Top Ten Resolves for Building Your Business in 2005

1. Resolve to build a consistent network system.

Since referrals are easier to sell, are often more loyal, comparison shop less, spend more and frequently refer others, it makes good sense to develop a solid system for getting referral business. Join a successful networking club in your area or on the internet and give plenty of introductions to other members. Ask your current clients for referrals, make getting referrals a condition of doing new business, give out your business card frequently, develop a networking mindset. It is part of being successful.

2. Resolve to make a plan for developing your business this year.

What worked in 2004? What results would you like to duplicate, modify, eliminate or expand in 2005? Become strategic. Study your competition to identify new trends and compelling advertising phrases or techniques that you could tweak slightly and utilize as well. Then by looking at your budget for the whole year, map out the marketing and advertising activity, on a month-by-month basis, that will support the results you want for 2004.

3. Resolve to develop a customer-driven business.

What we are looking for in business is customers to purchase our product or service, right? It makes sense to have your business focus on the customer and what he wants and yet many businesses fail because they don't ask. If you want a larger market share, let the customers tell you what to produce or provide. Basic market research will help you determine the products and services with the most likelihood of success. There is no other place to look.

4. Resolve to develop new streams of income and strengthen those you already have.

Did you ever think that there may be more streams of income to add to what you already do thereby increasing your bottom line? Perhaps it is a passive income such as selling products on the web or maybe it is packaging your product in a new way. Use your creativity, study other successful businesses and practice thinking "out of the box".

5. Resolve to take control of your business and strengthen your leadership qualities.

One of the best ways to take control of your business is to make sure you have written standards in place for every job. This process of developing standards, policies and procedures for every operation in your business, in addition to being good management, is what provides leverage for you to vacation or sell your business one day. Ray Kroc of McDonalds developed his super business without flipping a single burger because he took the time to set standards for how he wanted the job to be done each and every time. As a result, Kroc hired teenagers to run the business with unparalled success. Setting standards and enforcing them will elevate your leadership skills beyond measure.

6. Resolve to target your ideal market and customer.

Too many small business owners are working with every entity who cares to do business with them even though it may not be cost-effective. In 2005, decide to focus on the market that would best serve your company in the long-run. Increased customer share (having fewer customers spending more money with you) may be more profit making, simple and satisfying than trying to please many diversified customers.

7. Resolve to consistently generate more leads and sales.

Consistent marketing to your target market will produce more overall leads to generate business consistently throughout the year. Eliminate more of the highs and lows of your income by making a commitment to market activity that locates those contacts, appointments and resultant sales, daily and weekly.

8. Resolve to take good care of yourself this year.

Business owners work hard. Sometimes they forget to pay attention to their own health or to their families and everyone loses out in the long run. This year, plan to take some time and be with those you love. Everyone will appreciate this resolve. Learn how to have fun?even.if it is uncomfortable and relax. Maintaining balance between business and personal activity is key to long-term success.

9. Resolve to ask for and use the support of others.

Get in the habit of asking others for support to bounce off an idea, listen to your goals, share in your success. Consider hiring a coach or asking respected colleagues to be part of an advisory board. Regular meetings will help you be accountable for your activity and you may be surprised at the great ideas that will surface.

10. Resolve to increase my net profit by____% in 2005.

Some business owners are afraid to indicate a percentage of growth for fear it may not happen. Consider that it may not happen because you are unwilling to put yourself on the line. Naming a percentage and making a committment to this result will force you to be focused and innovative to discover the solutions that will work. Go for it in 2005?.what's the best that could happen?

Gloria Willis, M.S. is a Business Development Consultant for the Center for Business Mastery, a resource for small business in Northern Colorado. Contact: 970-482-0332 for questions and to set up a free consultation.

Gloria Willis is a Business Development Consultant and owner of Center for Business Mastery. She works with small business owners to identify specific needs and designs a strategic plan for implementing. Gloria Willis, M.S, has proven results in the areas of: leadership development, sales, marketing , business planning. She is a graduate of the University of Utah, B Coach Systems and Coaches Training Institute.

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