July 18th, 2018

Business Beat: A New Year’s resolution for your business

By Medicine Hat News on January 3, 2018.

There are a number of articles out there at this time of year that talk about New Year’s resolutions, typically related to personal self-improvement. However working for the Chamber of Commerce, I like to take note of articles that are related to New Year’s resolutions for business and what’s top of mind for the upcoming year.

What I always seem to find is an abundance of resources related to what you can do for your business and they all seem to fit somewhere within the following categories.

1. Focus on business planning/strategic planning

2. Set financial goals

3. Set realistic goals

4. Drop what’s not working and move on

5. Promote your business

6. Learn something new

7. Improve your digital presence

8. Implement a technology strategy

9. Focus on human resource best practices

10. Join a business or networking group

11. Learn how to delegate

12. Give back to your community

13. Manage your time

14. Put time for you on your calendar

I’m sure most of us just groan at the thought of yet another lengthy “to-do” list. It ends up being a daunting task that, at first glance, appears like it will take copious amounts of time to implement. You may even feel that by setting yet another slate of resolutions you may be potentially setting yourself up for failure or disappointment. Most business owners are already strapped for time and don’t have a lot of extra time to invest in working on their business, as they are already so busy just doing the day to day to keep up.

I would like offer a simple solution and take a bold approach to say you really just need one New Year’s resolution: Become a member of your Chamber of Commerce or, if you’re already a member, engage in the resources of the Chamber of Commerce. As a member, you can turn your membership into a business investment and it will enable you can tackle most of the above resolutions with just that one investment.

The Chamber partners with organizations like the Medicine Hat College, Community Futures Entre-Corp and others that will help with training, business planning and financial planning. We are also currently working on an agreement with the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources in order to bring more human resource tools to our members as well.

By joining the Chamber, you will also be able to tackle the objectives of promoting your business, joining a business group, giving back to your community and learning more about what’s not working or what could work better through some of the business services we offer or the resources we can provide. We even have a social media workshop to help you improve your digital presence.

From a time perspective, as businesses, who can possibly keep up with all the government changes that have been implemented? This is another benefit that you don’t even have to think about, as we put a great deal of time into monitoring government issues, so you don’t have to. We then assist by sending you focused information on the topics relevant or important to our local business community and filter through current and upcoming regulations that pertain to business to make sure you are aware of any changes or current legislation that will have an impact on you.

We can even connect you with other members to help you with many of these objectives and ensure we are all supporting our local business community by creating a strong and well supported business ecosystem. Whether you need to make time for yourself through many of our member 2 member discounts, or you want to investigate or implement a digital or technology strategy, we can connect you with the right resources to help you further your business goals in 2018.

So for this year, focus on that one New Year’s resolution. An investment in the Chamber of Commerce is an investment in your business and your community that can provide you real dollars and cents return. I can guarantee that one task will be much easier than tackling over a dozen things on your to do list this year.

Lisa Kowalchuk is the executive director of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce. For more information on this column or the Chamber, contact 403-527-5214.

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