You didnâ€™t think that I only have two resolutions for the New Year, did you? As a matter of fact, I was a bit surprised at how easy it was to think of things that I can work on in 2009. I thought for sure that I would have a hard time coming up with my business resolutions but here are a couple more.
Schedule more ME time
This is in line with learning to delegate and to let go of work. Though I put so much weight on work and its importance in my life, I also have come to realize that work is not everything. There are some times in my life when I have to sit back and put my feet up â€“ even for just an hour or so. This is necessary to maintain a balanced life and to be even more successful in various respects. This year, I will make it a point to set aside time for myself, for something I enjoy outside of work.
Revamp promotions and marketing
Marketing is something that is essential to any business â€“ I have long come to that realization a long time ago. However, I would have to admit that I have not been really paying that much attention to this aspect of the business. Perhaps an infusion of fresh ideas and activities would be beneficial to the business. This is something that needs to be looked at in 2009.
So there you have some of my most urgent business New Yearâ€™s resolutions. What do you have on your list?
Itâ€™s that time of the year again, when people look to leave the past behind and create a fresh start for the new year. I do not know if you put any importance on New Yearâ€™s resolutions as they have the notoriety of being forgotten after a while. However, I do believe in their importance, especially if you make sure that you achieve these goals. Here are some of my business New Yearâ€™s resolutions.
Learn to delegate
This is perhaps one of my greatest failings. I seem to have been taught that â€œif you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.â€ I cannot pinpoint exactly how I learned to embrace this idea but I find myself living it more and more. Naturally, I have found myself on the edge of breaking down more than once. With all the work that I have to do, if I take on everything else that comes my way, I would not be able to handle things. That is why I need to learn how to delegate certain tasks to other people. Just a thought â€“ make sure that you are surrounded by competent people whom you trust so that you can have peace of mind when delegating task.
Learn something new
I love learning. I canâ€™t have enough of it. Still, I tend to fall back on the old and tested methods that I know will work. This year, I think that I will be more adventurous and learn something totally different that can give my business an edge.
(to be continued)
Here are a couple more great reads that you can either give to friends or keep for yourself.
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
By Alice Schroeder
Bloomsbury Â£25, 976 pages
Shortlisted for the FT/Goldman Sachs Award. The authorised biography of one of the worldâ€™s richest men details his long and productive life and apparently homespun methods: he invests only in businesses he understands and eschews legalistic paperwork in favour of gut instinct and personal chemistry.
Who would not want to read about Warren Buffet? This guy is the best businessman in the world and though he may have his share of detractors, we cannot deny that there are lessons to be learned from him. In fact, if you had to choose one book, I would say that this is it.
Cold Steel: Britainâ€™s Richest Man and the Multibillion Dollar Battle for a Global Empire
By Tim Bouquet and Byron Ousey
Little, Brown Â£20, 352 pages
Shortlisted for the FT/Goldman Sachs Award. The blow-by-blow account of Lakshmi Mittalâ€™s bruising takeover battle for Arcelor, the European steel giant. Terrific narrative reporting, bringing the energy and drama of the sports pages into the business world.
The Arcelor-Mittal issue rocked Europe for a while a couple of years back. It was mired in controversy but it seems that allâ€™s well that ends well. This should prove to be a good read at any time.
So there you have it, some pretty interesting choices for business books this year. There are more in Stefan Sternâ€™s article if you are not satisfied with these choices.
Christmas is over and youâ€™ve probably given your gifts away but just in case you still have a couple of loose ends to take care of, here are some of the best business books of the year. They will make great presents for your business-minded friends or actually, you can get them for yourself. This list is created by Stefan Stern of FT.com Management Blog.
When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change
By Mohamed El-Erian
McGraw-Hill Professional Â£15.99, 304 pages
Winner of the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2008. El-Erianâ€™s serious analysis of the new economic world order has won admirers in every major financial market. As we struggle to work out what the â€œnew normalâ€ will look like, El-Erian provides readers with market-tested insights.
