Instead of a spectacular New Year’s start, businesses struggle to hit their numbers because they play a zero sum game. For them, the only way to create revenue has been to take business away from competitors.

But the New Year means a whole new ballgame. It’s a perfect time for businesses to evaluate prospects and to strategize for the next 12 months — to create new opportunities for growth and a spectacular New Year.

This is accomplished by wiping the slate clean and budgeting time for a “blue sky session” – dream about where you want to be and how to get there.

Here’s a checklist of strategies:

1. Set yourself up for success with a positive frame of mind before starting. Use meditation, exercise, take walks or listen to music or inspiring messages – do whatever works for you.

2. Now you’re ready start. Take good notes. Now is not the time to prioritize. Do that later. List all strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for you personally and your business.

3. Be pragmatic but think BIG.

4. Eliminate what isn’t feasible. Develop an action plan with timetables for action.

5. Think defensively with customers. Look for ways to delight your customers.

6. School yourself on the social media tools that will help you attract new customers.

7. Protect your other physical assets. Evaluate and safeguard your computer system and financials.

8. Develop efficiencies. Decide where you can save costs without cutting muscle.

9. Be detail-minded in your approach and make the little changes you’ve been neglecting whether it means changing batteries in smoke detectors or changing passwords.

10. Journal your goals. Break your goals down into the steps you need to take for success. Keep track of your progress in getting things done.

11. Visualize. Use the present tense – “I now have enough new customers.”

12. Write and use affirmations and positive phrasing – “I really enjoy my work.”

13. Be true to yourself and your values. Only wish for what you want, not what others tell you what they think is best for you.

14. Get support. That means a mentor who is successful in ways you want for yourself. Find others with whom you can share your dreams confidentially for feedback and help.

15. Emulate role models. Whether you know them or read their biographies follow their examples.

16. Continually review, evaluate and make needed changes.

17. Be realistic and patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight.

18. Use imagery for success. Picture in your mind the successes you want to achieve.

“You can get excited about the future. The past won’t mind.”

-Hillary DePiano

19. Prioritize your to-do list each day. By Thursday, know your schedule for the following week.

20. Use the first hour of each day for your most important tasks to avoid procrastination.

21. Relish and reward yourself for successes.

22. Accept challenges. Embrace them as opportunities for growth. Things aren’t always as they seem. Unexpected events should be considered stepping stones not stumbling blocks.

23. Be tenacious on difficult tasks. Do not give up.

24. Take educated risks. Remember Virgil: “Fortune favors the bold.”

25. Have fun. Look for humor.

26. During difficult times. Reduce the trauma by taking the best option, and do your best so you won’t have regrets.

27. Be patient with others and forgive. Better yet, there won’t be any need to forgive others if you haven’t judged them and started dragging around a bag of resentments. Trust me, the bag only grows and weighs heavier on your mind.

28. When you’re having a bad-hair day practice acceptance and go with the flow.

29. Practice the Principle of Contrary Action in all that you do – do everything differently even the most mundane of activities. You’ll learn to keep an open mind.

30. Use gratitude whenever possible. A great place to start is writing a gratitude list and review it on a regular basis. In 98 percent of communications with others, there are opportunities to say thank you and please.

31. Be accessible when others need help.

From the Coach’s Corner, you don’t have time for planning?

Here is more reading you might find useful:

“You can get excited about the future. The past won’t mind.”

-Hillary DePiano


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.