7 tips to get your business moving in 2010

• Develop a sense of urgency: A sense of urgency in your business is not a “sky is falling” mentality with which you make hasty decisions out of fear. In the world of successful small business, it’s about hurrying to make things happen, hurrying to create products and services to market and sell. It’s about getting your clients and customers the results they want quickly — faster than your competitor can. A sense of urgency also is about being proactive and not reactive. It’s about getting priorities in order. It’s about taking massive action to produce results. • Set ambitious deadlines: The greatest time management tool is the deadline, because without it nothing else would ever get done. Something to experiment with this year is raising the bar on completion dates. Remember, getting it done is more important than getting it perfect. • Let go of waste: Hanging on to old ways of doing things or systems that just aren’t productive anymore will equal a ton of waste. Many companies that struggle in economic downturns are usually carrying a lot of waste in the form of advertising that’s not working or operational procedures that are inefficient and outdated. Don’t believe me? Study just a few of the companies that have stood in line for government handouts. • Be unique in your marketing: Are your marketing messages too inwardly focused and egotistical? Do they get lost in the shuffle because there’s nothing unique, fun, new or different about them? In our economy, there’s no room for “sameness.” Brainstorm the ways you are different from your competitors and communicate why your differences are of benefit to your prospects. • Get savvy about selling: In some circles, “selling” has become a dirty word. But the truth is nothing happens until somebody sells something. It’s sad when businesses spend money on marketing to generate traffic to their locations or get their phones to ring and then someone drops the ball or “un-sells” the prospect. Get back to basics and focus on the little things. Train yourself and your sales staff to ask questions to uncover the desires of your customers. Once you know what your customer wants, show them how to get it. Have regular meetings, role-play and study the art of ethical persuasion. • Keep it simple: To move quickly in 2010 and reach all of your goals a little faster adapt an attitude of simplicity. Does anything seem to be a little over-complicated in your business or life? Be honest with yourself and then take corrective action to simplify. When I speak to groups of business owners I often get their attention and a laugh when I tell them I’m going to share the easiest and most important financial, business and economic principle. They are on the edge of their seats as I tell them as long as they follow it they can’t help but be successful.“What is it?” they ask.“It’s the Chunka Principle!”“Huh?”“The Chunka coming in has to be bigger than the Chunka going out!” Simple, but effective financial advice.

• Have fun: P.T. Barnum, the famous showman and promoter, said people will spend their last nickel to have fun. Think of ways you can make things more fun and enjoyable for the people around you, including your customers and clients. I’m not advocating not taking business seriously – just make it a priority to enjoy it this year.Mike “Mike D” Dolpies of askmiked.com and nhinternetmarketinghelp.com is a veteran small-business owner, radio host, author, speaker and marketing consultant. He can be reached at 603-286-4864.