3 things: 1. Pick up the phone EVERY DAY!! (This is my ONE most important NY resolution) I'm in the enterprise space and each sale is sacred and is fully reliant on the phone for closing. However, I believe all web entrepreneurs should start using the phone more often to:
I spent too many years hiding behind a computer. There is tons of money to be made on the phone! *Never sit and wait for the phone to ring.
2. Engage in the conversation Use twitter, facebook, etc to engage in conversations relating to your business.
3. Be everywhere in your industry Write articles for publications, blogs, newsletters. Host teleseminars. Use twitter. Blog.
Some items specific to my business that might be cool for others too... 1.Ask for the sale and reverse/eliminate the risk This is killer in my business (only try if your product saves/makes your client money 100% of the time!). "Bob, I'm so confident that my product is going to save you $X in administrative billing fees every month, I'm going to overnight you a real check this afternoon, post dated 90 days from now for $1,000. If I'm wrong, go ahead and cash it. If I'm right, shred it and enjoy your extra $X every month.
2.Purchase 10 flip cams and send to clients for testimonials My competitor has testimonials from happy clients written on his site. In my industry, this is HUGE. A potential client sees big names, etc and figures it must be awesome. In order to outdo them, I'm going to send a video camera to clients (with return postage paid) and have them record a short video testimonial...then I'm going to lather them on my site. *First ask for written testimonial...then, include that in package as "teleprompter/guide".
3.Stand out to my clients When I signed up with PaySimple, they sent me a thank-you card and a $10 Starbucks card. I love those guys! I'd like to do something similar. Cards, gifts, thank you video? I want EVERY client to recognize my face and recognize my voice. period. (This will be hard for more mass market stuff...I charge a lot for enterprise billing solutions and have few clients)
Ok thats all I can think of. :)
Here is a checklist of 10 things you show probably do every month ; now is a good time to start.
In general, if you're in a reflective mood, it's a good time to challenge your own assumptions. Go find a bitchin' Devil's Advocate to argue against you.
Delegate. Most founders understandably have trouble delegating. If you don't start delegating tasks, the business will start to implode because you cannot possibly do it all. You should start to delegate sooner rather than later, since, usually by the time you realize you need to delegate serious damage has already been done.
Say "no" more often. No to complexity. No to new projects that are likely distractions.
Your biggest constraint as a startup is time. Guard your time maniacally.
As a startup, it's not so much about New Year's that you should be focusing on, but every month and every week you should be asking yourself several questions, best outlined in the following two articles:
I'm re-evaluating how I spend my time on the web. In a typical week, I'll read hundreds of articles and spend hours on social media sites etc, but looking back, I only took away a few core ideas which I'll be implementing in my business / life. Not the best use of my time at all on a purely productivity measurement.
On a related note, I really like this Lean Startup meme which I'm starting to see around the web. I'm going to be putting this into practice this year.