Put a wrap on it, seal it up, throw it in a trunk and lock it in the attic: 2012 is over, and it’s time for entrepreneurs to focus on the here and now.
As hard as it may be to forget the fiscal cliff deal that raises taxes on some small-business owners and the looming full-scale implementation of Obamacare one year from now, entrepreneurs have to take some time for themselves and get their strategies for 2013 in place.
Every January there are millions of resolutions created, and you should formulate your own list of goals to usher in a new year with a new attitude. However, entrepreneurs may not be solely interested in shedding an extra 10 pounds or ditching that nail-biting habit – they want to make resolutions that will earn them more money.
Income.com knows a new year necessitates fresh perspectives and strategies. The world of entrepreneurship is an ever-shifting landscape that requires entrepreneurs to adapt with it. With that notion in mind, entrepreneurs should not only make resolutions to update their lifestyle, but also take notice of new emerging technologies and techniques that will help establish them as authorities in 2013.
1. Get out of the house
Working from home may be an ideal situation for some entrepreneurs. Conducting business from the comfort of a favorite home office chair or recliner, perhaps with the companionship of a pet or family, often relieves stress and keeps entrepreneurs happy.
But don’t get too comfortable. Kicking back at home can often get a little too relaxing for entrepreneurs. Once you get lulled into a laid-back approach because of all the time spent working at home, it can be hard to push yourself to achieve that next level. Don’t be held back by distractions and plushy chairs.
Get out of your comfort zone, treat working from home as a vacation of sorts, because like extended stays, working from home can be a reprieve in short spurts, but saps your energy and drive in longer durations.
One of the ways you can rectify this is by setting up shop in a local library or coffee shop. Do you get too loud on the phone? Try temporarily renting a furnished workplace to get you back in the entrepreneurial setting. Agencies like Liquid Space can also help you find a suitable office space in several locations to use while you get away from home.
2. Go mobile
The oft-repeated directive to entrepreneurs in this modern era is “Get online now or lose to the competition.” Simply put, everybody is online and most are already in tune with the increasingly digital landscape of entrepreneurship. However, you can still find an advantage over others by adopting mobile before they do.
Before too long, being online with a desktop-only strategy won’t suffice, so start warming up to mobile while there’s still an opportunity to differentiate yourself from competitors.
One easy way to start adapting mobile techniques is by taking a quick diagnostic of your small-business website. Entrepreneurs can do this for free through Google’s HowToGoMo offering, which can test site speed and mobile user-friendly qualities including simplified navigation and local intent. Google also offers guides on how find a developer to build a mobile website.
Having a mobile-friendly website isn’t the only aspect to a mobile strategy. Having apps that are usable on smartphones and tablets are also becoming the norm for businesses. App design can be tricky for unfamiliar entrepreneurs, but there are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs for app creation.
One route you can take is creating your own app through third-party services. Sites like Conduit offer entrepreneurs free app design through templates and requires only a couple of clicks to launch yours on the app market. You could also consult with a professional app builder like Bizzness Apps, which charges as little as $60 a month for a full-service app with click-to-call, maps and directions and mobile shopping carts.
3. Brainstorm like never before
Even with a fiscal cliff deal, uncertainty will reign. In order to succeed in trying times, innovative approaches to entrepreneurship and small business will lead you to profitability. That’s a lot easier said than done, however, as you can spend all the time you want with a pad and paper forcing yourself to write down ideas that just don’t pan out.
Get innovative about innovation. Try making an idea book. Notebooks cost next to nothing, but new ideas on how to better serve customers or launch new products mean everything to making money. If you’re watching TV and a commercial sparks your creative juices, grab the idea book and jot down your thought so you’ll never forget it.
Before you go to bed, write down one question about your business in the idea book and keep it bedside. Spend just a couple minutes thinking about it before you drift off, and then answer that question when you get up in the morning.
Each new year brings new opportunities, but it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Income.com warns entrepreneurs against being set in a rut. You have to try new ideas and new techniques if you want to succeed. Get outside, focus on mobile, led your imagination lead you to dollar signs. Make your motto “New year, new opportunities, new strategies – and new money to make.”