Posts Tagged ‘2010’

New Year’s Resolutions For Small Business

Recently I was asked to put together a list of resolutions for small business.  As I read them over however, I realize that these are also great resolutions for anyone - business owner or not.  Most important, remember that baby steps are usually best when talking about change so please look at these proposed resolutions as year-long projects instead of quick fixes.

1. Resolve to clean out the clutter. Clutter is unprofessional and a psychic drain - blocking creative energy and new ideas. When a business's physical space is disorganized or overcrowded it sends a negative message to staff and customers. Use ebay, or an ebay reseller like Deb Heller (tadi4again on ebay); freecycle (www.freecycle.com); or a bartner exchange (www.nubarter.com) to get rid of your extra inventory and unwanted items.

2. Resolve to tap into your existing resources. List your personal and professional resources and create an action plan outlining how you will use each of those resources during the next month, six months, and year ahead.

3. Resolve to give your website a face lift (or makeover). Your web presence should be viewed as your business' face on the world stage. It should be a work in progress. Keep your website current and make frequent updates and revisions. Make sure your website links to your Facebook, twitter, and blog pages.

4. Resolve to reduce expenses. What worked during boom times will not work now. If it is too difficult for you to see what you can trim, sit down with someone else who doesn't know that much about your business. Show them your expense spreadsheet. Explain where your money is going. Which expenses can you justify? Which ones seem out of line?

5. Resolve to provide exemplary customer service. Your customers are the key to your success. Can you keep your customers happy? I am amazed at how often I encounter businesses that seem oblivious to the fact that if they don't make their customers happy there is someone else waiting for the business. Stay connected to your customers, find out what is working for them, what isn't, and what needs you can meet.

6. Resolve to create an out-of-the-box niche. Your out-of-the-box niche is what makes you stand out from the crowd. If you don't have a niche and nothing in your industry calls to you, start studying your industry's past, current, and emerging market trends. Do some market research by talking to targeted customer groups and find their unmet needs. Having a niche doesn't mean you turn away other business. You can still take that business in. But, having a niche gives you a marketing target and expert status.

Conflict Management Predictions For 2010

Recently I was asked to make conflict related predictions for 2010. Here is what I said.

In 2010, as resources become tighter, we will encounter more conflicts in our personal and professional lives and this trend will be mirrored on the local, national, and international stages. The new economy will continue to foster the creation of innovative services by entrepreneurs who are able to side-step the traditional attorney-driven model of conflict management. The majority of these services will be technology based, allowing people to access information that they will use in DIY models or with reduced fee service providers.

Additionally, here are my top 3 Conflict Managment predictions for 2010

1. Mediation will be used to resolve many of our current foreclosure and related mortgage problems.

2. Terminated employees will bring law suits against their former employers in record numbers. Most of these cases will be treated as nuisance matters and settled for small sums.

3. Media circus divorces (Jon and Kate) will continue to lose in popularity with celebrity couples choosing instead to use the confidential process of mediation to negotiate their break-ups. The public will continue to follow suit.

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