Make Meaningful Resolutions for Your Small Agency

If You Won't Follow Through, Don't Bother

By Published on .

Bart Cleveland Bart Cleveland
It's that time of year again. We make our resolutions for the coming year and hopefully engage in steps to fulfill them. While doing this for oneself is pretty simple -- lose weight, exercise more and get more sleep -- making resolutions for your agency may be a bit more complex. First, you must know where you need to improve. This might seem like an easy task, but it can be pretty elusive without careful and consistent observation. Look back over the last few years. Did you fulfill your previous resolutions? Did you even make any? The following guidelines may help give you a good start at making realistic resolutions, and maybe even help fulfilling them.

Why make resolutions?
This is not a trick question. Many times we make resolutions with no faith that we will succeed at achieving the prescribed goal. So why make them if we aren't planning on following through? We can all relate to this because most of us resolve to lose weight during the coming year, but few of us do. We don't succeed because we don't want to make the sacrifice. When making our resolutions for our agency, we must also evaluate the sacrifice necessary to achieve the goal and be committed to making it. Otherwise they are a waste of time.

Make meaningful resolutions.
If your agency is to grow in size, capability or expertise, you must have a big audacious goal for the coming year. You must reach for the stars. My partners and I want to be a nationally respected agency. We want clients from across the country. We want blue-chip brands on our client roster. The resolutions we make for the coming year are designed to make those business goals a reality. We feel we have made good progress but we also know we must build upon each accomplishment. Consider your long-range goals, and what your current resolutions should be will become more apparent.

I've worked for a number of agencies throughout my career and I can say without hesitation that the number one mistake agency partners consistently make is not communicating with their employees. Employees are the ones that carry through on most of your agency's resolutions. They need the big picture. They need some ownership and responsibility in making it happen. They also need some incentive. Make sure the rewards for achieving your goals have something special awaiting them.

The first step is to take a step.
Don't just plan; do. Immediately implement your plan. You can make adjustments along the way if it's needed, but get started today. Let's say you want to improve the relationship with your clients. Make appointments with each of them so you can tell them your goal. Tell all of your employees that you need their input on how to achieve the goal. These simple first steps will carry you farther down the road to achievement that you can imagine.

Don't give up.
It's very easy to talk yourself into failure, but the fear of failure is a powerful ally. It can push you forward. Prepare yourself for the setbacks, losses and discouragements. They will come. But you cannot allow them to be the conclusion of the matter. Read any book about someone who has succeeded and your will read a chronology of failures that ultimately led to success. These examples all share the common denominator of perseverance. The person simply didn't give up the first time they encountered an obstacle. They would not be denied. Success in this industry requires perseverance.

Remember, resolve is the root word of resolution. Without resolve there is no hope in making good on the goals we set to achieve. So, shake off the cobwebs of the holiday and get focused on your coming year. May it be your best one yet.
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