A leaf turned

Every year at this time, people make resolutions to change their ways for the coming year. Here are a few you may want to consider as a business owner or manager.

Stay on the diet

Now that there are signs the economy is starting to come back, heed the lessons learned over the last few years and resolve to stay on the “diet” that the economy forced you to be on.

If you can preserve the improved efficiencies and cost controls, the new year’s new growth will be that much more profitable.

Hone your focus

The most successful owners understand their competencies and maintain a strong and selective focus. This allows them to direct the majority of their resources — money and people — toward what they are best at and what can produce the greatest return for the company.

Resolve for this year to gain an understanding of your competencies and focus the resources of the company toward utilizing those competencies.

Don’t lose the passion

One of the most important components of success for entrepreneurs is their passion for what they are doing. Wayne Huizenga, a very successful entrepreneur, when asked in a recent interview how he could have passion for videos (Blockbusters), trash (Waste Management), cars (Auto Nation) and baseball (The Florida Marlins), he responded that he didn’t.

He said he is passionate about each of these as businesses. He is passionate about building them and seeing the profits get larger each month.

Whatever your passion, whether it is the business itself, the product or simply growing the business and increasing profits, resolve to keep that passion alive and strong in the coming year. Then, resolve to spread that passion throughout the organization by your actions.

Build your team

Think of the successes you have had over the past year. Then think about how many of them were due to the strength of your team.

For those successes to continue in the coming year, the care and feeding of that team becomes very important. Make a resolution for this and every year to never lose your appreciation for your team members and their role in your success and the company’s.

Then resolve to continuously invest in that team in order to continue to develop and strengthen it.

Recommit to your vision

Are you where you thought you would be today? Where do you want to be next year at this time?

Where do you want to be five years from now? Are the visions you established in the past still valid?

Achieving a vision requires true commitment to that vision, and true commitment requires that it be clear and real. Resolve to rethink, redefine and recommit to your vision for the future. Then strengthen your vision and the benefit it can provide to the organization by resolving to share it with your team.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year. Joel Strom ([email protected]) is director of Joel Strom Associates LLC, the growth management practice of C&P Advisors LLC. The firm works exclusively with closely held businesses and their ownership, helping them set and achieve growth objectives while maximizing their profitability and value. Reach him at (216) 831-2663.