The 3 Most Important New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Ever Make

Written by Carol Coughlin. Posted in Business Leadership

If you’re a strategic, growth-focused CEO (or want to be), it’s critical to set aside time to assess how your company did in 2012, as well as determine what needs to happen in 2013.

Although we can all agree this is essential, there’s often an elephant in the room that prevents a full-on Assessment-Analysis-Action Plan from getting going – or finished.

It’s called OVERWHELM.

So, instead of offering you a long list of Resolutions for 2013 (as if you didn’t have enough to do already), we’re sharing just three.

If implemented diligently all year long, these three resolutions alone can create a powerful shift the culture of your company, as well as in your perspective as CEO.

 The 3 Most Important New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Ever Make

RESOLUTION #1: Get Fierce About Finance

CEOs need accurate data and timely reporting to stay on top of their company’s financial picture throughout the year. If you’ve allowed your financial team to provide anything less than this, it’s time to get far more demanding. Equally, if you’ve stayed out of the finances of your company, it’s time to get way more involved. Resolve to make 2013 the year you put major accountability in place for your financial department. The beginning of a new year is a great time to do this and you’ll be assured to start 2013 with the financial documents you need to make wise decisions. Not to mention, the monthly reporting and quarterly assessments that will give you the ability to revise original financial assumptions, update projections and re-visit Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Above all, getting fierce about finance will ensure your growth plans are always in alignment with financial realities.

RESOLUTION #2: Get Over Operational Inefficiency

Operations covers three areas: People, Processes and Systems. Inefficiency in any one of these will negatively influence the profitability and the sustainability of your company. In order to grow, each area needs to be assessed regularly.Resolve to make 2013 the year you take a hard look at People, Processes and Systems and make needed adjustments. While this will require some difficult decisions (most likely around the people aspect of your company), you’re not doing anyone any favors by limiting the growth of your business.Here’s our short list for getting started toward greater operational efficiency: 1) Make staffing decisions based on business needs, not loyalties; 2) Continuously review processes for repeatability (good) and redundancies (bad); and 3) Ensure business systems are providing accurate decision-making data. We’ll be sharing much more about operational efficiency in the first part of 2013, so stay tuned.

 RESOLUTION #3: Get GREAT Guides for Your Growth

No CEO is an island. To grow your company, you need the wisdom of people who’ve been in the trenches and are willing to offer their insight and experience. Many CEOs depend on peer groups for this support, and while we highly recommend that every CEO participate in a peer group, it will never be 100% focused on growing your company – growing companies require focused attention and a single-minded agenda. Resolve to make 2013 the year you put an expert Advisory Board in place. There are professionals whose personal situations have made them available to help other companies achieve higher levels of success. In fact, one of BottomLine’s specialties is helping companies identify and manage a high-performing, high-ROI Advisory Board – and you’ll be hearing more about this new offering very soon as well.

We hope you see how resolving to put your focus on just these three big picture arenas can dramatically improve the trajectory of your company’s growth and success. Your role as CEO, of course, is to guide. When you have the pulse of your finances and operations, along with objective input on what needs to happen next, there’s no end to what you can accomplish in 2013.

We wish you much success in the coming year – and, as always, we’re here to support you in getting there.

Carol Coughlin

Carol Coughlin founded BottomLine Growth Strategies, Inc., in 2006 as a way for small and medium-sized businesses to access the same high-level financial and operational expertise that gives large companies a distinct advantage. Using her own extensive corporate experience and willingness to sit in the hot seat as a catalyst, Carol helps BottomLine Growth clients climb to the summit of their success.
business-journal brava top-100 spirited-women circle-of-excellence ceos