It’s officially the New Year – a new beginning – the launch of a new decade. A perfect time realign your professional business goals and strategize. It’s common this time of year to create a list of resolutions. Maybe you’re looking to add new clients, boost revenue, generate buzz or enhance your organization’s productivity. Resolutions can be exciting if you ensure they are realistic. It helps to outline a list for the entire year and monitor your progress. Here are a few tips on how to set your business up for success and be sure to finish the year out strong.
Networking works! There are a number of ways to get involved in the business community and build new relationships. Seek out groups in your industry or area. Attend networking functions to promote your product or service to potential clients. The Chamber is a great place to start. We host a range of events at various times to accommodate busy work schedules.
Constantly monitor your financials
Don't go into cost cutting mode when the economy is weak and then walk away once your short-term goals have been reached. Keep an eye on your financials regularly and always look for ways to reduce costs. Schedule monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly reviews and keep them. It will allow for you to benchmark and forecast from month-to-month and year-to-year.
Use Social Media to spread your message - it’s free. Promote specials, good news and events through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Just be sure to update and monitor them regularly.
Analyze your products/services
Analyze each product or service you offer to determine which are most/least profitable. You can look at just a few per week to keep the process manageable. After your assessment, consider cutting those that are least profitable, and identify a plan to retain and invest in those that are most profitable.
Look at your expenses. Ask yourself how each expense adds value to your organization. How does it contribute to your bottom line? What are your alternatives? Is there a better/faster/cheaper way of accomplishing something? This will help you make strategic cuts.
• Interns are looking to build their portfolios each semester and hiring one can be a very beneficial way to free up some time to focus on important parts of your business. A good place to start is to develop a brief job description including the desired number of hours per week (usually no more than 20) and then contact the career center at a local university or community college. Offering college credit and a hands-on understanding of your business can be enticing to students looking for real-world experience on their resume.
• SCORE® the “Counselors of America’s Small Business Owners” is a national association dedicated to helping small business owners form and grow their businesses. Experience business counselors with are available to meet on most subjects and the advice and counsel is free. Contact the Chamber at (248) 644-1700 to schedule a complimentary appointment with a local SCORE® representative.
Keep in mind that setting realistic expectations is key and even making small steps towards a larger goal is progress. We look forward to promoting your business and a prosperous 2010.