September 29, 2023

Small Business Advice

Add these New Year's resolutions to your business goals

Jerry Osteryoung | 1/6/2017

"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

In preparation for a brand new year, I have compiled a list of New Year’s resolutions every entrepreneur should consider adding to their 2017 goals.

At the top of my list is to make a commitment to taking more stress-free time off this year.

I realize that for most entrepreneurs, the hardest thing to do is to take time away from their businesses. Even when they promise me they will take time to enjoy life, they cannot. Their minds just do not allow them to let go and just be. However, it is critical to find a way. Not to do so can have deadly results.

A friend of mine was the owner of a small business, and I just could not get him to reduce his stress. He was so worn out by all the things he dealt with on a daily basis, you could just look at him and tell he was not doing well. However, he refused to do anything to change this until he had a heart attack, which ultimately forced him to cut back.

In so many ways, this incident really turned his life around. Now he looks back and wonders why he let stress eat him alive. So, in 2017, resolve to develop a plan for reducing stress.

The second resolution on my list for 2017 is to develop ways to deal with whatever happens in our economy.

With a new president entering office and interest rates dancing around, this coming year will be chaotic. Although it is nearly impossible to predict what these circumstances will bring in 2017, you must develop contingency plans for every probable outcome so you are ready to respond no matter what happens.

The third resolution I recommend that all entrepreneurs make is to commit to learning more about technology.

Understanding IT is no longer just the responsibility of one person or department. Now every part of the organization should have intimate knowledge of how technology can affect their areas.

While technology changes at lightning speed -- every 12 to 18 months, computers double their capabilities, and so do the information technologies that use them -- every entrepreneur must make an effort to learn more about technology so they are able to make decisions when it inevitably changes.

Finally, make sure you are considering all stakeholders in your business and not letting any one of them have too much weight in your decision processes.

Some businesses try to become employee-centric, but doing so lets other stakeholders fall to a secondary level. Vendors, customers, owners and employees are all stakeholders in your business, and they each need to be considered fairly.

Now go out and make these four resolutions part of your goals for this coming year.

You can do this!

Dr. Osteryoung has directly has 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 a bestseller on He can be reached by e-mail at

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