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The Best Way to Handle Last Year’s Business Failures…

With the new year still in its infancy, it is the perfect time to contemplate last year’s “good, bad and ugly” proceedings!

Even though time seems to just fly past us: we go to bed in January, wake up in August, then its time to decorate the Christmas tree… Poof! the year is now done, get ready for the next flight! I really do love the end of one year and entry into the next though, it gives me the excuse, no, the cause to really, REALLY evaluate my businesses. I find this process cleansing. It fills me with optimistic anticipation and a constructive exhilaration to take on the upcoming year.

I think about what I did, what I wish I had done, what I should have done and what I couldn’t have done no matter how badly I wanted to.

Here’s a great list of what to think about, when you’re giving your business the mental once, twice, thrice over:

  • How did your business perform overall throughout the year? Was it up to your expectations? Did it exceed your expectations?

When reviewing the questions above, think about why it did or why it did not perform the way you wanted it to. Then ask yourself the following…

  • How’s your brand? Do you have a professional presence in the marketplace (or even a presence at all?!?) — Do you brand your business consistently everywhere it is promoted? — Is it time to update your brand/does it truly convey and represent who or what you want it to and what it needs to? When someone sees your logo or hears your tagline, does it reminiscently bring your company/or you to mind?
  • Are you promoting your business, and if so, how? Start advertising and marketing if you’re not already – no one knows your business exists if you don’t tell them! If you are promoting and it’s not working, change your campaigns, your verbiage, your venues, track your advertising so you can see if you have results or not before it’s time to decorate next year’s Christmas tree!
  • How satisfied were your customers? Did you have many returns of merchandise or refunds for services? — Did you have returning customers? Awesome if you did! If not, think about how you can get those who have been willing to pay you at least once already, to do it again. Offer coupons, incentives, frequent shopper cards and discounts, freebies, sales, specials — take advantage of the Holidays, the weather, your birthday even — any excuse to cause a ruckus and get some attention to your business.

Here’s a real scary topic for you to peruse, but a very necessary one…

  • How did you do managing your business? This can lead in many ways to the success or failure of a business. Is your accounting up to date? Is it accurate? — Did you have time to get things done you needed to, or put off, put off, put off until you forgot why you needed to do them? Do you need equipment, supplies, repairs to really produce and function at 101%? — Do you have employees? Are they happy, rewarded, working hard for you and your cause? There are many things that could be added to this list that appear to not be directly in need of adjustment in order for your business to excel, but… these items are the infrastructure of your business and if you let them rust and waste away gradually your foundation will fall!

Make any necessary adjustments to these items as soon as possible so your 2014 can start out with a strong, supportive foundation, you’ll feel good about what you’re doing and excited to really apply yourself to your “real” business needs and functions.

These items I have listed are more the internal organs of a business. And I feel good every January after I have reviewed the health of these items and listed them out literally and figured out and written down action items for each and every one of them. I am human too, so of course I don’t stick to all of my plans either, but going through the process of evaluation and mental adjustment is healing and refreshing to the maddened mind of the harried business owner.

Well between us all, I am sure we’ve read thousands of articles that give us business advice and suggestions, especially at this time of year. The best and most straight forward item I came across this year was put simply, but will not be done so simply by many of “us”. Here’s the best way to handle last year’s business failures…

“Make a clean break from those things that don’t work. Period.”

Ha! Easier said than done, I know it. As humans we are creatures of habit, whether it’s eating too much, smoking cigarettes or repeating an action with our business that never, ever works!

I’d love for you reply to this post and let us know your techniques for quitting some bad business habits or problems cold turkey — we could all use some more advice. The wise business owner is always open to suggestions. Being open doesn’t mean we have to apply all suggestions, merely that we have an open mind and open ears to listen and consider advice, good or bad!

 

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Some Days are Just Weird…

don’tcha’ think? Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day outside for December 2. It was incredible — sunshine, no wind, 64 degrees! These are the days I don’t miss my east coast home, and savor, with this type of temp in December. I want more! Give me more! LOL!

So the day’s weirdness began, well, from [...] continue reading Some Days are Just Weird…

Easy and Affordable eCommerce Solution for Your Business

Today’s entrepreneurs and established businesses are quickly grasping the internet — not only to showcase their products — but also to make direct sales quickly, easily and in an affordable way.

And, with this onslaught of businesses looking to sell their products online, comes what seems to be an equal amount of internet Shopping Cart [...] continue reading Easy and Affordable eCommerce Solution for Your Business

Affiliate Marketing – A Cost Effective Way to Advertise Your Business

Affiliate Marketing: Why it is One of the Most Cost-Effective Ways to Advertise Your Business

If you are reading this blog, you probably have heard of affiliate programs. But, just in case you do not know what they are, affiliate programs are forms of internet advertising that reward affiliates for driving traffic to an advertiser’s [...] continue reading Affiliate Marketing – A Cost Effective Way to Advertise Your Business

Free Internet Marketing Methods to Increase your Website Traffic

The following free internet marketing methods are not only for the budget conscious business owner, but apply to every business no matter where it is in terms of annual revenue. Practicing these simple suggestions can potentially bring not just more “traffic” to your website, but more targeted traffic. When you increase your website traffic with [...] continue reading Free Internet Marketing Methods to Increase your Website Traffic

What SEO Is and Why You Need it for Your Website

SEO, an acronym for “search engine optimization”, is a series of techniques used to increase the amount of visitors to a website. There are many methods in which to do this and almost as many terms to describe it. I will not take your time up in this article on the various ways to achieve [...] continue reading What SEO Is and Why You Need it for Your Website

Is it Tolerance or Self-induced Ignorance?

 

This is the first post in my new blog category Claudia’s Commentaries. As described, it will be opinions and observances from a not so naive art and internet junkie — myself. I hope to inspire you with this column; spark thoughts, flames and positive maneuvers in you and your spirit.

This section is [...] continue reading Is it Tolerance or Self-induced Ignorance?

Website Smarts Re: Email Addresses

We are all trying to do so much these days to advance our businesses to the next level ourselves. Thus, sometimes we just don’t have the time it takes to learn everything about everything!

So I will be posting tips that I have personally learned along the way mainly from my “set-up your own business” [...] continue reading Website Smarts Re: Email Addresses

10 Easy Ways to Get Repeat Web Traffic

1. Update the pages on your website frequently. Stagnant sites can be dropped by search engines. Many website visitors never bookmark places they have visited and simply do a quick Search Engine search each time for sites they like.

Did you know? Blogs, aka “weblog”, originally came about as a method to keep websites continually [...] continue reading 10 Easy Ways to Get Repeat Web Traffic