A year brings new opportunities. We bring you our top 10 tips to make the most of 2018.
1. Take time for reflection and analysis. Each year, we gain valuable insights and experiences, but we don’t make the most of them if we don’t take the time to reflect. In fact, according to Harvard Business School, “learning from direct experience can be more effective if coupled with reflection—that is, the intentional attempt to synthesize, abstract, and articulate the key lessons taught by experience.” It’s important to take a look at your numbers and try to identify what contributed to your successes and shortcomings.
2. Take stock of the marketplace, competitors and industry trends. A lot can change in a year. A quick industry analysis leveraging Porter’s Five Forces will provide the knowledge you need to plan ahead.
3. Look for new opportunities to improve. Is your marketing or business plan dated? It might be time to revisit your strategy and think through what new product launches you need to stay competitive and the staff you need to support your key initiatives.
4. Set goals. Remember to include your own personal goals professional as well as goals for your business. And don’t forget to make them SMART.
5. Create your prioritized to-do list… and your to-don’t list. When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Strategize what is most important for you and note the things that need to be added to your to-don’t list.
6. Get organized. That might mean opening the door to the dreaded supply closet or it could be as simple as cleaning out your car. The minimalist lifestyle trend can help businesses just as much as homes.
7. Schedule your vacation. When the chaos of entrepreneurship hits, knowing you have a bright spot scheduled can be the motivation you need to get through it all.
8. Schedule time to think. Karen Kahn suggests getting up an hour before your kids. Maybe you commit to a lunch break. Whatever your schedule permits, it’s important to regularly schedule some time to let your mind roam.
9. Crack down on the budget. If your marketing and business plan are current, you’ll want to make sure you’re allocating the proper resources to your key 2018 strategies, and taking advantage of any available tax breaks to boot.
10. Thank people who made 2017 special. It’s so easy to forget that relationships are what creates the foundation of the human experience and gives purpose and meaning to our endeavors. Don’t forget to take time this year to be grateful to those who’ve helped you get where you are.