New Year’s Resolutions for Business Owners

Many of us are working to establish our New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. Typically, these goals are of a personal nature; however, as a business owner, do you make New Year’s Resolutions for your business? This is a great time to reflect on the successes of your business and any challenges or shortcomings that the company faced in 2011. Making resolutions will help to focus on those things that brought success, or needed improvement. If you’re having a tough time coming up with some of your own, below are some tips on making a great New Year’s resolution for your business.

  • Renew Your Passion: No doubt, the last few years have been tough on everyone. This can make being a business owner feel like a heavy chore. There are many factors that led you to being a business owner – reconnect with those factors and renew your passion for the business you created.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Promise yourself that you will set goals that are realistic and achievable. There is nothing more damaging to spirit and morale than being faced with goals that are seemingly unreachable. Goal setting is a very valuable practice; it helps to set the direction for the organization for the year.
  • Keep what is working & let go of what isn’t: Evaluate every aspect of your business, such as suppliers, vendors, staff, policies & procedures, and determine what is really working and what is not. If something is not working for you, stop using it. Many times we spend a lot of time & effort trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Stop. Let it go. A better way will present itself. Work smarter, not harder.
  • Ensure your financial house is in order: This could mean many things, such as making sure you understand your financials, reviewing leased equipment agreements, finding different vendors for supplies or processes, boosting sales, marketing only to those customers that can afford and use your products/services, or evaluating your staffing needs and making appropriate changes. Most importantly, make and stick to a budget, and perform regular budget reviews.
  • Be in the “Know”: Invest the time and energy in knowing the trends in your field to ensure you remain competitive. This could involve updating your website, developing a mobile app, or developing a new “knock their socks off” marketing campaign. It is also important to remember your customers and make an effort to improve customer relations.
  • Make time for yourself: More and more personal and professional lives are merging, and as a business owner, that holds even more truth. It is important for everyone to have some down time. Schedule a vacation with no phone, fax or e-mail, and give your mind a chance to relax and wind down.

Remember, all great goals contain three important factors. They are written down, measurable, and realistic. It’s okay to set a bunch of small goals rather than one large goal. In fact, small goals give you benchmarks to see how you’re progressing, and you can celebrate small achievements along the way. Moving forward is the key.

Internet Business Insurance: Real Solutions for the Enterprises in the Virtual World

There is no doubt that doing business online is the best way to go in this digital age. Whether you have a real office or maintain an office in the virtual world only, your business requires a safety net. You have to safeguard your business against unexpected incidents that can happen to your online business. While many opportunities are available to you online to maximize your business potential, danger still lurks.

With the right decision, connections and exposure, your online business can boom in seconds. However, with scams, bad business deals, defective products and more, your online business can fold in just a few clicks as well. And just like any real world businesses, which are well protected by various insurances, your online business also requires internet business insurance for more protection.

Many companies understand the value of online business. They spend a lot on technology, website design and online marketing strategies to get more traffic online and ensure greater profits. They pay for expensive online graphic artists. They have the best web content writers. They spend on information technology professionals to make sure products and services are offered without delay and hassle.

However, entering the digital arena un-equipped, without internet business insurance, has cost most companies their reputation and growth. Without the right insurance, their businesses struggled. With various online issues that they never thought they would encounter, many businesses backed out from the digital arena. They chose to stay away from the online competition because they feared facing the challenges again that had caused drainage of their financial resources. Some companies recovered and yet some are still trying to recover from damages doing business online caused them.

However, there are those who took more time to plan and prepare before they dove into the online arena. They have had their share of bad experiences of the real world business and they know the terror and financial consequence of not having the insurance for the protection of their business. They have been scammed or they have been taken advantage of. That, or they have known many companies who faced insolvency due to poor management decisions.

In an effort to save on insurance costs, many companies have their finances drained by unforeseen events. Not a wise move and evidently not cost-effective as well. If people take the time to get insurance protection for their lives, their homes and their vehicles, it then makes sense to insure their online businesses. Instead of looking at it as an additional cost of running a business, it is best to look at it as an investment that will surely pay off in the long run.

Online businesses do not need to worry about physical theft, robberies or fire, but they can have copyright issues, viruses and hacker vandalism (and theft). Some online business damage may require a little help from brilliant online professionals who are trained to handle internet issues. However, some could require a higher cost from damage and total website redesign that requires high capital reinvestment. But with internet business insurance, the unnecessary cash outlay can be avoided.

Why Improving Your Business Signage Is a Must As Explained By An Award-Winning Signs Maker

Having an attention-getting sign is critical for your local businesses – no matter the industry. Your business signage identifies your business and location and it establishes your business image. Your business signage is the core of your brand identity strategy, whether it is proudly mounted on the building, on your booth or display at a trade show, or on your company vehicles.

It’s also the most cost-effective advertising you can do. The Small Business Administration says, “…signs are the most effective, yet least expensive form of advertising for the small business.” Building signage is often taken for granted, but signs are always on the job, advertising 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

How Improved Business Signage Will Help You Brand Your Company, Communicate with a Highly-Mobile Society & Leverage Your Advertising Efforts

1. Your business signage is the only indicator that you exist and would like your prospect’s patronage.

2. A frequently-noticed business sign sends your message to more people per dollar invested than any other form of advertising. For example, if you display a $200 sign for one year at a location where 10,000 cars pass every day, you’ve reached over 3.5 million people (not counting passengers), at a cost per person of less than $.000057. (Less than six hundred-thousandths of a dollar.) Even a high-end, lighted or monument sign that costs $5000, still reaches those people at a cost of $.0014, or a little over a tenth of a cent each.

3. 95% of retail business is location-based. As consumers pass by your place of business, an attractive and effective on-premise sign will leave a positive impression. When the time comes to make a decision or purchase, consumers will be attracted to you.

4. About 40 million Americans move annually to a new home, all needing to buy goods and services, and looking for brands that stand out.

5. Enhanced sign technology allows sign faces to be easily changed to match evolving marketing circumstances. New developments in lighting, plastics, digital printing resolution, and color profiling mean signs can now achieve the same visual effect as four-color magazine advertising.

6. Your company does not need to be a national franchise with a major advertising budget to “brand” your site with effective signage. If appropriately designed and placed, your sign can develop top-of-mind awareness of your products and services, no matter the size of your business.

7. Many communities and cities have strict sign codes requiring that signage remains attractive and in harmony with the look and feel of the community, while encouraging business activities. Advances in sign design and technology means that via signage, your company can communicate more effectively to potential customers in a way that enhances both your site and the community at large.

8. Purchase habits can be influenced with effective signage. Pricing or product information can influence a purchase decision or prompt an unplanned stop, which is critical, since nearly all businesses rely in part on impulse visits.

9. A well-designed sign can provide a positive perception of quality and service and create the image of a leader, even for the smaller business. For the national franchise or chain, on-premise signage reinforces all other media advertising, and maximizes advertising effectiveness at a low cost.

10. By adding your business signage to your car and “wrapping” your company vehicles with striking vinyl, you can generate over 600 visual impressions for every mile driven At about $0.35 per thousand impressions for a typical vehicle wrap, the cost is almost trivial compared to $3.56 for outdoor advertising or over $20.00 for typical magazine advertising.