And if you are just like me, you will break your personal New Year’s Resolutions by mid- January, when you re-discover the joy of chocolate and stop going to the gym after three sessions.

But what about those Business New Year’s Resolutions? How can you make them stick?

Well, the key is in the planning. In his fantastic book ‘What it Takes,’ Mark Bouris reduces successful business planning to three words: goal, strategy and execution.

Have a clearly defined goal (resolution)

The problem with many business resolutions is that they amount to nothing more than statements of ambition, such as to be rich and successful or have the latest material possession. Such resolutions are vague and often difficult to assess, and almost impossible to revise when the goal is not achieved.

Taking a further example, you may wish to ‘be the best coffee shop in the North West.’ How will you know when you achieve this? If the goal was tweaked ever so slightly; ‘To win a National award for the best small business in Connaught,’ then you can be specific about your planning towards the goal and be focused towards achieving it.

Goals based around a single financial result (ie I want to make E100,000 this year) are often not as successful as those that focus on the value of your business*. If you plan to increase the equity value of your business (the surplus of assets over liabilities) rather than the money you make, you will have a tangible way of measuring your growth.

Finally, make sure that there is a timeframe attached to your goal. Just like your personal resolutions, a solid deadline will help you to plan towards the outcome and will make it all the more real.

Develop a clear, workable strategy

Your strategy is ‘a road map for getting to your goal.’ It should be short, simple and readily understood by any outsider. If it is confusing to others, it may not be possible to implement.

A good way of keeping your strategy simple is to write it as a chronological list of steps taking you closer towards your goal. Each step outlined in your strategy should be achievable and realistic…there is no point shooting too high too soon – this only leads to disappointment.

Executing your plan

To execute your plan, you will need not only to be extremely disciplined, but prepared to be flexible; to listen to others and tweak your strategy when and where called for.

You will also need to be prepared to deal with the fear of failure. As entrepreneurs, we all suffer from this from time to time. The key is to stick to your overall plan, remembering the end goal, and reminding yourself that it is all worth it in the long run.

So take some time out to plan and execute a successful New Year’s resolution, and 2018 may just be your best year yet!

If you need help with business planning or have any other questions about running a business, please contact us here or check out TrainWithUs 


*Source: Mark Bouris What It Takes, An Attitude of Hard Work, Commitment and Purpose, Allen and Unwin, Australia 2013


The material in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Specific legal and taxation advice should be sought before acting. All information and taxation rules are subject to change without notice.

No liability whatsoever is accepted by M. McLoughlin & Co. for any action taken in reliance on the information in this article