Have You Made a Mid-Year Resolution? 3 Ways to Know it’s Time to Shake Things Up
New Year’s Day is when many people take stock of their life and look for ways to improve it — maybe by starting a diet, quitting smoking or pledging to binge-watch TV less. Well, here we are approaching the halfway mark of the year, and most of those resolutions are probably lying in the side of the road, somewhere back in the second week of January.
But there’s something to be said about making an annual tradition of setting goals for improvement. So we propose a new tradition — a mid-year resolution for business owners.
This isn’t about losing those last five pounds or promising to haul the recycling to the garage before it spills onto the floor. This is about taking stock of your company and determining whether it’s time for a little reinvention. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut with the same old products and services. Here are three things to consider when plotting your mid-year resolution.
Listen to customer feedback. Marshall Field, founder of the legendary Chicago department store, defined his philosophy with a simple phrase: “Give the lady what she wants.” There’s a reason why that business mentality has stuck around since the 1880s: your customers’ feedback is the best barometer for whether you’re delivering what they need.
These days, there’s no shortage of ways for them to give it to you, whether through social media, your own surveys or websites that let them anonymously critique your services. Take time to read what people are saying about you on Twitter and Yelp. Sure, there will be some cranks on there. But you may also get great, usable information to help you know when it’s time to update your offerings.
Keep an eye on market trends. The “everyone else is doing it” excuse doesn’t fly with moms of teenagers. Where it does work is in business. When all of your competitors have tapped into a new innovation, then it’s critical for your business to get on board, too. Otherwise, they’ll have an advantage that you just can’t overcome.
Even better, get ahead of the curve by reading voraciously, attending conferences and otherwise staying on top of the industry so that you can be among the first out in the field with the latest products and services.
You’ve tapped your current growth potential. This one is a no-brainer. If revenues are flat and your business isn’t bringing in new customers, it’s clear that something has to change. One of the fastest ways to breathe new life into your company is to add a new product or service. Doing so can open up your business to new customer segments as well as help your current base see you in a new way. And if a new product is a hit, you might just find yourself disrupting the whole market.
We all need a little reinvention from time to time — businesses included. The best part about a mid-year resolution for your company: It’s a whole lot more likely to stick than your pledge to go to the gym.
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