If you’ve never made New Year’s resolutions, let 2016 be the year you start. If you make them actionable and measurable, you’ll actually achieve them, unlike those nebulous goals you’ve set in the past (does “lose weight” ring a bell?).
Here are five resolutions to get your list started.
1. I Resolve to Do My Due Diligence
If you plan to buy a franchise in 2016, make due diligence your #1 goal. Don’t take a franchisor’s word that its brand is a great one to work with. Ask for financials, get current franchisees’ contact information, and ask for full disclosure on fees and how the brand will help support you as a franchisee.
2. I Resolve to Better Market My Business
Marketing is the foundation for any successful company. As a franchisee, you can’t expect your franchisor to do all the heavy lifting for you. It’s your responsibility to make your brand known in your local community. If you can’t take this role on yourself, hire someone to do your marketing.
3. I Resolve to Save Money for Emergencies
If you’re taking all your profits and not putting any funds back in your company, what will you do if an essential piece of equipment goes kaput? Or you are sued? Hopefully these situations will never happen, but having a rainy day fund will act as insurance against these occasions.
4. I Resolve to Create a Business Plan
Even if you’ve been operating for years, having a business plan going forward will help you in many ways. If you decide to seek a business loan or funding to expand or buy another franchise, the bank or investor will require you to have a business plan. Also, it can help you look at the big picture, while working out the details of the immediate future of your business.
5. I Resolve to Stay on Top of My Industry
You’ve got a lot going on, sure, but it’s essential that you stay apprised of what’s happening in your industry, as well as the franchising community as a whole. That means reading books, blogs, and publications, as well as attending industry events, workshops, and webinars. Remember: the smart entrepreneur is the successful one.
Add your own resolutions to this list, but be sure to keep them somewhere you can see them. Otherwise, in a year, you’ll look back and say, “Bah! Resolutions never work!” You’ve got to work to make them come true.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She’s written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.