New year’s resolutions can be a bit of a cliche, but this is actually not a bad time of year to take a step back and think about what you want to do next year to make your business more successful. Here are my suggestions:.
1. Refresh your business plan
You do have a Business Plan, don’t you? A good business plan will save you time, money and possibly even your business. But you need to look at it regularly, and update it as business conditions change. If you haven’t reviewed it in the last year, take some time to do it now.
9 ingredients to turn your business from a mess into a recipe for success>>
2. Refresh your products/servces
What connects state-of-the-art mobile phones and rubber wellington boots?
For those who don’t know, the answer is that they are both products made by Nokia. When Nokia started, they were known as the Finnish Rubber Works Ltd. In fact, before that they made paper! Imagine what would have happened if Nokia had not kept Innovating its products. Nokia who?
3. Start a staff suggestion scheme
If you’ve got staff, they can be a fabulous source of new ideas to improve your business. Even a very small business can have a suggestion scheme e.g. a box people can put ideas into. Make sure you also assign an open minded person to review them regularly (once a week or once a month) and involve the person who suggested the idea in any action you take subsequently. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the ideas you get, and how motivating it is for staff.
If you want to kick start the process with a quick idea generation workshop, can we suggest this one>>!
4. Get to grips with social networking
Whether we like it or not, our compeitiors are already doing business via Social Networking. Twitter and Facebook are no longer just for bored teenagers, and LinkedIn is not just a job hunting site. If this is still a mystery to you, CMI in High Wycombe are running a ‘Social Networking for Business’ Seminar at Bucks New University on January 25th. It starts at 6:30 for 7pm, costs £15 (including refreshments) and you don’t have to be member to come along.
contact for more details>>
5. Sack a customer
Do have a customer who gived you nothing but grief, pays late and doesn’t even buy very much? Make 2011 the year you sack them. The relief will be considerable, and you’ll have the time and energy to go find another cutomer who really appreciates you. You won’t regret it.
6. Collaborate or partner with another business
Especially if you are a very small buisness, collaborating on an initiative can make a huge difference to progress, ideas, motivation and reach. There’s something about working with other people that helps you move so much faster. It could be exchanging business, joint projects, shared marketing amongst other things.
For more ideas on Collaboration>>
7. Measure what works
Do you measure which customers come from which marketing routes? If not how will you know which routes work and which don’t? You could for example, keep a note in your CRM system of where the lead to that customer came from. If you then review these every quarter, you can then see whether your time and money is being well spent.