Next month millions of people around the globe will make a list of resolutions they hope to live by in the new year; an annual attempt to start afresh and turn over a new leaf – and as a company you can follow suit.
Setting goals for your business in 2013 is as important as a personal determination to improve your health by losing weight or stopping smoking.
In fact, it's crucial that all entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises take a look at where their business is heading as we hurtle towards the end of another year.
Below are five useful suggestions to ensure your company is making the most of its resources and experiences a profitable start to 2013:
Make sure you're mobile
With 15 per cent of all searches on Google coming from a mobile device, it's essential that your business caters for the mobile population. Interestingly, Singapore has the highest level of internet usage in Southeast Asia. Combined with 70 per cent of Singaporean consumers using a smartphone, this is a crucial aspect that no company can afford to ignore.
Keep in touch with your customers
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are well established methods of interacting with your customer base, but new outlets seem to crop up on a daily basis. It's not necessary that small businesses are proficient with every new network online, but it's essential to be where your customers are. Do some research and find out how customers would like to connect with you and strive to make it happen in 2013.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Beginning the new year by taking an unbiased look at your business – and preparing to implement changes in areas that are not performing – is crucial. Examine whether your employees are driven and aware of what's expected of them; modernise your business plan to ensure you're heading in the right direction; implement an effective accounting system to generate reports to manage your costs. Take this opportunity to refocus your business and concentrate on achieving your objectives in 2013.
Scrutinise your business strategy
Periods of economic uncertainty spawns a variety of negative effects as consumer confidence in products tends to drop. However, this should be viewed with a positive frame of mind as new opportunities begin to present themselves over time. Be prepared to recognise gaps in the market and act accordingly. Also, making an investment in your greatest asset – your staff – with in-house training will improve their effectiveness and inspire loyalty.
Make time for yourself
If you're an entrepreneur going it alone, or the head of a small business, it's important to remember that you are in charge of your own motivation, productivity and wellbeing. There's no sympathetic boss to offer reassurance or give a pat on the back when things are getting stressful. Inspire yourself, reward yourself and reap the benefits at the start of a new year.