If you haven't already, it's time to make your New Year's Resolutions. It is motivating to start off with a clean slate and lofty goals to make changes for the better during the coming year. Unfortunately, most of us fail miserably at sticking to our commitments. Why? Typically, we're overly ambitious in our goal-setting, and, as a result, become discouraged and eventually give up.
This year, as you resolve to achieve specific goals in your business, remember 2010 is going to be a challenging year. So here are a few ideas to help you make resolutions that stick for your small business.
1. Be Realistic and Practical. Tripling your revenue sounds great, but is it realistic -- particularly in light of the economically challenging year we just completed? What can you truly accomplish in the upcoming year? Perhaps, maintaining your current level of revenue is a better goal in light of the current economy. Take a look at what worked and what didn't last year. Focus your energy on the strategies that produced the best results. Even if you think with just a little more effort a particular business initiative will work, table it for now. When the economy picks up, you can revisit it then.
2. Be Open to New Technology. Embrace new technology in your business. Technology can help your company become more productive and profitable. Utilizing new technologies can also be a cost-effective way to market your business. If you haven't already familiarized yourself with social media tools, there is no time like the present. Don't be intimidated. Social media isn't rocket science and there are plenty of resources available to help you understand how to leverage this new media to grow your business.
3. Be Willing to Get the Help You Need. Running a business is tough in the best economic conditions. In the current recessionary economy, successful business management is even more critical, and most likely you aren't going to have all the answers. Don't wait until it's too late and your back is up against a wall. Resolve to get the assistance you need, when you need it.
4. Be Frugal. Manage your business based on actual cash flow, and keep a careful watch for areas where you can cut costs without impacting service. Review all current vendor pricing and comparison shop. Make sure you are getting most bang for your buck.
5. Be Personal. Don't forget about you. A down economy places additional stress on business owners, personally and professionally. Taking care of your personal health and well-being should be a top priority this year.
Whatever resolutions you make, write them down and put them where they are easily accessible. There is something about actually putting them down on paper that holds you more accountable. Check your progress periodically. Hopefully, at the end of the year, you'll have successfully accomplished your goals. Here's to a happy and prosperous New Year.
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