First Person: My Small Business New Year's Resolutions for 2013

Yahoo Contributor Network

For me, as for many small business owners, year end is the time when I make New Year's resolutions for my business. Having already updated my business's detailed strategic plan for 2013, my New Year's resolutions distill this plan into just a few priorities--those items that I believe will be most important to my business's success in the coming 12 months. Here are my three top 2013 New Year's resolutions for my small business.

Find New Ways to Use the Internet to Grow

Although the Internet is an essential tool that has contributed to my business's success to date, I know that ways to use it to find new customers, reach existing customers, and drive sales are constantly changing and new ones are appearing. Therefore, one of my business priorities in 2013 will be to identify and take advantage of some of these new tools, especially those for communicating with customers, creating new digital products, and broadening my business's marketing outreach.

Develop Complementary Products

One area where I may have missed business opportunities in the past is by not focusing on opportunities to develop new, complementary products that leverage my experience and expertise. Therefore, one of my goals in 2013 will be to take a serious look at the potential for such products, with the aim of creating at least one new product and, as a result, one new revenue stream in 2013. Ideally, this will be an evergreen product that can generate revenue over a multi-year period, although one-shot revenue producers with high returns also could make sense. The anticipated advantages of such "add-on" products include their relatively low development costs and, therefore, their potential for above-average profit margins.

Get Serious about Taxes Early

Tax planning for businesses and individuals is especially difficult right now, since, until Congress resolves its differences on taxes, it is uncertain what tax rates will be in 2013 and whether there will be significant changes to deductions and other aspects of the law. Even so, I intend to start my tax planning early, especially with regard to items, such as retirement account contributions, which can have a significant effect on my year-end tax bill, are made throughout the year, and can easily be adjusted as the year progresses in response to any tax law changes made by Washington.

Also, on a personal level, once any tax law changes are finalized, I will have my business adjust the amount of tax withheld from my payroll to reflect the effect of the new rules. This is important to me, because I prefer to keep as much of my pay as possible during the year, rather than over-withholding (which is like giving the Federal government a tax-free loan) and receiving a large refund or under-withholding and having to write a large check.

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