Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making Better Business Decisions in 2012

2011 was a big year for small businesses, but that's all behind us now as we move into the New Year. We've learned a lot from last year's economy because of its ups and downs, and thanks to these lessons we may move forward to build stronger businesses in 2012. What can you do to make better decisions for your small businesses to make this year a strong one?

Keep Up With Trends
As always, it's important that you keep up with the latest trends when it comes to small business news, issues and legislation. Being well-informed will inevitably lead you to make sounder business decisions. For example, did you know that Health Care, Information Technology and Business Services represent three industries that saw the most growth last year and are looking to perform strongly in 2012? Staying on top of the news may seem like unnecessary work or wasted time, but this is only the case if you let it become a distraction. Use the information you learn through trusted business websites and journals to better understand your industry and drive your business this year.
Spend Smarter
It's no secret that the recession and increased unemployment are both hitting small businesses where it hurts. Because so many consumers are spending smarter, your business should follow suit. Examine what you're paying for in regards to your business, line by line. Is the new coffee machine for the office really necessary? The dawn of the New Year provides an opportune time for you to really decide what your business truly needs versus luxuries that you've come to depend on.
How can you cut down on your marketing budget? Take advantage of free marketing tools such as Social Media and Blogging to help drive traffic to your business. Facebook and Twitter have revamped the online marketing landscape, meanwhile Google Plus is just now gaining traction for business owners. Blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger allow you to share your business' content and keep your customers up to date and what's happening with your company. Use such sites to your advantage; the only cost involved is the time that you're willing to spend.
Take Care When Hiring
Be especially careful when it comes to hiring in 2012. Can you afford new employees? One of the most common and deadly small business mistakes is to hire in advance of revenue. Don't fall victim to this trap. Hire only when necessary. You may also want to opt to rely on independent contractors rather the full-time employees to help keep costs down.

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