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Top 10 2011 New Years Business Resolutions

Now its that time of year again where everyone says they need to shed some pounds and give up the cigarettes, but most small business owners will do far better at using the New Year as an opportunity to dust off the business plan, and hopefully give their business a jumpstart in 2011 with this excellent list of 10 suggested business New Years resolutions!

Lets not beat around the bush, 2011 is going to be a very tough year, massive public sector spending cuts, the increase of VAT are all going to hurt the small businesses, so ensure everyone in your team is ready for the realization that 2011 is the year of survival for many SME’s.

Here is what I am suggesting as a top ten extra business activities, that if followed may help you through 2011. Disagree with me or want to add some more? Please send on twitter @Online_Invoices or comment on the blog.

1 SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter, blog and use forums more.
    A simple one we can all do to start, I know that writing a blog, and entering tweets can start off enthusiastically like the new years diet, but a regular, excellent stream of content may do wonders for your business, you will build trust in the community, strengthen your brand, and hopefully become an expert that people seek out.

2 NETWORKING - Yes, both online and offline networking.
    Building your brand, increasing awareness of your products and services as well as creating content for your website. There are plenty of opportunities to network online, at least 4 busy UK based business network forums, as well as numerous breakfast, lunch and dinner networking events! I’m not saying go to everyone, but you should make an appearance both virtually and physically on a fairly regular basis!

3 SEO – Do you have an SEO plan for 2011?
    For many organizations SEO brings a higher ROI when compared to TV, print and radio, SEO can provide some high margin returns that comment and enhance the use of offline media. Data released by SEMPO in early 2009 shows that organic SEO is considered one of the very highest ROI activities for businesses.

4 BUSINESS PLAN – When was the last time that you took a look at it?
    Your businesses business plan should be the roadmap for the future. You need to keep it updated, and referenced for it to be of any use to anyone!

5 MEET PEOPLE – Give a presentation at your local business networking event.
    Ties in nicely with #2 above, and can if done correctly increase your credibility and reputation within your chosen field. This will in turn lead to referrals from people you help on and offline.

6 TIGHTEN YOUR BELTS – Money in > money out.
    Cut as many non essential outgoings as you can, even consider downsizing offices – less outgoing means you need less income to remain solvent, and it’s going to be a tough 2011, keeping lean and efficient will be key.

7 GOING UP? – Perfect your 30 second elevator pitch.
    Your elevator pitch is your 30-second marketing strategy. You will use it to tell people who you are, what you do and how it helps them. A good elevator pitch is essential, and well worth creating something before hand so you always have it ready when you get asked at a party ‘So.. what do you do?’
   
8 SIMPIFY – Create slick efficient processes.
    This should be an ongoing activity, why do we do it this way? Is there a better way to do it? Sometimes to simplify something you need to invest a little time at first, but this will be paid back each time you complete the process quicker than before.

9 THE BOTTOM LINE – Think Wall Street, Greed is Good; How do I get paid?
    Concentrate on the bottom line, if there is no good answer to the question “Will doing this make me money?” then you shouldn’t be doing it. Full-stop. You are in business to generate an income, if you are wasting time not adding value to your business then do something that will.

10 INTEGRITY – Do everything with integrity
    Self explanatory this one, operate your lives and businesses with integrity and I like to believe that your chances of success will be greatly increased!

Hope that you have enjoyed the list, I’ve certainly enjoyed writing it, and I hope that I too will be able to stick to a few of the idea’s mentioned above.

About the Author: For more small business related ramblings check out and subscribe to the Paper Free Billing Blog, and if you are looking for an excellent slick Online Invoicing Tool then please check out the Paper Free Billing website. Any comments, thoughts and complaints are truly welcome – please comment below, or through twitter!

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About the author: Paper Free Invoices started out as a small blog for my invoicing software business Paper Free Billing but has morphed into something much more useful. I’ve really enjoyed reading the guest articles and speaking with guest publishers so much so I’m always looking for talented bloggers to contribute. If you have any questions or feedback on this article, please find your voice in the comment section, we will try to answer every genuine comment!

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  • Anonymous

    Haha good comment, would make an interesting poll, how long one spends each year planning a vacation, versus how long one spends each year creating/maintaining your business plan!