Four Small Business New Years Resolutions

BY: ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 01, 2012

With the dawn of a new year comes a new beginning, with many across the country vowing to better themselves through their various New Years Resolutions. Some may want to lose weight, others may want to take up a hobby, read more, to socialize more or simply just desire to try harder in all of their endeavors.

Most people don't follow through with their resolutions, in fact, which is quite a shame considering the good intentions behind them. In addition to betting oneself, there's no reason why one can't take the time to attempt to better their business in the midst of the New Year. You can't afford to not follow through on improving your business, so perhaps some New Years Resolutions for your small business may light a fire under you to succeed. We've detailed four small business New Years Resolutions that are sure to help put you and your business in the right mindset for the rest of the year.

Pay More Attention

A common resolution among many Americans is to “read more.” Small businesses should take notice as well when it comes to reading and keeping up with current small business news, issues and legislation. This is especially important as 2012 is an election year, and even more-so as small businesses and the economy are quickly becoming the central issues of the election. Understanding current small business legislation is crucial to making sound political decisions when it comes to you and your business.

Do your homework and keep up with what's going on around you in the world of business and politics. Don't stick to just one source, either. By hearing varying viewpoints from different sources, you become better informed and don't simply hear one side of the issue. Keeping up with current events is incredibly important when it comes to being part of the small business community.

For example, do you know who won the recent Iowa caucus? Are you aware of the platforms of the various prospective Republican presidential candidates? Are you aware of President Obama's current plan to restore jobs? If not, it's time to get informed and start learning.

Trim the Fat

Losing weight is arguably the most popular New Years Resolution among Americans, and there's no reason that your business can't do the same. That is, trim the fit to become a leaner and swifter company. Understand your business' strengths and weaknesses, where your revenue is coming from and where the numbers just aren't adding up. If a new or prospective candidate just isn't working out, don't be afraid to sever. Rely on independent contractors in favor of hiring full-time employees. Forgo expensive business software and opt for inexpensive, cheap and often-free tools available online. Harness the power of blogging, Social Media and other free means of marketing your business. Know where you can and can't spend and act accordingly.

Don't be afraid to drop some dead weight. You aren't alone in this endeavor, and many small businesses are doing the same in the midst of the current economy. In the end, the leanest and meanest business has the edge over its bloated competition.

Keep Up With the Neighbors

Speaking of the competition, are you aware of what your neighbors are up to? Not your actual neighbors, but rather the neighbors in your industry. There's plenty to learn based solely on what they're doing to help you craft your own business strategy. How are they marketing online? What does their Social Media presence look like? Are they running lots of deals? What's their best-selling product? While obsessing over the competition isn't healthy, knowing what you're up against will always give you an upper-hand in the battle between businesses. Give potential customers a reason to come to you over your "neighbors."

Start Cleaning Up

Don't wait until springtime to begin your cleaning; begin the process of organization today. Becoming more organized goes hand in hand with businesses becoming leaner and swifter. Don't let email sit in your inbox for days or lose a potential client or customer because of poor organization. Be prompt. You can get your work done in half the time it'd normally take if you have your processes in order and know where everything is, how long it will take, when it will get done, etc. Stick to a schedule. In an era where time is money, you can't afford to waste either. Organization will help you accomplish this.

A combination of the above resolutions will have your business off to a great start in 2012. And unlike personal resolutions, be sure to follow through with these; your business can't afford to be anything but the best. In short, put your best foot forward and be prepared for what 2012 has to offer your small business.

About the Author

Brent Barnhart

Brent Barnhart is a freelance content writer specializing in topics such as Internet marketing and content marketing for small businesses. His goal is to help business owners find their voices online and improve their content strategies. You can reach Brent or find out more at brentwrites.com.

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