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Wyoming Business Tips for Jan. 15-21

January 6, 2017

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Susan Jerke, WSBDC regional director

“It’s 2017. What positive decisions should I consider for my business this year?” Jennifer, Greybull

I recently read an article in Forbes that compared resolutions, goals and decisions to grades of beef, and how likely you are to follow through with each. It was particularly intriguing due to my agricultural background.

The more specific and measurable your New Year’s goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. Some of the comparisons: Beef baloney, 10 percent follow-through on resolutions; grass-fed hamburger, 30 percent follow-through on business goals; and grass-fed steak, 90 percent follow-through on business decisions.

Although I chuckled, I can certainly relate to the concept. If you examine your business, identify real problems and make the decision to implement real, concrete solutions, your results will ultimately be more successful and long lasting.

Here are three decisions that can make 2017 a great year:

-- Polish your leadership skills: Professional development is critical to keep abreast of changes in technology and regulations. Where would you like to be more effective in your organization? What workshops can help you, either online or live in person? Browse your local college classes and investigate the world’s wide array of webinar opportunities. And note, despite current economic challenges, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services still offers grants to help train your workforce through the Workforce Training Fund.

-- Keep your employees engaged in your company: Consider professional development to keep employees on the cutting edge of your business. They are often the first people who work directly with customers; so, help them prepare. Also, include your employees as you plan the year, and invite their participation. You can all work together to increase efficiency.

-- Re-examine and focus on customer needs: Take some time to review your brand and examine what worked last year and, conversely, what did not work. Is your online presence up to date with accurate information on your website? You might consider having our market research team review your site. Do you post regularly on social media to inform your customers on new products and services? If you blog, do you regularly provide fresh content? Then, get out of the office and go visit with your customers. The most important contact is personal, face-to-face interaction to learn what your customers need.

The Wyoming SBDC Network wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year. Remember, you don’t have to “go it alone” as an entrepreneur. We are always here to help you with your business needs and look forward to seeing you in 2017.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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