From what I have seen and heard of this book, it is perfect for what is currently happening in the economic world. The changes that we are all facing and the effects of these changes can be disquieting if we do not have the right information and perspective â€“ and this book can give you just that. You can rent this book at a leading textbook rental site.
A Sense of Urgency
By John Kotter
Harvard Business Press Â£11.99, 208 pages
One of the worldâ€™s leading gurus of change, Kotter revisits his eight steps of change theory and focuses on its most important element: a sense of urgency. Managing change successfully really does come down to that. An elegantly written book that proves you donâ€™t have to drone on endlessly to make a point.
More on the changes that we are all experiencing. This is a fast paced book, one which will not be a bore to read.
I am sure you noticed that the prices are in GPB â€“ just visit Amazon and you can find the US prices.
Just to recap the tips that I gave in the last postâ€¦when choosing Christmas cards to send for your business, remember to bear in mind these three things:
1. Do not be a scrooge.
2. Be careful with your sense of humor.
3. Be sensitive to your customersâ€™ religious beliefs.
Here are some more things you can bear in mind for your business Christmas cards.
Do write a personal note inside the card.
If you decide to get store bought Christmas cards, there will be messages written on the inside already. However, what you want is to make your customers feel your personal touch and that is why you have to add at least a short note of your own. If you have time to write it yourself, that would even be better.
Do use a company stamp.
Remember that one of the reasons that you are sending out Christmas cards is to help promote your business. As such, it would be good to include information about the company in your Christmas cards. To make it look professional, have a company stamp made which contains all the pertinent info â€“ business name, address, contact number, web site, and email. Alternatively, you can print out small labels which contain the same information. Just make sure you use high quality paper and ink when printing out these labels as the last thing that you would want is to make your card look tacky.
I hope that I convinced you to send Christmas cards to your clients with my last post. I really think that it is one way of keeping in touch with them in a genuine manner. Here are some things that I believe you should bear in mind when choosing Christmas cards and sending them out.
Donâ€™t be a scrooge.
There are Christmas cards and there are Christmas cards. What I am saying is that you can probably buy Christmas cards for dirt cheap but the quality might suffer. How would you feel if you received a card that is obviously of poor quality? I need not explain further, do I?
My point is that you should go for the best quality cards you can find. If needed, you can have your own printed out. The impression that this will impart to your clients is worth the extra that you might have to pay.
Be careful with â€œhumorousâ€ Christmas cards.
Between friends, naughty and humorous cards will probably not be a problem. However, if you are sending out cards in the name of your business, I suggest playing it safe. It is not really business-like to be sending out cards with a naked Santa on them, right? Well, unless your business leans towards that nature, that is.
Be sensitive about beliefs.
There are two things that you should be careful with on most occasions â€“ religion and politics. When sending out Christmas cards, do realize that not everyone shares the same beliefs. If you are unsure as to what faith your clients may have, stick with the generic themes â€“ Happy Holidays and the like.
(more in the next post)
When I was a child, one thing that I looked forward to each Christmas was the chance to send out Christmas cards. There was no email back then. We had to go to the bookstore to pick out the cards, write on them, and send them through postal mail. I would almost clap my hands in glee as I picked out special card for each person I wanted to send one too. It was like a ritual for me.
In these days where email and other electronic means of communication are the rave, it is quite rare to see people going gaga over Christmas cards. However, I would like to challenge you to think of ways that sending out Christmas cards would benefit your company. In one way, it could be a marketing technique. Having Christmas cards â€“ â€œrealâ€ ones and not the electronic kind â€“ made and sending them out to your customers is a great way to personalize your business!
If you are thinking about the cost, why donâ€™t you just add it to the total cost of your marketing plan? After all, you are already probably setting aside a certain sum for marketing activities. Just add Christmas cards to that. The time, money, and effort that you spend on Christmas cards will definitely be worth the results. This is especially true if you place high value on building relationships with your clients â€“ which is always advisable. If I were you, I would get those cards printed now and send them out asap.