6 New Year’s Resolutions Southeast Asian Founders Should Try
A few tips on how to be a better entrepreneur this coming 2018
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
2017 is nearly over and in less than two weeks, we’ll be welcoming 2018. Creating a list of New Year’s resolutions is one tradition many still follow. Popular resolutions include personal ones such as losing weight, sleeping earlier, or finishing that unread pile of books.
But how about start-ups and their founders?
“I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. If you want to change something, there's no reason to wait for an arbitrary date,” says Dennis Yang, CEO of UDemy, in this Inc. article. “However, the start of the year does feel timely for a company to kick off a set of collective resolutions — things the team can rally around when they get back from the holidays and need a motivational jumpstart.”
Below are suggested resolutions for founders and start-ups to up their game this 2018:
1. Network like a pro
It may sound simple, but Jonah Chipeco, writer, marketer, and resource speaker, suggests being more mindful about building your network goes a long way. In the flurry of tasks to attend to, some entrepreneurs tend to forget this during meetings and company events.
When you get the contact information of people you’ve just met, remember to add it to your database of prospective partners or clients.
Chipeco says, “We usually exchange business cards with people we meet yet forget that we can make use of our contacts’ information in the future. Check if your growth strategy includes consistent building of this list.”
2. Connect more with your team
Being a distant boss can be a problem for some founders. This is why Ken Lerona, marketing and PR practitioner who has worked with start-ups, suggests that one has to be more collaborative in dealing with them.
“Shut up and listen to more employees, stakeholders, customers,” says Lerona. “Be more connected to people instead of just getting drowned by product or technology.”
3. Set learning objectives
Chipeco advises entrepreneurs to have concrete learning objectives for their teams to overcome underperformance in the coming year.
“Achieving company goals should be backed up with proper training and equipping of your members,” she says. “Ensure balance in achieving and learning when setting goals. A reason for underperformance in some aspects could be the lack of knowledge and skill.”
4. Build your online presence
The Internet is everything these days.
Chipeco says that as a start-up founder, creating content online to raise awareness about your brand is a must.
“Set initiatives to drive traffic to your website,” she advises. “Aside from planning, monitor your online content, [as well as] review and update your sales letters, proposal drafts, and contract templates.”
5. Take action
With so much content proliferating the Internet (self-help articles included!), audiences tend to forget that they have to take decisive action first before they can see the fruits of what they learned.
“It seems like today, there’s so much information and education about the business world that I’m not surprised not enough action is taken,” says James Richman, investor at JJ Richman and former CEO of 1WD. “So as a resolution, I’d suggest taking more action instead of trying to learn every tiniest aspect of what you want to get involved with. As long as the basic math adds up, go ahead and take the leap.”
As they say, done is better than perfect.
6. Be more socially relevant without sacrificing profit
Sounds impossible? Lerona says this can be done. He cites the products that one buys for a cause, where the proceeds go to a social enterprise or charity.
“You don’t have to spend much to support a cause,” he says.
He also says profit and social relevance can both be achieved by simply being responsible in one’s business practices. This includes paying the correct taxes, not polluting the environment, and being an equal opportunity employer, among others.
“You’re being good to society,” he says. “You don’t need to spend an extra dollar on that.”