It’s Resolution Time

It’s Resolution Time

It’s resolution time.  You don’t need to look any farther than the Special K, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers commercials dominating television right now.  Why fight the tide – so I’m going to propose 3 resolutions for you to consider for your small business in 2013.

1. Recruit an Advisor/Advisory Board

A common mistake of business owners is their lack of understanding what they don’t know.  I can’t think of a single business owner who didn’t reach their success without some level of outside assistance.   The best thing about an Advisor is they are typically free of charge.  You might have to buy them lunch, but the bang for your buck can be incredibly powerful for your business.  The outside view points, experience, and contacts that an Advisor or Advisory Board bring are priceless.   When most people think of an Advisor or formal Advisory Board, they think of large companies and Boards of Directors and assume they are too small to have something similar.  While you may not have something nearly as formal, good advisors are a powerful tool for a small business.    For a good read on using other viewpoints to challenge yourself, check out Goodwin’s Team of Rivals.

2. Be a connector

Networking is always at the top of every business owner’s priority list.  Too often though, we focus on growing our networks and taking from that network.  I challenge you to focus 2013 on pouring energy back into your network by being a connector for others.  Find ways to connect the people you know and I guarantee that the energy you put forth will be paid back in spades.

3. Make yourself “Find-able”

Ignoring your web presence is an option small businesses can no longer afford.  If you have put this off due to cost or the complexities of technology, it’s time to get past that.  The internet isn’t going anywhere, and by not having a presence, most consumers will never find you.  Many will assume that if you aren’t on the web, you aren’t legitimate anyway.  There are numerous ways to have an online presence that are completely free and easy.   Start there.  Get yourself listed on all of the local directories out there – Google Places, Bing Local, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, Manta, Merchant Circle, etc.  Start with those first 4 or 5, as most of the online search traffic is done through those vehicles anyway.

My assumption is that you have a website.  If not, make that priority number two.  It no longer requires a $5,000 budget to have something out there that people can find online.  The key word in that phrase is “find”.  If you have your neighbor’s uncle’s barber’s poodle build your website “really cheap”, make sure they are incorporating “search engine optimization” tactics into the design.  A site that no one can find is like a beautiful brochure sitting under your counter – it’s worthless.  There are also numerous do-it-yourself website building tools out there that even a basic computer user can handle.  Check out,, Website By Tonight through, or and spend a couple hours experimenting.

Dan Beenken, Director of the UNI Small Business Development Center.


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