Sound advice on what NOT to do in business — some good New Year resolutions for 2009

I was reading the UK Business Forum ‘Round-up of 2008’ email today (part of the very useful www.businesszone.co.uk), and this article was the one that caught my eye.

Now I love a to-do list as much as the next person (OK so I probably love them more), but I really loved the idea of ‘What to include on your not to do list’. The article was written by Robert Craven, who is MD of The Directors Centre.

Here’s what I nodded my head at…

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Every customer has their own agenda

Everyone who buys your product or service has their own agenda — they want ‘their problem’ solved, or ‘their need’ satisfied. This explains why customer segmentation is so important if you want to sell more to your best customers…

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You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…

Quite often (mostly!) when you work out your Thing, you do that and forget everything else that came before it as if it wasn’t enough. And true—it wasn’t enough for you (hence why you kept looking ’til you found your Thing)—BUT it most certainly was enough and useful too.

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The business of problem-solving

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Every business solves a problem–they solve it with a product or service that does something to fix or improve a situation, a result, an outcome, a feeling, something. This is how value is created–you have a problem that needs resolving, you go and find a product or service that can do this, you’re happy to pay as you can’t do it yourself, or do it as well/quickly/cheaply/cleverly, etc.

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Put your blinkers on

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Blinkers give a single focus—they don’t pretend nothing else is happening, they just allow you to block it out to make it easy to look ahead only at where you’re going.

I need Blinkers sometimes (OK—all the time) as I am one of those creative types who has a million ideas a minute and would try and do all of them given half the chance. But you know what they say about Jack of all trades and that’s the same as being pulled in every direction you can think of, as you never actually get anywhere…

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What time is it?

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What time is the right time to start being a business celebrity? What time is the best time to launch a new product or service? What time is it?

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