We’re just weeks into 2013, but no doubt many people have already failed to keep up with their New Year’s resolutions. Yes, it’s hard to change, yet entrepreneurs can’t afford that kind of stagnation. To one-up themselves (and their peers) in the coming year, entrepreneurs should ditch the typical resolutions and resolve to do these four things in 2013:
- Learn to listen. It’s easy to believe that the most prosperous companies are those with the biggest marketing spend, widest social media reach and most vocal CEOs. But bigger and louder is not always the same as better. In actuality, the entrepreneurs who listen to customers have the upper hand because they can then react intelligently.
- Stay open to change. The successful entrepreneur sees opportunities others can’t. Entrepreneurs need to change their ways when it becomes obvious that the status quo isn’t working, even if they are passionate and driven to pursue a specific road. To help business thrive in 2013, entrepreneurs need to stay open to changes that make business better. Being flexible to changing course may even help them find newer and greater opportunities.
- Practice patience. One of the biggest mistakes young entrepreneurs make is overreaching their capabilities. Before you go to market or expand into new arenas, make sure you’re prepared. Not only does your product have to be fully functional, but you also need to ensure all the behind-the-scenes components of your business – marketing, customer service and support, and sales – are ready, as well. Don’t rush into anything without doing the research, formulating a strategy and fully preparing your company for the change.
- Quantify success. It can be tricky for entrepreneurs to tell if their ventures are on the right track if they haven’t established metrics for success. In 2013, business owners should develop measurement models and stick with them throughout the year to track company progress. Entrepreneurs must set tangible goals that are quantifiable, and make sure they are things they can definitively say they met or did not meet. With measurement, entrepreneurs can tell at any point in the year how far along they are in fulfilling their goals, and then take steps to meet those goals on deadline.
My company, ClickFuel, followed these resolutions as we built our marketing measurement business. Today, we have more than 200,000 marketing management dashboards activated, and we recently closed a $4 million Series B funding round. We hit these milestones by listening to our customers and acting on their feedback, which prompted us to shift our business model to better meet market needs. But we only did this after preparing our staff and securing enough funding to sustain this effort. To ensure that our efforts stay on the right path and our products are best in class, we track our win-loss sales ratio, as well as log-ins and the amount of time our customers and their marketing clients spend per session on our dashboard. This is how we listen, stay open to change, practice patience, and quantify success. Any entrepreneur can adapt these resolutions to his own endeavors and stick to them in the New Year and beyond in order to help his ventures thrive.