First published in 1787, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is now traditionally sung by most of us on the stroke of midnight each New Year’s Eve. The words literally translated from old Scottish dialect meaning ‘Old Long Ago’ allude to remembering times past. The lyrics “We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet” refers to the tradition of raising a glass, with “good will, friendship and kind regard” and in remembrance of “noble deeds”.

What “noble deeds” from your past year of business should not be forgotten? We offer a few tips for remembering the year that has past to make your next year even better:

  • What “wins” have you experienced in the past year? Take note of what worked well – and why – and be sure to replicate those behaviors going forward.
  • What did not work, and why? Best laid plans do not always turn out as planned, but the perspective that comes with hindsight analysis can serve your business well in the future.
  • Take the time to review your social media stats. Which messages were most shared, on which channels? When did you most effectively reach your target audience? Review audience insights as well (what date and time is the best for posts, what is the demographic profile of your audience, and what devices are they using?)
  • What results did you achieve from your marketing efforts? Adjust your plan for the new year accordingly.
  • Is there a new market you would like to enter? A little market research on the past year’s successes for the leading companies already in your target market can help you plan your entry.
  • Keeping current customers happy is paramount, but seeking out new business should be a New Year’s resolution every year. Take inventory of your year, and make a list of potential targets.
    • Who did you meet this year, or even at a recent holiday party?
    • What “fails” have you witnessed in your industry in the past year? Reach out to those companies who could clearly benefit from your expertise.
    • Take a look at your new staff members who joined the company in the past year, and dig into their background again now that they have spent time learning your business. You may find an opportunity to expand your horizons for new business, based on your new employees’ past experience.

    The Auld Lang Syne song is traditionally accompanied by people joining hands in friendship as they look forward to the New Year ahead, and pledging that whatever changes life may bring, that old friends will not be forgotten. In business, plan for your future, but don’t forget where you’ve been, the lessons you’ve learned along the way, and the people who got you where you are today. Best wishes for a banner 2016!