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New Years Resolutions

The start of every year brings renewed hope. The energy level at most companies the first days of the year are very high. Maybe it is the word on the street that the inflation has been controlled and interest rates may be coming down, that things will be better in the days, weeks and months ahead.

I have a hope that this year will be better than those past for every print/sign owner. Most of us make resolutions as the New Year begins, and this one is no different for us. But this year I want to offer each person some resolutions that I hope will be more than just words that are soon forgotten but words that will be cause action and forward movement. In doing so, I hope that this will actually make 2024 a better year in deed and not just in words.

The first resolution is to have a plan for your business. Many print/sign owners operate without a plan, and the people that work for them don't either. Taking the time to think about and then write a business plan is one of the more worthwhile expenditures of brainpower and time when compared to how many ways you can squander resources, yet so few people take the time to do it. I often wonder how more effective, efficient and profitable any business could be with a written plan.

The second resolution is to have some sort of accountability system to get things done. In Corporate America there are many systems and processes that work, one of the most important being sitting down and writing a monthly status report to the boss that tells how we spend our time and other resources, yet in smaller businesses we avoid this. Every business needs more, not less accountability to make sure that things get done in a timely fashion.

A third resolution should be to put more balance in our lives. We are as guilty of it as those of you reading this are: we work too much. While we can make all the excuses we want to about how much passion we have for what we do (and it knows no bounds) the truth is we all need to take more time to smell the roses, see the sunrises and sunsets, and spend time with loved ones.

Related to balance is a simple resolution: to laugh more. Americans are just too serious. We all need to laugh more.

Fifth, we need to take better care of our bodies. We need to eat healthier, drink more water, sit less, to move more. It shouldn't be that hard, but we sure make a lot of excuses for not doing these very simple things that would make a tremendous difference in our physical well being.

Last, we need to make a resolution to grow ourselves mentally. We simply do not spend enough time learning. And we need to take a class, read the trade magazines, watch an educational videotape, go to a printing or sign trade show or conference or join a peer group to improve how we manage and grow our printing/sign businesses.

The key to all of this is not just to say that you are going to do these things. The key is to actually make them happen, and consistently. Take purposeful action. Johann von Goethe was quoted as saying "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

Mitch Evans is a management consultant and trusted advisor who works with graphic company owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. Mitch is a managing director at Graphic Arts Advisors LLC which specializes in Mergers & Acquisitions (valuations, buying and selling, mergers and non-bankruptcy orderly wind-downs). Mitch is also a partner in The Next Level Group which facilitates formal top executive peer groups for leadership, business growth, including revenue growth, improved internal efficiencies, and greater profitability. Please contact him at or call 561-351-6950.


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