It's time to move forward as we close 2009

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Was that a gale-force wind gust or a collective sigh of relief?

December 22, 2009

Kelly RoddaWas that a gale-force wind gust or a collective sigh of relief?

Say goodbye (and good riddance, for most) to 2009. It’s over.

What now? Make progress. Learn from it.

Can you blame everything on the economy? I doubt it. Anyway, the blame game is not a productive way to spend an afternoon.


Make a list, check it twice
Instead, do some constructive reflecting. First, list the positive things that happened this year.

A particular plant sold well.

The repairs to the irrigation system saved significant amounts of water.

Only a few Japanese beetles showed up.

With that list complete, try to identify the reasons behind the positive events.

Once you’ve got at least half a dozen positive things to consider, identify some negative episodes. And just as before, try to understand why they happened.

When you have the whats, whys and hows — positive and negative — you can learn from them.
Are you feeling a bit more energized?

Back to basics
Next, dig out your business plan. It may have years of dust on it, although I hope not. The end of the year is a great time to review and update your business plan.

Remember what inspired you to write that business plan in the first place? That motivation is what’s keeping you in business. Don't lose sight of that.

Don’t forget to keep employees in the loop. They’ve had plenty of anxiety about this year’s problems, so don’t make them fret.

Catchy tunes
New year, new start, right? I probably got a harrumph out of some of you, but it’s not as cheesy as it sounds.

Hey, I’m not trying to get everyone to sing a chorus of that rubber tree song. But do stay positive. A clear look at the good, the bad and the ugly could mean a healthier business in 2010.