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BBB: Use new year to jump start aspirations for your business

Sun., Jan. 6, 2013, midnight

It’s that time of year again people make New Year’s resolutions. Many of us make resolutions to get healthier. Others make resolutions to manage their finances better. A few may decide to change their lifestyle and outlook on life. A new beginning is the inspiration to take action and improve our lives.

Although personal goals are being set, it appears that people do not prioritize their business goals when thinking of New Year’s resolutions. The New Year is the perfect time for businesses to dust off that strategic plan. A fresh start to the year provides a perfect opportunity to focus on resolutions to bring success and prosperity to your business.

Here are ten New Year’s resolutions for success in 2013:

• Vet your vendors – It’s always a good idea to rotate vendors every so often, or at least send out requests for bids every few years to make sure you’re getting the best service for your buck.

• Dive into social media – Many businesses have already adopted social media as a means of marketing and communication with their customer base.

• Protect your customers’ identities – Ensure that customer information is handled properly and securely. The last thing your business needs is a security breach.

• Understand Human Resource law – Understand business liabilities and ensure corners are not being cut.

• Define your message – Create a consistent message that clearly defines who you are, what you do and why helps the rest of the world understand your brand.

• Focus on your people – Employees are the backbone of your business. Take the time to communicate with them on a daily basis. Investing in them can gain you huge strides in helping your company succeed. Earning their respect is just as important as earning that of your customers.

• Be a community advocate – Participate in the betterment of the communities you serve. Customers are loyal to businesses that are involved in programs supporting the local community, such as philanthropic groups, chamber organizations and business networks.

• Plan for the “what ifs” – When budgeting, it’s important to be realistic. No one enjoys planning for negative scenarios, but it’s important to be prepared with a plan Having a “utopian” budget and an “if-the-wheels-fall-off” budget are great addendums to your primary plan.

• Learn to delegate and hire – If you feel like you constantly have to do everything yourself, then you need to take a serious look at the support staff you surround yourself with.

• Take time to strategize – It’s easy to get buried in the day-to-day tasks of running a business. There are emails, voicemails, paying bills and putting out fires. To run a successful business, however, you have to plan with the big picture in mind. Make time for a strategy.This will be a year of growth and success for any business that takes time to strategize and implement carefully laid plans. Here’s wishing you a successful and prosperous New Year!

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