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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Make more money from your website

How DO you make MONEY from your web site? Or, how I like to think about it: how can your web site make your business more successful?

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Who do you Rescue?

Today I had the great privilege of seeing the Air Ambulance crew do their ‘Thing’ up close, rescuing someone from an island in Poole Harbour. Now what you do may not be as ‘matter of life and death’ as this, but to the people that NEED you it’s pretty important.

So who do you rescue?

When someone is dialing a metaphorical 999 (911/000/etc.) in their life or business do they get you on the end of the line?

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What I didn’t learn at business school (but know now!)

While I did learn a LOT of theory and case studies of big business, and if required I can write out a cashflow forecast and balance sheet by hand, what I didn’t learn was any of the actual practical ‘stuff’ that business owners—especially small owner managing solopreneurs like many of us doing our Thing actually need to know.

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Be Bold! (or just move things a little!)

Sometimes it’s absolutely the right time to do something big, new and bold. Other times it makes sense to just move things a little bit. But you do need to move – onwards, upwards, sideways, longways, anyways :)

Standing still might seem like a good idea if you’re having a wobble or a panic or just not sure about something, but actually it’s very rarely the best plan. If you stand still you can’t see what’s possible, you can’t tell if something is a good idea (or not) until you try it. Keeping yourself in one place (literally or metaphorically) isn’t always a safe plan. No one wants to be a sitting duck!

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Start big, sell small

This is something I encourage when working with clients who find the concept of ‘upselling’ somewhat icky. It’s actually something I encourage even if they like selling, as for me it’s sensible and smart, and sets out your full Thing (even if then people choose to buy less of it).

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