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appealing benefits, and a sense of career and personal development. Focus on creating programs that reward tenure and make employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. Otherwise, you can expect to spend large chunks of the year rehiring for roles that have been left vacant. In today’s marketplace, it’s almost impossible for your company to offer something your customers can’t get anywhere else. Every product in the world is just a few clicks away, so articulating what makes your company different is a matter of defining your values. If you haven’t already formulated a unique selling proposition (USP), the time to start is now. A USP provides customers with a brief, compelling snapshot of what makes your business different than your competitors. “Think of a USP as your secret sauce — the special ingredient your business uses to prevent becoming a ‘me too’ company,” says RESOLVE TO DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF
Brad Sugars, founder of ActionCoach. “It’s something that’s truly unique. It grabs people’s attention. It can’t be easily copied. And it offers a clear-cut, marketable benefit to your customer.” Understanding and communicating
that rise and fall with the market from those that excel no matter the broader economic climate. Here’s a word of caution: When looking for weaknesses, don’t let them overwhelm you or turn you into a pessimist. If your company is doing well, you can fix inefficiencies without making them life-or-death issues. That’s the advantage of proactively solving these problems rather than waiting for them to metastasize. There are countless resolutions that will help spur your business to greater heights in 2019. While these are excellent starting points, they’re by no means a black-and-white guide to the best resolutions. You know better than anyone else what will help your business this year, but you have to take the time to think about it and express it throughout your company if you want maximum results. AND THESE ARE JUST THE START
your USP will increase your chances of attracting new customers this year.
RESOLVE TO LOOK FOR WEAKNESSES
This one is especially important for businesses that are doing well. If you’re struggling, you already know to look for problem areas and attack them before they cause too much damage. But if you can analyze those weaknesses while you’re growing, you could stop a downturn before it starts. Too many business owners use growth as validation that they’re doing everything correctly. The truth is that no business — not Amazon, not Google, nobody — is firing on all cylinders all of the time. Taking the time to assess where you’re weak when you’re feeling strong is what separates the companies
SGT. FIELDY COMES HOME Reuniting Brothers in Arms
There are around 2,500 military working dogs currently in service, and their efforts help save the lives of countless soldiers and civilians every day. One of these brave military dogs is Sgt. Fieldy, an 11-year-old black lab who was trained to locate the No. 1 threat in Afghanistan: IEDs. Sgt. Fieldy was deployed to Afghanistan with his handler, Cpl. Nicolas Caceres, in 2011. Early in their deployment, their vehicle struck a pressure plate while they were on patrol. Fieldy and Caceres were all right, but one of the other Marines in their company was badly injured in the explosion. The injured Marine could not be evacuated by helicopter until the landing zone was secured. Fieldy found another IED in the area and alerted Caceres. The bomb was quickly disarmed, and the injured soldier was taken to safety. This wasn’t the only IED Fieldy found. His sharp nose and dedication helped save thousands of lives. After his deployment, Caceres returned home, but Sgt. Fieldy served several more tours without him. While
Fieldy continued to protect soldiers and civilians by tracking down IEDs, Caceres worked tirelessly to make sure he could bring Fieldy home when his service was over. Military working dogs can be adopted by former handlers, law enforcement, or qualified civilians when they retire. After three years apart and a total of four tours served, Sgt. Fieldy was reunited with Caceres. In 2016, Fieldy received the K9 Medal of Courage Award, and in 2018, he won the American Humane Hero Dog Award for his service. “These dogs are out there with us,”said Caceres when he and Fieldy accepted the Hero Dog Award.“The dangers we face, they face them too. They deserve to be recognized. We ask so much of them, and all they want is to get petted or play with a toy. They’re amazing animals, and Fieldy is just an amazing dog. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for him.” If you are interested in supporting our nation’s working dogs or would like to adopt a retired working dog yourself, you can learn more at Missionk9rescue.org.
2 • www.yolofskylaw.com
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