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Think New Year’s Resolutions are just for your personal life? Think again. I started setting resolutions for my marketing firm seven years ago, and continue the tradition today. Setting resolutions — or goals, if you prefer — at the start of the year helps me identify the areas I want to develop in the coming year.

Step 1: Start by Looking Back

What do you wish you had achieved in the past year? What do you want to do more of? This is a great place to start the brainstorming process for your resolutions. Look at hard data. How did sales do last year? What about profit margins? These are easy areas to start your resolutions in.

Step 2: Create Measurable Resolutions

Avoid generic resolutions like “grow my business” or “increase sales.” Get specific. How much do you want to increase sales? Then you have an actual number to shoot for.

Make the goals just out of arm’s reach. You want them to be possible, but you want to have to work just a little to get there. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unreasonable objectives you know you’ll never reach.

Step 3: Create an Action Plan

The problem most businesses have is that they set up goals, then close that Word document on their computers or stick it in a drawer. Goals are meant to be achieved, and to that end, you have to work for them. Create a list of action steps you and your staff should take to achieve the goal. For example:

Increase Sales 35%

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About Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s also the founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as CorpNet, Small Business Trends, Chamber of Commerce, and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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