Spoiler alert – do not continue reading if you do not want to think about New Year’s resolutions yet. As I write, we are less than two months away from New Year’s Day 2012.
It seems like the candles in our Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns were barely dwindling when I noticed that retailers already had Christmas trees and holiday advertisements up in their stores. It caused me to wonder… how long before I start seeing promotions about the New Year’s holiday? And what happened to Thanksgiving?
Well, let me be proactive for once and take care of New Years right now. Since I’ve not been afforded the luxury of enjoying Halloween without being bombarded with Thanksgiving messages, and likewise Thanksgiving without being subjected to Christmas marketing, I’m going to make my New Year’s resolutions now, before I’m asked to buy Valentine’s Day cards.
Here are my business-related New Year’s resolutions for 2012:
1. Recognize my employees more often. I’m often guilty of getting so caught up in my own workload and stress that goes with daily business that I don’t allocate enough emotional reserve to thank my employees and coworkers enough. They are the true secret to our success (as I blogged about), and should be patted on the back FAR more than they do. I know they don’t ask for it, but they definitely deserve it. They need to hear how great they are from me and not just from our customers.
2. As blasé as it may seem, I need to get more organized. As our Fishbowl product line has exploded in growth and customer base, I just don’t have the bandwidth to do the same old things the same old way and get everything done. I can really relate to our customers’ pain in this area. I’m thankful that we “eat our own dog food;” that is that we use Fishbowl Inventory internally to manage our sales and fulfillment processes. It really does save us time and money! Without it, I would have to add more people and overhead costs at a much more rapid rate than we do.
3. I can help accomplish #2 by empowering our people more. We’ve done a reasonably good job at this so far. There’s very little red tape or bureaucracy in our business, and we have the brightest, most innovative employees on the planet. They can handle anything they’re tasked with, and most often do a much better job than I ever could.
4. Be more active in promoting Fishbowl – the best inventory management program on the planet. It’s too easy to get comfortable in my other roles in Human Resources (HR) and Information Technology (IT), and leave it to our Marketing group to get the word out. I’ve been living this Fishbowl dream for 10 years now, and have always preached that when you believe in and love something, TELL PEOPLE about it. I’ve witnessed firsthand the thousands of companies that have cut costs, streamlined processes, and become more profitable by implementing Fishbowl’s inventory management software. It’s not just small and medium-sized companies either – Fishbowl is scalable and used by all sizes of companies. I love the fact that Fishbowl is so simple and flexible so it can apply to diverse industries and businesses. Where else have you ever heard of a product that has been used and heralded by (to name just a few… there are hundreds more I don’t have space to list) NASA, NASCAR teams, pet food companies, wineries and breweries, educators, fitness equipment retailers, piano companies, tree wholesalers and casinos. I want all companies in all industries to experience this gem, and I’d be hypocritical if I didn’t do more to get the word out. Thanks to my good friend Grant Kimball for recently calling NPR and demonstrating this point that I needed to be reminded of. You can hear that segment at the link above if you’re interested.
5. Continue to embrace new relationships that add great value to the Fishbowl product. One of the benefits of being the leader in our space and having such a valuable, rock-solid relationship with a partner like Intuit, is that other solutions that are good fits and complementary to our software come out of the woodwork with requests to bundle with Fishbowl. When it makes sense, it’s a win-win. Just look at Fishbowl Enterprise, which includes a free trial of eFileCabinet. Our customers love it, and we’re all about taking care of our customers.
Well, that’s about it. Now that I have my New Year’s resolutions done, I think I’ll spend the afternoon planning our Operations activity for July 4th. Got to stay ahead of the curve, right?