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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 guest columnist Keith Hall, National Association for the Self Employed president and CEO
“I really need to work on my business this year. What do you suggest I do first?” Ron, Buffalo
Most of us are now focused on a new year with high expectations and new commitments for success. In many cases, that includes those high-minded New Year’s resolutions that probably include losing a few pounds or maybe just striving to get in shape.
Committing to better health is a great way to start the year, whether that includes a better diet, a daily walk or short jog -- or maybe even just one less dessert each week. The key is to just pick something and then stick to it long enough to build a habit that leads to the results you want.
The same process should apply to your business. A new year is a great time to stop and evaluate your business activity, to get your business in shape. Take the time to actually write this stuff down. What are you doing this week to get one more customer? Set up a call program or a networking event that fits with your industry to contact potential new relationships. Set a goal that matches your time availability and then stick to it. Make a habit of keeping that schedule.
Don’t stop with just new customers. Take some time to review your banking relationships, your key vendors and even your process for ordering office supplies. How much are you paying for rent, for Internet access, for bank charges and even overnight deliveries? Take some time to review your overall business procedures and processes. Consider new technologies for efficiency and cost savings.
Remember, this is not just about the bottom line; this also is about your quality of life. The better shape your business is in, the more time you have to get yourself in shape.
As you make those New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to include your business. Build a habit based on consistency and commitment to the plan. Just like getting yourself in shape, the key is to just pick something and then stick to it.
This is a great time to commit to building that plan if you don’t have a formal business plan. If you do, this is even a better time to update that plan. There are many resources online -- even in person with your local Small Business Development Center -- to help build a business plan to get your business on the track to success.
Even if you decide to have that extra dessert anyway, make sure your business stays focused on success.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.
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 email@example.com or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.