Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for yourself? How about for your business? If not, it’s time to get cracking. Here are some resolutions that will make any business better:
Resolve to hire the help you need.
If you’re the only one working in your business, your business can only grow so far. Worse, if you’re the only one in your business, you’ll get stuck working “in” your business rather than working “on” your business—that is, strategizing and planning for the long term. Hiring doesn’t have to mean taking on employees and all the affiliated headaches. Resolve to investigate options such as virtual employees, independent contractors or freelancers, interns, or using temporary help agencies. These sources of workers can help compensate for your weaknesses or fill in when you need extra hands on deck for a big project. Guru.com and Elance.com are two popular sites for finding independent contractors.
Resolve to update your technology.
Technology is changing quickly, so make sure your business is staying up to date. Would new tools such as a tablet computer or upgraded laptop help you get more work done, faster and more easily? Weigh the cost of the tool against how much you stand to benefit from it. If a tablet that you use for presentations could help you land one customer that would more than pay for the device, it’s worth it. Now is the time of year when cool tech tools go on sale, so plan ahead and you can snap up some bargains.
Resolve to network more.
People do business with people they know and like—so the more people who know and like you, the better your chances of landing more clients. Make networking work by setting goals—for instance, to connect with x new people on social media each week; to meet one of your social media contacts in real life every week to discuss ways you could work together; or to spend 20 minutes a day reaching out to existing contacts. Don’t neglect real-world networking, either. If you’ve got a group that works for you, great: Make a vow to get even more involved this year. If you don’t, find at least one new group to check out per month until you find one that gets results.
Resolve to stay on top of your finances.
If numbers aren’t your strong suit, you may neglect your accounting and bookkeeping. Even if you have someone to help with it, it’s crucial to know what’s going on with your cash flow on a weekly or at least monthly basis. Think of this as a way of keeping score of how your business is doing, and it will become more fun. If you don’t already use QuickBooks or other accounting software, you’ll be surprised how much it can streamline billing, invoicing and accounting tasks. And look into business expense tools that can keep your expenses organized and under control.
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