11 Simple Ways to Grow Your Business in 2011

January 19, 2011

Reach for the Sky, on Flickr by RedClayProjectWant your business to grow this year? Making a big difference on the success of your 2011 doesn’t have to mean making big changes.

1. Throw out your New Year’s resolutions and annual goals. It’s January 19th; define five, specific mini-goals you would like to accomplish by February 15th. Then get to work.

2. Be honest with social media. In 2009 the masses were introduced to the social media world. 2010 they tested it out and tried to put every, single piece of it to use for their business. This year? Be honest about what fits best for you. If you don’t connect with Twitter, decide not to use it. If you get a lot of use out of MySpace, don’t be guilted into not using it. Be honest with yourself and the best use of your time online.

3. Send a gift to a networking contact for no reason. Write “Just because I thought you’d enjoy it” on the card. My recommendation? A book, of course.

4. Say no. You can do it, ready? Nooohhhhhhuuuuwahh. Try it again? Noohhuu. Nice! Now keep practicing.

5. Set aside ten minutes every day to learn something new. You pick the method – a non-fiction book, a blog, a trade magazine, whathaveyou. Do it either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, and discipline yourself to never skip a day.

6. Contact a local university and submit a job posting for an intern. You’ll be providing a student with valuable work experience and getting a second pair of hands for free in the process.

7. Answer the question – what do I have to offer? What specific experiences and knowledge do I possess? Write down the answer (or answers) and make a plan to develop a product around it. Be it a new email series for your clients, a weekend convention for potential customers, or even an ebook for your blog audience, you’re offering something new, building relationships, and adding an additional income stream to your business.

8. Every other time before you hit Send on that tweet or Update on that status, erase what you wrote and write a sincere promotion for someone else instead.

9. In the next week, identify two of the most common processes that occur in the everyday operations of your business. Pick one of them, step back from it for a minute, take yourself out of the equation, and find a way to automate that process. Everything can be systemized, you just need to figure out how. Make it happen. Put the system into effect immediately. If you’re feeling super-productive, repeat this exercise monthly.

10. Say “thank you” to someone – anyone – every day.

11. Once a quarter, if not once a month, spend a long weekend with the most likeminded friends you have. Travel across the country if you have to. If you don’t have friends with the same goals and mindset as you do, attend a networking event every week and network your face off until you find them.

So, what do you think? What would you add to the list?

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