11 ½ resolutions to break in 2009

by Peter Crocker

Okay, so they’re easy to make and virtually impossible to keep, but with every New Year comes resolutions. At Flying Solo we put our heads together and came up with these 11 ½ practical resolutions for micro business owners.

Here comes 2009! Go and put the kettle on and get set to make some big promises.
 1. Get ruthless about distractions. Set aside uninterruptible blocks of time each day for your most important tasks. Be sure to switch off phones AND email.2. Take back your inbox. The inbox is not a workspace – when a message arrives, delete it, file it or defer it. Deal with it once. Check email at set times during the day and turn off automatic alerts.

3. Outsource more. Identify the repetitive low-value tasks in your business and outsource them. Focus your time where you can add real value to your business and customers.

4. Surround yourself with positivity. Stop reading negative press about the economy. Don’t listen to moaners. Focus on what you can control. Measure and report on what’s actually happening in your business, particularly financials.

5. Give more stuff away. Share your expertise freely and get up to speed with the real business value of generosity. Embrace the philosophy of abundance.

6. Stop talking, start listening. Don’t tell people about your business, ask open ended questions about their business and industry. Interested is interesting.

7. Stop marketing, start attracting. Get in touch with your opinions and rattle some cages. Demonstrate thought leadership in your industry rather than telling people about your expertise.

8. Express yourself clearly. The problem is often not the content, but the delivery. You may well have a great product or service, but you need to invest the time in speaking, presenting and writing about it eloquently.

9. Plant a seed every day. Do something, no matter how small, each and every day to feed your network and grow relationships. Send a thank you card. Make a social call.

10. Working less works. Get out and walk, run, swim or stretch. Great ideas rarely come when you’re tied to your desk or tools. Do something each week that is 100% for you. Your business, and those around you, will thank you for it.

11. Communicate more. Most client problems arise from a lack of communication. Embrace the power of progress reports, update emails, follow-ups, quick phone calls and general customer hand-holding.

11½. Stop boiling the kettle and then not making tea.

What New Year’s resolutions have you made for your business? Please share your resolutions or comments with the rest of us.

Here’s to a fun, positive and successful year ahead!

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