Whilst looking for some information to help me in my business planning for 2007, I came across this excellent article. It has some great tips and certainly helped me in my preparations for another year in small business!
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Focus your energy only on what's working now.
Let's face it: Everything you do to build your business isn't going to provide stellar results. When is the last time you reviewed what's working and what's not? Did you pitch the materials, sales techniques, products or services that aren't contributing to the bottom line? Now is the time to review what's working and what isn't - and change it.
Stop 'making do' and start getting things that work.
One of my biggest pet peeves this past year was transferring files from computer to computer. It was a frequent pain in the butt in my copywriting world, so I broke down and purchased a very inexpensive USB key that holds more than 250MB of files - more than enough for my work. I haven't regretted it since. What do you have in your office, or rather don't have, that you need to work more efficiently?
Create manageable, reachable goals and remind yourself of them regularly.
Do you have any set business goals for 2007 you'd like to reach? Do you have an execution plan? If not, add this topic to your list of things to do, and we'll discuss it further in the coming weeks in manageable chunks.
Give back to the community.
There are as many different ways to give back to those who helped you succeed than there are organizations who need your help. Find a cause that matters to you and devote a couple of hours a month. If nothing else, it will feed you emotionally by doing great deeds, although it doesn't hurt to get your businesses' name out there, either.
Meet new successful entrepreneurs for business, mentoring and networking purposes.
Join a business networking group, find or become a mentor, join the Chamber of Commerce or post in our free discussion groups and chat with other successful entrepreneurs. Any combination of these techniques will get you so much closer to feeling a sense of community and support to build your business even further.
Take a small business or entrepreneurship course.
When you take the time to learn something new, you are adding value to your business. Plus, it doesn't have to cost a fortune, either. I've already compiled a list of free online courses of use to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Missing a topic? Post and let me know.
Make business planning a priority.
How often do you focus on your businesses' future success? Yearly? Monthly? Bi-weekly? Try for a daily dose of business planning every morning and see just how much more successful your business becomes. I'll be writing more articles along this thread in the new year, but in the meantime, why not review our entrepreneurs daily task list for ideas to get you started?
Promote and advertise your company consistently for year-round results.
Advertising and promotions are an art form few business people master. However, they are both skills essential to all entrepreneurs. If you don't have a marketing plan, you aren't meeting your business potential.
You can't do everything as a small business owner, although I'm sure it feels like it most days! Again, delegation is a learned skill, so you may want to take a free course on the topic or read more on the subject.
Create a time management system that allows for downtime and celebration.
Do you have your business processes written down, a daily task list or a time management program? All of these necessities fit into this new years resolution, so make sure to add it to your list if you haven't mastered it already.
B. Albo is a business owner and freelance writer based out of the mountain region of B.C., Canada. For free articles, tips, discussions and blog postings about being a successful entrepreneur (and links to all of the information discussed in this article), visit her at http://entrepreneurs.suite101.com/
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