1 Review your business plan. A business plan should be a “live” document used regularly by managers and owners. At least spend some time at the start of the year (every quarter preferably) reviewing your plan to ensure your business is developing as you intended. If your plan is stale, now is the time to refresh it.
2 Upgrade your technology. Too many business owners “just get by” using outdated technology, hoping computers don’t crash and data stays safe. Make it your resolution to investigate and invest in newer software, hardware and technology services.
3 Lighten your load. Focus on your core deliverables by resolving to identify and delegate or outsource one non-essential function within your business. For example, the process of compiling, sorting and mailing monthly chequing account statements has been outsourced by some of the big banks.
4 Use your IT knowledge. As more and more data flows through your business, it’s increasingly important to set up systems to properly manage it all. Use your Information Technology knowledge or contract an outside expert to assess your current IT situation, identify areas for improvement and make affordable recommendations.
5 Reduce your stress. Entrepreneurs often work themselves to the point of exhaustion, or, worse, spend all of their personal time thinking about business. Your personal health and wellness is just as important as your bottom line, so schedule in time for some exercise and other stress-reducing activities.
6 Try new technology. Any growing business must change with the times, yet many entrepreneurs get stuck in a rut doing things the same old way. Embrace your sense of entrepreneurial adventure and perhaps save some money by trying out a new technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or e-business solutions.
7 Pay more attention to your existing customers. Established businesses can drastically reduce their marketing costs by focusing more on existing clients instead of always chasing new ones. Review your marketing strategy to identify ways to help your current customers to buy more and buy more often.
8 Improve your website. Today’s Internet-savvy consumers are checking out your company online before making contact, so it’s imperative that your website be at its best. Invest in a refreshed design, add some helpful content, implement e-commerce or engage Search Engine Optimization expertise.
9 Be a mentor. Chances are someone advised you along the path to business success. Consider giving back by sharing your expertise with a struggling young entrepreneur or upstart.
10 Back it up. Too many businesses risk losing their customer information by failing to invest in proper data back up procedures. If you’re not already doing so, purchase an automatic service that backs up your information every day in an offsite location.