• Marlene

Achieving New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business



First the bad news, then the good news. The bad news: more than half of New Year’s resolutions fail before February. The good news: not this year!

This New Year, we wanted to focus our January blog post not just on creating business resolutions but resolving resolutions. Every day, we help clients set clear, achievable legal business goals. Getting there starts with figuring out your needs and how to meet them. According to the New York Times, resolutions often fail because they are either vague, lack a real achievement strategy, or they aren’t the right resolutions for you.

Business resolutions can fail when they are unclear, when they are overwhelming, and when you try to go at them alone. We’ll tackle each of these in turn.

Keep it clear.

Business resolutions can fail when they aren’t clearly defined. How can you achieve something that you aren’t sure exactly what it is?

You’ve probably heard of SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for:

  • Specific;

  • Measurable;

  • Attainable;

  • Realistic; and

  • Time bound/Timely.

The whole point of setting SMART goals is that the more focused the goal, the more likely you’ll find a way to achieve it. For example, you might want to “get organized” this year. Not only is “get organized” subjective and unclear, it doesn’t provide specific details on how, when, or to what degree. Sometimes, SMART goals involve a little research.


For example, perhaps you want to create a solid business legal structure like an LLC, but without talking to or reading materials from experts, it is really hard to know what elements are required of that (see our free resource titled “Forming a PA LLC”). We’ve also created legal health check-ups for Contracts, Accounting, Banking & Insurance, and Entities & Governing Documents for figuring out just what kinds of legal specifics you might want to take care of this year. Defining your goals involves creating more than just a clear, understandable, and specific definition but also setting a timeframe for when you want to accomplish them.

Trellis helps small businesses figure out what they need and what works for them – we love to help people better define their business resolutions.

Keep it Real.

Once you have your list of needs, you can create an action plan for meeting them. Perhaps once you know what you need, that list might start growing, and a long list of potential costs and action items can be intimidating and overwhelming. Business resolutions can fail when they are overwhelming. As small business lawyers, we get to work with a lot of excited new business owners who have big goals and creative ideas. In fact, just the other day, a potential client came in with a multifaceted business strategy and some of the coolest concepts that would truly take our community by storm.

But sometimes such a brilliant scheme comes with a lot of not-so-brilliant red tape. To help meet each of these needs, we recommend breaking your goals down to smaller bites. It can be pretty overwhelming having someone tell you that you need to establish an entity and its governing documents like operating agreements and employee policies and certificates and permits and zoning and contracts and website terms and conditions and lease agreements and and and …

Achieving legal business goals is about narrowing your focus on one thing at a time and breaking it down into more manageable bites. It takes patience and determination. Our goal isn’t just to tell you what you need, but to triage your needs and break them down into small steps.



Keep it together.

Business resolutions can fail when they’re attempted alone.

Your small business lawyer is a valuable tool in your toolbox. We’re here to answer any questions you might have or help you make your 2022 action plan to get that resolution resolved. And as always, at Trellis we resolve to provide Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely legal services for you – meaning you will know what you’re getting and what you’re paying for it right up front, and we’ll be here to help you reach your greatest business resolutions one step at a time.


And remember our Contract Template library is another great way to tackle your list if you aren’t quite ready to dive in with a lawyer yet!


DISCLAIMER: This blog post is meant for informational purposes only and does not constitute specific legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Readers should discuss their specific situation with an attorney.


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