by Upasna Kakroo | Featured Contributor
It’s the end of the year, and a time for family and giving. It’s also a time to take stock of your business initiatives and plan for the next year. Many of us tend to fail at our resolutions consistently. My small trick for making sure I am able to keep up with my new year goals is to prioritize a few. It’s also important know why that goal is important and note a measurable result that will fulfill it. From a branding and small business perspective, here’s a list of my top 3 resolutions. These are an absolute must to make your brand grow in the new year.
3 Resolutions For New Year To Make Your Brand Grow
1. Invest in learning or improving new skills: Let me show you the a-b-c approach for this resolution.
- Reason– Why do you need it: Small businesses spend over 20 hours per week on marketing. A lot of times these hours are inflated because we’re so busy learning things on our own, and reinventing the wheel. You’re not the first person ever to build a brand. Leverage the experience of experts and those that have done similar stuff.
- How to do it: There are a ton of websites that allow you to learn new skills. Future proof your brands. From marketing to design to coding, you can learn something easily at the comfort of your home and be able to use it in your business. There are a ton of free and paid courses available. Just like the gym membership, I tend to take it more seriously, if it’s paid. But you need to find your own initiative and drive. Also, if you’ve never invested in a training before, it’s good to check the background of your instructor and see their body of work. I also prefer “live” online or in-person workshops as these allow you to be more interactive. If I’m unsure, I ask tons of questions, or choose something that’s not exceptionally expensive so that I feel I’m not going over budget. You could also learn via books/ebooks on your topic.
- How to measure it: Define areas you’d like to be trained on. And make a list of topics you’d like to cover in a year. Define your budget, preferable timing and method of training. And at the end of the year, see how far you’ve come.
2. Get out and meet others: Many entrepreneurs and small businesses tend to work in set ups that allow for interactions with select clients and a few employees. Many work from home. Step out of that zone and get inspired.
- Reason– Why you need it: Diversity in any format makes us smarter. When you interact with people from outside your usual circles, you get new ideas. These can find a way into your business or foster a sense of community and support.
- How to do it– Find Meetups, Facebook events or any other mechanism to discover physical events in your neighborhood. I’m very new to the country, and I can tell you these work for everyone. It’s important to build connections in person. And get feedback on your ideas from people who’re unrelated to your work. It doesn’t have to be a business group. You can join a bunch of hikers, writers, film enthusiasts or anyone that you feel you can spend quality time doing something tangible.
- How to measure it: Decide on a number of Meetups in a quarter that you’d like to attend. And just keep ticking them off.
3. Define your big objectives for each quarter: I shared last month that sometimes, we’re the ones holding ourselves back. But it’s hard to fix anything unless we know what’s wrong. Therefore, setting objectives is crucial.
- Reason– Why do it: Write down your goals. This works better than just mumbling something to yourself. You need to know what you expect your business to do in the coming quarter. This is true even if you’re not a publicly listed company or someone with an investor asking for this information. You can’t reach goals that you don’t set.
- How to do it– Set up SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals. Use a spreadsheet or your little black book. Write down your goals, how you’d measure them, the measure of success or failure, and set deadlines. Do this each quarter. See what’s working and where you’re failing. Learn skills or use expert help where you need.
- How to measure it: Set a calendar entry in your work calendar. Imagine you’re a listed company and spend a few hours sharing your thoughts about what you’ve done in the past quarter and where you are with respect to your SMART goals. If you’re a one-person company, share this with yourself. Write a blog post talking about it or make a journal entry. Each quarter force yourself to review your progress. It’s 3 hours in a quarter but really valuable.
What are your new year resolutions for next year? Do share your thoughts with me in the comments below or on Twitter.
Original image: Flickr
Upasna Kakroo is the Co-founder of an online branding and content marketing Startup, Brandanew. Her previous experiences include, McKinsey & Co., Rocket Internet among others. Upasna has devoured urban culture, art by traveling in 30 countries, living in three and blogging about these for over 12 years. Upasna sounds overeducated having gone to school for her BS (engineering) in India, MS (telecom) in the UK and MBA (marketing) in Germany. She currently lives in Ann Arbor Michigan.