1. Make your prime focus profit, not turnover
Yes, itís nice to see lots of money flowing through the business, but if you arenít making a good margin you are still working for free! Why not take some time and look at how you can reduce your costs, focus on higher value clients and donít be scared to where applicable think about increasing your hourly/daily rates.
2. Set goals
Goal setting is how you can map out the next year of your life, imagine where you and your business would like to be at the beginning of 2012 and bullet point the steps which will help you get you to that point.
3. Work smarter
Your business takes up the majority of your time; however most business owners complain that they would like to spend more time with their families or pursuing personal interests. You can achieve the same amount in less time by working smarter and planning better. Take control of your business, rather than your business controlling you.
4. Explore the Internet…. all of it
It is easy to be distracted when browsing online but this is not always a bad thing, search and click through associated links (particularly discussion forums on LinkedIn) in order to stumble upon interesting blogs and articles which may develop your thinking and feed your business strategy.
5. Learn more
Developing upon expanding your digital ecosystem in resolution 5, take the time to read thought provoking articles in areas which you do not feel competent in, none of us are created as experts in every field Ė so take the opportunity to expand your horizons and learn.
6. Focus on work that generates income
I appreciate the irony of making this point as I write this blog, however our day-to-day business lives can be taken over by non-income generating aspects of our business within your cost of sale. Work hard to monetise every aspect of your production cycle or service delivery, show your clients the value you add and they will pay for it. If it cannot be monetised, minimise it!
7. Customer service is king
Every good business has busy spells, manic Mondays and tight deadlines. Donít allow your clients to suffer as a result of internal pressures in your business Ė if they do at least you will be under less pressure, because the clients will not come back.
8. Donít be scared to delegate
If you write down everything you do on a weekly basis, ask yourself the question, did I really need to do all of that? Or could someone else have done it? Delegate or dump your low value activities and focus on those critical to the business operation and revenue generation.
9. Ask for referrals
I have saved this for last as it is by far the quickest and most successful method of growing your business in the current economic conditions Ė and nobody does it. The average person trusts a referral or recommendation significantly more than any advertising or promotional activities you engage in.
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2011.