Don’t stop at just personal resolutions for the new year – resolve to do something to benefit the business. Here is some inspiration:
1. Hear here
Curious about the podcast craze? There are podcasts to suit every individual and every industry. Find one that will inform or inspire, and start off the year with a new business resource.
For a couple of sites that offer a slew of podcasts, visit https://player.fm/podcasts/business and https://www.iheart.com/podcast/.
Player.fm includes podcasts, for instance, on machining, logistics (supply chain), printing and 3D printing, to mention just a few disciplines.
Iheart.com is generally more entertainment-oriented than business-oriented, but it includes such podcasts as TED, NPR, The Journal (Wall Street Journal), Bloomberg News and Marketplace.
Browse the menus on these sites until an interesting subject pops up or narrow it down by searching for a topic (“supply chain”) or an industry (“printing”).
2. Sign up for a convention or tradeshow
Spend a little time over the holidays to shop for a tradeshow or convention to attend in the spring, summer or fall.
Just as every industry has a podcast, each business sector has a convention (or three). Paper manufacturing and printing? They’ve got Odyssey and PRINT. Plastics manufacturing? PLASTEC and ANTEC and the MAPP Benchmarking Conference. How about plastics decorating? ANTEC and InPrint and TopCon. Specialty coating and curing? InPrint and PRINT and the RadTech Meeting.
Choose an event and then book it – now – before the resolution has a chance to get lost in the day-to-day demands when business resumes in January.
3. Partner with a competitor
Inc.com suggested this great resolution in an article last year, and it remains a timely idea.
“There are definitely times when working with your competition can be mutually beneficial,” the article stated, “Commit to finding a way to partner with a competitor. Maybe you can join together to support a charitable cause. Or join together to create economies of scale. Or find ways to cross-sell.”
The article urged businesses to, at the least, find ways to partner with complementary enterprises. Businesses that sell products, for example, might link up with companies that install or service those products. Service providers, on the other hand, might team up with businesses that offer bundled services.
4. Give back to the community
The uprinting.com blog offered this thoughtful resolution:
“Donate cash or other resources to a charity or school that serves your community. Cash and other physical assets are great, but see if you are able to bring something else to the table.”
Toyota has offered their strong efficiency skills as a donation to a New York soup kitchen and helped the organization streamline its operations – a gift that was more valuable than cash.
5. Start on succession planning by getting some introductory training
Forbes.com reports that, in a 2016 Family Business Survey, 40% of family-owned businesses didn’t have a succession plan, even while most of them did intend to pass company ownership to the next generation.
A BusinessWest.com article offers this sage advice: “Many succession plans are not carefully planned out, or are devised as a result of a health event. A good succession plan is made when the owner can think rationally.” Great advice, but apparently rarely acted upon. Newport Beach, California-based attorney Jillyn Hess-Verdon laid out the real story in an Insurance Journal article. “They don’t want to think about it,” said Hess-Verdon, “Most of my clients spend more time planning a two-week vacation than they do the succession of a business.”
Avoid falling into that trap. Succession planning resources are available in every state at colleges and universities, and via professional consultants. Resolve to stick a toe in the succession planning water by lining up support now for taking the big dive later.
Kickstart 2020 with a business-oriented resolution, and have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.