1. Define your success. It's different for everyone. What's your measure of success? Define realistic and measurable goals, and communicate them to your employees. Put goals up where you and everyone in your business will see them on a daily basis, and track progress against them. Give out rewards when they're met and exceeded.
"Everyone knows they should do something about this, but assumes they'll get away with it. Bottom line: your luck will run out sooner or later," says Evers. "And catastrophic data loss is a leading cause of failure for small businesses - no need to risk it."
Marketing is crucial to growth and success. A marketing plan doesn't need to be complicated, but it needs to be executed consistently. The first step is to make sure you know who your customers are...and then figure out where they get their information and how to reach them. A great resource is "Duct Tape Marketing - The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide," by John Jantsch. Execute your plan.
Most successful business owners focus their energies on growing revenues to the point where the business can stand up comfortably, and keeping them there. Cutting expenses never hurt, but success come from growth.
Share your best ideas with other business owners by using this forum and the New Iowa Entrepreneurs’ Coalition message boards. Ridgely will publish the most helpful in his blog (blog.netbooks.com), which is also a great resource for tips and ideas on improving your business. Go to http://netbooks.com and click on "Share your Best Ideas" to enter your top resolution for 2008. One winner will be selected to win a free year of NetBooks (approximate value of $2,400).