2 Simple Ways to Run a Better Business in 2017

By on November 22, 2016

I’m teaming up with Staples to help small business owners make the most of the upcoming holiday season and to close out 2016 on a strong note. This is the first of three blog posts I am writing as part of the program. In each of the posts, I will share tips from Staples in addition to my own thoughts on running a better business. As always, I welcome your feedback, suggestions, and questions.

Ask a business owner what keeps them up at night, and many will respond with “There aren’t enough hours in the day,” or “I just can’t seem to get out from under all the work I have to do.” It appears that small business owners still haven’t mastered the fine arts of time management and workforce productivity.

As the end of 2016 quickly approaches and businesses prepare for the holiday season and the start of a New Year, here are two simple steps owners can take to help them sleep better at night (while solving some of their pain points at the same time):  

  • Review and Upgrade Your Technology – Given the importance of tech in your business, and how affordable most of it is today, getting annual upgrades for computers, smartphones, and other devices is a solid investment. I have a client that runs much of her business from a smartphone—which is in constant need of a charge. She’s had the phone for just over one year, and the battery is already shot. Unfortunately, she claims not to have the time to get a new one even though I’ve pointed out several times how much the current phone is slowing down her ability to interact with employees, customers, and vendors. This needs to be a priority in her business.

The same rule applies for the hardware and software that runs your company. If your computers and the core software programs operating your business are outdated, look to make the upgrade before the start of the New Year. You can’t win the Tour de France riding a tricycle, and your business will struggle if it runs on yesterday’s technology.

Tip from Staples – Increase productivity with new technology & recycle old tech – Take advantage of deals on technology and Staples Trade In program so you can update and recycle in one easy step. Recycle the tech for Free at Staples so you close the year with new technology and a clean office.

  • Get Organized – If your office looks anything like mine in the final months of the year, it probably needs a good makeover! What starts out as a welcoming environment for work in January turns into organized chaos by the summer, and then a place only the brave dare enter by November.

Take time before the start of 2017 to organize your work space. Throw out what you don’t need, take action on the important items, and only put documents in your filing cabinet that are worth saving. Do the same for your computer files…review, delete, and save.

The best approach to reviewing your work files from 2016 is to do it with other people if possible. This exercise allows you to discuss what went right or wrong with certain clients or customers. It also helps you set your approach to dealing with them in 2017 (learning from your mistakes and repeating the winning processes).       

Tip from Staples – Update your marketing materials so you can be ready to start the New Year off on the right foot. Staples Print & Marketing Services provide a wide array of easy options to create and transform your branding, signage, business cards and more.

I hope you can incorporate these two suggestions into your business this week. They will help you end 2016 on a high note, and get you ready for the start of the New Year.  To help you start the New Year off on a positive note, use the following link to Staples new Free Printable 2017 Calendars.

Look for two more blog posts in my series. Again, if you have any thoughts or suggestions on topics you would like me to cover, please send them my way. Thanks!

About Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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