All I Want for Christmas . . .

 “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth . . . my two front teeth . . . my two front teeth . . .”

            As you close the door on 2009, what “gaps” are keeping your business from achieving the next level of success? And what could give it some real “teeth” in 2010?

            Let’s take a look at what might be wrapped up inside holiday packages for Kansas City business owners whose wish list includes growth, prosperity and a bigger bottom line – something that was in short supply in 2009.

Power tools. What handyman’s holiday is complete without the latest power tool? There are power tools for business owners too  . . . the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program, FastTrac, business roundtable groups, and more. All these programs provide heavy-duty support for helping you drill down into your business, assess its strengths and weaknesses and proceed down a turbo-charged path toward the future. Give yourself a gift by wrapping up a spot in one of these programs for next year.

Electronics that provide a “spark”. Many business owners would be delighted to find a new computer system for their offices under the tree. But in this era of iPhones, Skype, Flip video and other types of push-button connectivity, take time this holiday season to make some good old-fashioned connections. You never know what gift you might find at the next networking event you attend—it could be a new customer, a new referral or even a new mentor who provides the needed spark.

Holiday cash. Many businesses have felt the cash crunch throughout 2009. A welcome gift would be a quick thaw in the credit markets. A big red bow on that gift would be lawmakers who understand that mandates and taxes only exacerbate cash flow issues.

How-to manuals. OK, now that you’ve opened all the new appliances, electronic gizmos and toys, how many User Guides do you have strewn across your floor? Some of us may intuitively know how to operate new gadgets, but most of us need a connect-the-dots explanation. So it goes with business ownership. Few of us are experts in every aspect of running a business, much less in growing one. Take advantage of the numerous classes available throughout the metro for getting up to speed on marketing, various aspects of technology, creating a business plan, understanding financial statements and more.

Holiday apparel. As you unwrap yet another snowflake-embellished sweater or thank your mother for the thoughtful reindeer tie—the third one you’ve received for the holidays—consider this: How is your business dressed? What image does it portray? Is it the one you need to take your business to the next level of growth?

Candy cane. Rising prominently from the top of every holiday stocking is a good old-fashioned—and usually taken for granted—red- and white-striped candy cane. Once you break open the wrapper and sample the sugary sweetness, it sticks to everything. Wouldn’t you like to have the same kind of “stickiness” when it comes to customers? If you want success in the coming year, don’t take their loyalty for granted. Practice good customer service—don’t just talk about it. Communicate frequently with your customers, thanking them for their business and letting them know the role they play in your success. Your customers probably didn’t have a great 2009 either. Search for ways you can help them be more successful.

The traditional fruitcake. Without fail, people giveand get—these overly fermented bricks of yuletide yuckiness with the nasty little candied fruit bits every year. They solve the giver’s gift-giving problem, but they create a new one for the recipient. As a business owner, how many times have you allowed someone else’s problem to ferment into your own? This holiday season, don’t let the problem of an employee, a vendor, a colleague or anyone else you work with become yours. Refuse to accept it. Nothing keeps a business from growing like a business owner who’s always busy putting out the little day-to-day fires.

Action toys. OK, you’ve probably realized by now that not all of these “gifts” are the kind you’ll find under your tree. Some of them are programs and opportunities out there in the community that you can give yourself – but you have to be committed to take action. Are you?

Happy Holidays!

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About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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One Response to All I Want for Christmas . . .

  1. Pingback: Make 2012 “The Gift at the Moment of Opening It” | Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

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