Three simple things that can make a difference for your small business in 2012

In my year-end post, I wrote about six behaviors that small business owners should consider avoiding in 2012. To get the year off to a positive start, I’d like to suggest three simple things you can do to make 2012 your best year ever. These suggestions are all based on simple advice we’ve all heard many times over, some of which comes from outside the realm of business. By applying this advice to your business, you can have a better, more productive year.

• Make a little organizing go a long way. Before Christmas, my housemate and I were engaged in some much-needed house cleaning when he said, “You know, they say if you clean just 10 minutes a day, this would all be much easier.” As I came back to my desk today, on this first workday of the New Year, I realized I should put that advice to work in my office. So today I spent 10 minutes cleaning out a file cabinet, getting rid of some old files that were doing nothing but collecting dust. I’ve already got my eye on some other files for tomorrow.

If you, too, put this simple advice into practice each day, just think how much better organized your office will be in no time. In the long run, that 10 minutes a day will mean you no longer waste time searching for what you need. If you think you can’t spare 10 minutes a day, make it five minutes!

Write down your goals. Have you set some business goals for 2012? Are they just in your head or have you written them down? Research in many different areas of self-improvement, such as weight loss, show that writing down your goals significantly increases your odds of success. I see no reason why this doesn’t apply to business as well. So instead of just keeping your goals in your head, write them and post them in your office.

Don’t think of these goals as New Year’s resolutions for we all know most resolutions quickly fall by the wayside. These are your business goals for 2012, which is important stuff. Write them down; make them real. Commit to them. Look at them frequently and track your progress.

• Commit to trying something new. We’ve all heard Einstein’s saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Find one thing in your business that isn’t working and try a new approach. If you make this a monthly practice, by the end of 2012, you’ll have tried 12 new approaches to making your business better. Something good is sure to come of that!

I hope you all have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012. Our blogging team is meeting on Friday to talk about how we can make even better and more useful to you this year. Stay tuned!

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