Resolved to do better in 2018? Here’s some ideas to help

What’s your resolution for the new year? Your business resolution, that is? What do you want to accomplish in 2018?

Most business owners and managers undoubtedly remain resolved to do better in one fashion or another: to better manage employees and processes, provide better products and services to customers and ultimately make more money.

A new year always constitutes a good time for renewed efforts, an opportunity to start over and bring fresh energy and, hopefully, enthusiasm to the tasks at hand. This new year constitutes an especially good time for Grand Valley businesses because of what are widely seen as improving economic conditions that should bolster sales and profits. If headwinds persist in the coming year, they’re not likely to be as fierce. At least that’s the expectation.

Still resolved to do better? Here are some ideas to help.

Take time to take stock. Given the busy schedules of most business owners and managers, it’s entirely understandable to focus on the details of day-to-day operations without considering the bigger picture. It’s important, though, to take regular breaks to think and talk about what’s happening — not only what might be going wrong, but also what’s going right. Involve employees in this process and incorporate their insights and suggestions. Compile a short and specific list of things to do. Schedule the next break in a week or a month or two, then review what’s been accomplished, what’s yet to get done and what additions or subtractions might be needed.

Make and maintain connections. Good business depends in large part on making and maintaining good relationships — between managers and employees, between businesses and their suppliers and certainly between businesses and their customers. Taken advantage of leads groups and networking events to cultivate relationships. In fact, take advantage of every encounter as an opportunity to foster relationships that could benefit your business. You never know when they might. Remember, though, the one rule that remains golden: Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.

Seek out assistance and advice. No business owner or manager has to singularly shoulder the responsibilities of their operations, even if they work alone. Ample assistance and advice is available in the Grand Valley, a lot of it for free. The Business Incubator Center and its Small Business Development Center in Grand Junction offer a range of resources. So do the Mesa County Workforce Center and local chambers of commerce. The U.S. Small Business Administration also offers a variety of information and training online through its website at www.sba.gov.

Give back. Businesses that do well invariably also do good in supporting local philanthropic organizations and causes with their time, treasure or both. Employees like to work for businesses that are involved in the community. Customers like to purchase goods and services from those businesses. What goes around comes around.

Take advantage of the Business Times. While this might be shameless promotion, it’s also good advice. Advertise. Submit news releases about your business. If nothing else, read stories about what other businesses are doing and the advice columnists offer. The resources are there. Use them.

One more thing: Enjoy a prosperous new year.