April 24, 2014

Small Business Advice

New Year a time to reflect, make resolution to be more grateful

"When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life." ~ Greg Anderson

Jerry Osteryoung | 1/6/2014

As we begin a new year, it is useful to reflect on what we accomplished last year as well as what we would like to accomplish in the year ahead.

Before I talk about how you can make the most of the new opportunities 2014 will bring, I want to go over one very important New Year’s resolution all businesses should make: be grateful.

We do not talk enough about gratefulness in business and management, but recognizing those who are helping you achieve your goals and being grateful is critical to your success.

Having a successful business and a productive year took the work of many hands, yet we rarely think about how much we rely on other people to get the job done. It is important to look back on our struggles and successes and take a moment to recognize the people who got us through it.

As I prepared to board a flight last month, I started thinking about the number of people who play a role in making sure the plane takes off and lands safely. There are gate attendants, baggage handlers, flight crews, aircraft controllers, even TSA folks, maintenance personnel and the list goes on and on.

Likewise, every business has so many people who contribute to the mission — staff, vendors, customers and many others — and we need to be grateful for that support. True, most of these people are paid or receive some other benefit, but it is because of their efforts that your organization survives and thrives year after year.

I have taken a new job as interim president of the Dan Marino Foundation’s Marino Campus in Fort Lauderdale. We train young adults who have autism or other developmental disabilities to have meaningful careers. It is a challenge, but our staff of 40+ educators does a great job ensuring our students learn the skills the workplace demands. I am thankful for every one of them and their dedication to each other and to the young adults in our program.

The economy is expected to show more life in 2014, which will present us with a number of opportunities. However, as you focus on the business at hand, remind yourself to be grateful for those who are supporting you along the way.

In addition to being grateful, all businesses should consider making the following resolutions in 2014:

• As the economy gains strength, most firms will begin to see increased demand. Now is a good time to expand your staff or build infrastructure that will enable you to handle the added demand.

• Finance any expansion needs now. Interest rates are expected to start rising. We are already seeing this in the mortgage market.

• Take a look at your staff and make sure you have the best people you can afford on the team. Your staff is the key to your success. If you are not choosing the best, your business or organization will never be better than mediocre.

Now go out and establish realistic resolutions for 2014 and remember to be grateful.

You can do this!


Other small business advice columns from Dr. Osteryoung are here.

Jerry Osteryoung is a consultant to businesses - he has directly assisted over 3,000 firms. He is the Jim Moran Professor of Entrepreneurship (Emeritus) and Professor of Finance (Emeritus) at Florida State University. He was the founding Executive Director of The Jim Moran Institute and served in that position from 1995 through 2008. His newest book co-authored with Tim O'Brien, "If You Have Employees, You Really Need This Book," is an Amazon.com bestseller. He can be reached by e-mail at jerry.osteryoung@gmail.com.

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