A new year means a new beginning, and it's a good time to think over your ideas and tactics for 2006.
The plans you have for your business in 2006 will depend on where your business is in the business cycle. You'll have different tactics if it's your first year in business, to someone whose business has matured and who has passed the five-years-in- business mark.
If your business is new, recognize that more businesses fail in the first year than at any other time. The failure can be due any number of reasons, including: a lack of preparation, a lack of understanding, and a lack of financial support.
More often than not, extremely successful people have had many business failures. If your business fails, it's not the end of the world. It doesn't mean that you'll never be able to run your own business - it will just take you longer to get there.
Also, if it's your first year in business, accept that business runs in cycles. You'll have busy times, and you'll have slower times. Sometimes the slow times will be seasonal, either because it's summer and people are on vacation, or it's holiday time. At other times, business will just be slow! After the first year, you'll understand that business moves in cycles, and you'll put money aside to tide you over in slow periods.
If you've been in business for a number of years, your business faces other dangers - that of the maturing business. Six years is a danger point. I've seen this in many businesses. They steam ahead brilliantly for five years, and then hit the skids. For whatever reason, once a business gets to the six year mark, it needs to revamp itself to stay alive and vital.
So, whether your business is brand new, or whether it's maturing, what's NEW for your business in 2006? Here are some ideas:
=> Set New Goals
When it comes to setting goals, don’t be timid! Set outrageous goals for yourself in 2006, goals which get you enthusiastic and excited.
You'll sometimes read articles which suggest that you should set realistic goals. Fair enough. The trouble with realistic goals - like doing ten per cent more business this year than last year - is that these kinds of goals don’t get you excited. What you need are BIG, extreme goals which get you enthusiastic.
Set a goal to double or triple your income - why not? After all, you just might reach the goal!
=> Get New Clients
How many new clients do you want to attract in 2006? Ten? Twenty? A hundred?
Start by working out what processes you've used to attract clients in the past. Do you mainly get new clients through referrals, through advertising, or through cold calling?
Set a goal to do more of what's worked in the past. Don’t stop at setting the goal however, schedule the work in too - block out the necessary time in your day planner each week.
=> Make New Contacts
The more people who know about you and your business, the more business you will get. When you own a business, you can’t afford to be a shrinking violet, or you won’t be in business for long.
You can make new contacts in any number of ways. You can network in your local area through business groups, join clubs, and join volunteer groups.
You can also network online, by joining various business-oriented groups.
=> Learn New Techniques
This is the time to decide what you need to learn to move your business ahead in 2006. You could take a couple of business courses at your local community college, or learn CSS or some other technical skill related to the online world.
Don't feel that your education has to be related to business or to writing - anything you learn will improve your work in subtle ways. If you've always wanted to take a photography course, or an advanced driving course, go for it!
Make your plans for 2006 now. Remember to review your plans at least once a month so that you stay on track. All the best for 2006 - you CAN make it your best year ever.
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