While adding news stories to our Twitter the other day, I saw a tweet that read, “Average people make resolutions, successful ones make decisions.” I am a strong believer in New Year’s resolutions, because they challenge me throughout the year and give me the little “oomph” needed to try something unique. Resolutions are a means of bettering ourselves. They are a way for us to consciously decide that we need to make a change.
While personal resolutions are the norm, business-oriented resolutions are just as important. Minimally, work takes up around 40 hours each week so it is only natural to create ways of improving that work. Whether you are a route driver, a vending or OCS operator, a consultant, a representative or an industry broker, here are several New Year’s resolutions that may benefit your work in the industry:
1. Attend at least one industry-related trade show.
Ideally you will be able to attend the industry’s largest event: NAMA OneShow. Trade shows are a great way to network, engage and learn. Even if you’ve attended trade shows in the past, products and legislation change each year – don’t wait to hear about things months after they've happened.
2. Become a member of NAMA and your state and local associations.
This advice has been preached a lot, but getting involved in the national, state and local associations gives you the opportunity to receive discounts, industry-related news that will affect your business and networking opportunities with others around your area.
3. Advocate for or against a public policy issue, either locally or nationally.
Not many of us participate in public policy issues. “I’ll leave it to the other guys,” we think. Not this year. The more feedback the FDA and Congress have on an issue, the more they pay attention. Even if it is at a local level, participate in public policy issues (or a single issue) this year. Don’t just read about legislation in the newspaper – become active in creating it.
4. Implement a new form of technology.
Most businesses are night and day when it comes to technology. Some have mobile apps, social media and cashless vending while others don’t have a Website. Find an area of your business that would benefit from technological integration: offer loyalty programs to your customers, add cashless readers on some of your machines, offer a mobile app or create a Twitter account.
5. Nominate your employees for industry-related awards.
Employees are companies’ biggest assets. Nominating your employees or colleagues for industry-related awards shows them that you notice the hard work they put in throughout the year. Don’t take them for granted.
6. Subscribe to a trade journal (hopefully, Automatic Merchandiser!).
VendingMarketWatch Daily Update (as the title suggests) is a daily newsletter that has all of the up to date industry-related news. The only way to fully know your industry is to make sure you know the current trends, acquisitions and new products. Sign up and become “in the know.”
The tweet that inspired this blog post was correct in noting that resolutions are decisions; so choose several resolutions that will benefit your business in 2014. Write them down and look at them every day. Pretty soon, those decisions will become actions and no longer will they be resolutions: this time next year, they will be a part of everyday life.