This week, we’re going to work through seven more resolutions for small businesses — or rather, seven more suggestions of resolutions for small businesses. Why? Because while I truly believe that every person knows, deep inside, what they need to do to take their business/life/relationship to the next level, sometimes you need suggestions to get the thought process going. You can see resolutions 1-3 here; for today, here’s resolutions 4-6.
Number 4: Create a (real) business plan
When it comes to meeting your business goals, you can’t get there from here unless you know where “there” is. If you haven’t ever done a real business plan — or if you haven’t re-worked your own in more than a year, take the time this January to figure out just how you want to see your business grow and what you need to do to support that growth. (The US Small Business Association offers free, on-line tutorials on writing business plans; your local SCORE office can help, too.)
Number 5: Fritter away less time on the Internet
I know — that’s a hard one. And that’s why I buried it in the middle of the list. Believe me, I’m as guilty of absent-mindedly googling random stuff as the next person — e.g., I just found myself looking up real estate in my home town, just to drive myself crazy about how cheap land is there, as compared to the Bay Area. Why did I do that? I don’t know — but this year, I swear, I’m going to try to contain my weird web searches, Facebook explorations, and blog checks into set times during the day, so I don’t get distracted from my real work…maybe a quick search in the morning and then one as I close up shop in the evening. (Got ideas on how to do this? Send them in!)
Number 6: Invest in at least one piece of new technology
Technology is changing so fast today it behooves the small business owner to try to keep up with the times. This year I’m investing in a new fax machine (I’ve had it with hassling with the old one); you may need a new dishwasher, cash register, laminating machine, or lawn mower. Whatever it is, think of that investment of cash as an investment in making your work easier and more efficient and an expression of confidence in your ability to support your own business needs.