What New Year resolutions have you taken for your business? I have found that the beginning of the year is one of the best times to plan as a break normally does wanders to recharge the batteries.

Here are five to get you going. Make up your own list and more importantly take action once you have decided on a specific action.

I will spend my time better, so will my staff

As a business owner you should spend your time doing things that have the biggest impact on the bottom line of your business. Ask yourself what the most important thing is you can do right now that will have the biggest impact on the bottom line. Make yourself a list and rank the tasks on it from high to low. Now give each function on the list a certain number of points. Your goal is to reach a certain number of points each day. Penalise yourself for performing menial tasks that you should have delegated. Make it a game and have fun instead of seeing it as just another task.

Is it time for your company’s expenses to go on a diet?

Expenses have the bad habit of expanding, unless it is monitored diligently. One example is an expense for which a debit order has been signed years ago.

Analyse every single expense in your business and ask yourself how much it is contributing towards the achievement of your business goals? Is the expense really necessary? If not, it may be time to get rid of it Take an axe, sharpen it and swing hard. The exercise will do you good.

If you do not have a monthly budget, draw up a budget and compare actual performance against the budget Implement controls to ensure your staff know they are monitored. A telephone management system is just one such a control.

Increase your business knowledge and the knowledge of your staff

Knowledge can give you an edge over your competitors. As a general rule the more knowledgeable the people of a country are, the more money they make. The success of a small country like Singapore with very little natural resources is mainly attributed to the high level of knowledge of their people. What books can you read or courses can you attend to increase your knowledge. Always measure it against a specific goal you have. In business it should be to make money. Learn from people who can proof they have done what they teach and that they have achieved the results you are looking for.

Do a client survey

Can you honestly say you know exactly what your clients want? Selling to somebody who wants (and desire) what you offer is not hard, but smooth talking somebody into buying something they do not want or need is hard. Keep the survey short and easy to complete, because nobody like to spend thirty minutes of their time on something they get nothing back for in return. Just talking and asking your clients what they want is a good start.

Can you do things in a more productive way?

If you are a sales rep can you plan your trips better so that you see clients in the same area on the same day? If you work with computers a lot will a dual monitor help you to do your work faster? If your computer has become slow it may be time to clean it up. I have found a program called AVG PC Tuneup to work quite well after I have tried a few others.