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New Year, New Perspectives: "Diet Resolutions" for Small Business

Feb 27, 2008
Now that the onslaught of holiday gift-giving idea commercials have ceased -- have you noticed all of the commercials for various diet programs -- capitalizing on our need to declare our "diet resolutions"? The whole idea of diet resolutions "weighed on me" (and not merely about all of the carefree cookie consumption of December, either).

Suppose we were to take the concept of diet resolutions, and applied it to our business. How successful might the new year be for us if we were to abandon the "empty calories" that we allow our businesses to fall prey to, and instead opted for healthier alternatives? With that in mind, we compiled some ideas to help you get the new year off to a healthy start:

Establish a schedule. This pertains to everything from your work hours, to the time spent reading your email. Designate a certain time each day that you read and process your mail, rather than doing it sporadically throughout the day. You will be surprised how much more efficient your time can be when you aren't distracted by checking your mail constantly.

Work smarter, not harder. Take a look at the activities that you devote the most time to -- how can these tasks be streamlined, or improved upon? For tasks that occur on a weekly basis, consider setting aside a specific day each week for this task. If there are tasks that you can automate, consider doing so.

Use the tools you have. The more you have to remember, the easier it becomes to forget things. One of my favorite tools is the Calendar feature in Outlook. You can set reminders for yourself for appointments, recurring tasks, etc. It is a great tool that many users don't take advantage of. Another great feature in Outlook is the ability to schedule delivery of a specific email message. Say, for example, you sit down to compose an email message to a customer over the weekend -- but you don't want the message to be sent out until Monday. By going into the "Options" area, you can set the date and time the message will be sent out. This allows you to compose email on your own time, and send them at times that are appropriate.

Look at finances fiscally. It can be easy to fall prey to emerging trends -- for everything from fragrances to packaging items. Forcing ourselves to look at our existing inventory and make a plan to move that product BEFORE taking on new inventory can save us from incurring unnecessary debt, and stockpiling additional inventory. Bringing in new items as cash flow allows will also prevent running up credit card debt.
About the Author
Traci Hayner Vanover, The Promo Diva(R), is the publisher of Create the Dream magazine, http://www.createthedream.com, and the president of Market Outside the Box Trade Association, http://www.marketoutsidethebox.com. She also works with private clients as a publicist, copywriter and consultant.
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