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Mid-year business resolutions and how to make them happen

All those resolutions you made for your business at the start of the year are distant memories, but there's no need to wait for January to renew your resolve.

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Remember all those great resolutions you made for your business in January? The odds are that you abandoned some of them pretty quickly, but there's no need to wait for January to renew your resolve. The start of July marks the mid-year point and your chance to make some new ones.

Here are six useful resolutions and tips for making them stick.

1. Adjust your direction based on customer feedback

At the start of the year, often we decide on what we would like to change about the business. The mid-year point is a good time to consider what changes your customers or clients would appreciate. Work out a timeline for implementing them so they become do-able tasks rather than vague intentions.

2. Schedule a brainstorming meeting

You should continually analyse the trends affecting your business. What events from the first part of the year are likely to have an impact on your business? How can you respond to them or take advantage of them?

Ideally, schedule one such meeting a month to spot new trends and track your progress in responding to them.

3. Take a closer look at the competition

What new initiatives have they come up with in the past half year? How do those seem to be working? What mistakes have they made? What can you learn from their experience? More radically, can you think of any areas of collaboration that would result in a win-win?

4. Evaluate your online presence

Does your web site need updating? Are there ways you could be using social media to greater advantage? The tools available change so quickly that it's worth looking at this quarterly. There's no need to rush to use every hot new thing, but observe how some companies have figured out how to make sense of using tools like Twitter and follow their lead where appropriate.

5. Consider outsourcing

Think about what you, personally, should be outsourcing or not doing at all. Many business owners have a hard time delegating and go on for far too long doing tasks that they should have handed on to someone else long ago. Go over your typical day to identify these tasks and work out who could do them so you have more time for your higher-level responsibilities.

6. Take some time for rest and recovery

If the demands of running a business are starting to take their toll, make sure that you take some time off in order to prepare for the next six months. Ask the people around you whether they think you need a break. The person who is close to burn-out is usually the last one to realise it.

The energy of the new year tends to be like fireworks: lots of light, but not much heat. Bring some steady summer energy to your new mid-year resolutions and you may find they bring you the longer-lasting benefits of renewal and redirection.

About the author

Jurgen Wolff is the author of Focus: use the power of targeted thinking to get more done, published by Pearson. The book's companion site at www.focusquick.com offers additional tips and techniques for being more effective.

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