As a new business owner, what conventional advice is available for success in 2020? I described 2020 as a year of tension in several relevant domains (see column of Jan. 4). The answer is evident in these four basic action verbs: Market, mobilize, contribute and sustain. Here are refreshers in one concise column to make each happen in this new year.

Market: Here you continuously market your products and services in traditional and nontraditional areas. Identify as many applications for what you do and continuously look for new and different ones to sell and offer to your consumers. In 2020 never stop looking for the new and different. Then sell, sell, sell! Stay focused on what customers and clients are responding to. Do this without losing sight of any new applications and totally different products and services as your base changes in need and desire. Your marketing meetings can be intense as needed to stretch your people to be more creative.

Mobilize: You prepare your full resources to be at their peak! It’s about moving forward with enough energy to overcome the challenges of 2020. Your people are energized to make the business goals happen with the full resources of the company without waste or doubt. Check in periodically to measure progress, make any adjustments and reward the effort. A cohesive team helps assure everyone is on the same page. It is looking to be efficient and listening to the entire environment, as well as consumer feedback, for those faint signals that suggest changes are needed.

Contribute: It would be ideal if everyone contributes to achieving positive business results. As an owner, you are perhaps the biggest contributor by checking progress, initiating changes, encouraging the team and celebrating results. Coaching may very well be part of this effort especially for anyone asking for help or needing assistance. Each person contributing as much as their potential allows is the company objective.

Sustain: There may be a need to put special emphasis on sustaining the 2020 initiatives and results. Keeping the energy high and focused is challenging enough. Look for ways to keep the effort going beyond 2020. Some ideas include: Discuss at team meetings the lessons learned for the past several months. What are the new practices that sustain the 2020 effort? How much personal accountability is there for the positive efforts and results achieved? Is the team applying what others suggest work to achieve more? Are accomplishments reviewed every six months to determine best practices going forward?

These four basic actions are a good start and a checklist for 2020. All that’s left is for circumstances to cooperate.

Bob Vecchiotti is a business psychologist. He can be reached at or 924-2012.