Forget resolutions. Create action plans.
New years are so often flooded with our wish lists of doing more of this and less of that. And for most people, February 1 arrives and we have already drifted from those grandiose ideals. Why? Resolutions themselves don’t have any teeth. If I want to reach more customers, I must have a doable action plan (specific goal tied to time, metrics and accountability) to have any hope of growing my business. We talk a good game in January of most any year. Without a plan that we keep alive every day in our business those lofty goals gather dust as quickly as your bathroom scales (come on, who on the planet doesn’t have a losing weight goal each year?).

Just do it.
Nike made this phrase famous but in all reality, no truer words exist in business. Knowing what are going after is critical (ie: fixing our customers’ greatest irritant). We must have a real plan to get there (ie: more than a resolution). But without this third step nothing moves. What does “just do it” really mean? In the business world it means everyone in your business knows where we are going and their part in getting us there. That plan, whatever it is, is visible daily to every single person in the organization. As everyone involved knows his/her part (expectations) and does it (accountability), progress occurs (and we celebrate it).

What will 2013 hold for your business? We want to hear from you! My goal for you is the word “new” can honestly be said in your world. Happy NEW Year. Let’s make it happen.

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