A Small Business Television (SBTV.com) poll, of 600 owners of small businesses, reported that 70 percent would make marketing and sales their top business resolution, followed by technology at 26 percent, according to a Principal Financial Group. Only 2 percent of the respondents would make business finance-related resolutions, with the same number resolving to focus on workforce issues.
Internet marketing is at the top of the “Six for ‘06” list of business resolutions developed by AllBusiness.com, a leading online resource. Steve Strauss, writing for USAToday, takes a wider view of the importance of the Internet for business in 2006, saying that the number one small business resolution should be to “Revise Your Web Presence . . . whether you have a simple site just telling people who you are and what you do, or your site is e-commerce compatible.”
Writing a business plan that is a blueprint for innovation is the second most important resolution businesses should make, AllBusiness.com says. “Leaders must develop business plans that stress the need to change and adapt to current market conditions. The plans must also firmly assert that customer-centric innovation is not a project – it’s a mindset – a facile forward-looking approach to every task.”
Strauss recommends, in his USAToday column, that entrepreneurs should resolve to get to know their customers better. Every business owner needs to know the following, he says:
- The customer’s average age, income and location
- Why they buy from you and not someone else
- What they want from you
- What they like and dislike about your business.
AllBusiness reports that research shows consumers rely increasingly on wireless technology, including “cell phones and PDAs, to access information, purchase new products and communicate with family and friends.” Businesses must package their marketing and product offerings for this platform. Other good resolutions for businesses, according to their report, include maintaining a healthy cash flow, and recruiting and retaining a talented and skilled work force.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security urges all Americans, including businesses, to make emergency preparedness their New Year’s resolution for 2006. A survey of small businesses conducted by the Ad Council found that 90 percent of small businesses recognized the need for emergency preparedness, the Department’s press release said, but less than 40 percent said their company had a plan. Information about personal and business preparedness can be found on the Department’s Web site, at http://ready.gov. The site offers detailed planning recommendations for an emergency plan, stating in its Overview, “Business continuity planning must account for all hazards (both man-made and natural disasters). You should plan in advance to manage any emergency situation. Assess the situation, use common sense and available resources to take care of yourself, your co-workers and your business's recovery.”