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10 new years resolutions…

OK, I am going to publish this article early because I just know that you will all be inundated with lists of resolutions and great sounding commitments that you can promise yourself today that will be completely forgotten by the time you finally take down your Christmas tree and throw it back into the attic.

So, here we go with 10 very simple resolutions you can set yourself to grow your business in 2011.

1. Make your prime focus profit, not turnover. Yes, it’s nice to see lots of money flowing through the business, but if you aren’t making a good margin you are still working for free! Why not take some time and look at how you can reduce your costs, focus on higher value clients and don’t be scared to where applicable think about increasing your hourly rates.

2. Have the right procedures. The easiest way to make your business run more efficiently. Ortus delivers the AIMS programme, which has led to excellent improvements in production processes, planning and costing systems and the development of new skills for personnel within companies all over Northern Ireland, leading to growth and profitability.

3. Set goals. Goal setting is how you can map out the next year of your life; Imagine where you and your business would like to be at the beginning of 2012 and bullet point the steps which will get you to that point.

4. Work smarter. Your business takes up the majority of your time; however most business owners complain that they would like to spend more time with their families or pursuing personal interests. You can achieve the same amount in less time by working smarter and planning better. Take control of your business, rather than your business controlling you.

5. Explore the Internet…. all of it. It is easy to be distracted when browsing online but this is not always a bad thing, search and click through associated links in order to stumble upon interesting blogs and articles which may develop your thinking and feed your business strategy.

6. Learn more. Developing upon expanding your digital ecosystem in resolution 5, take the time to read thought provoking articles in areas which you do not feel competent in, none of us are created as experts in every field – so take the opportunity to expand your horizons and learn.

7. Focus on work that generates income. I appreciate the irony of making this point as I write an article, however our day to day business lives can be taken over by non-income generating aspects of our business within your cost of sale. Work hard to monetize every aspect of your production cycle or service delivery, show your clients the value you add and they will pay for it. If it cannot be monetized, minimise it!

8. Customer service is king. Every good business has busy spells, manic Mondays and tight deadlines. Do not allow your clients to suffer as a result of internal pressures in your business – if they do at least you will be under less pressure, because the clients will not come back.

9. Don’t be scared to delegate. If you write down everything you do on a weekly basis, ask yourself the question, did I really need to do all of that? Or could someone else have done it? Delegate or dump your low value activities and focus on those critical to the business operation and revenue generation.

10. Ask for referrals. I have saved this for last as it is by far the quickest and most successful method of growing your business in the current economic conditions – and nobody does it. The average person trusts a referral or recommendation significantly more than any advertising or promotional activities you engage in.

At we take the time to work with our clients who are making serious business decisions and provide a high quality service. Learn a bit more about us by visiting
Have a very prosperous new year!