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The 10 things your business should be doing in 2012

This blog often sympathises with the time poor smaller business operator. If it isn't enough to be on top of staff, finance, marketing, operations and the economy, the rapid pace of technological change means that the notion of 'spare time' is a distant memory.

Because those that are up with their innovation will be enjoying what, if the worst comes to the worst, are significant productivity gains and, in the best case, is a fundamental change in the way you do business.

Of course, the specific gains you can make will depend on your line of business, size, budgets to cut a long story short on. Nevertheless here's a list of recent behaviours that most small business operators should be benefiting from, or until further notice planning to adopt.

Nothing beats meeting in person. In spite of all the online conferencing tools in the world, research is but to replicate the range of engagement capabilities that a person to person meeting can create.

Excellent 'at once best' solution

So web-conferencing provides an excellent 'at once best' solution. Free VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can carry voice, webcams and screen sharing can carry the visual component, and participants can stay at their own desk. It makes for a very good second best scenario.

As pointed out in these pages recently, LinkedIn allows you to have some of your business world's wisest sages word for word at your fingertips. No matter what your business quandary, an army of experts is ready willing and able to assist within a matter of hours.

It's the first port of call for pretty much anyone seeking information about you. If you're not doing it so then, you are likely to be losing significant business.

The naysayers continue to poo-poo the power of selling online. They are as well the ones who complain to anyone who will listen about how online sellers have impacted their business.

The truth is that these days

The truth is that these days, both business and consumers expect to be able to complete the transaction they want in one sitting. They don't want to wait for your phone call, email or visit. They want to be able to find what they want, pay for it and move on to the at once thing in their busy lives.

To take advantage of the vast number of clients who start their purchase process with a search engine, it's now imperative that your business is prominent within them or, again, risk losing business to a search engine friendlier competitor.

But, these days, there are a range of brilliant online training tools and capabilities at the disposal of the smaller business operator at surprisingly low costs. They can help slash the cost and time to organisations for training staff.

Remember the days when every single business action we took required for the time being one piece of paper? Those days are now rapidly diminishing as we review and action the item online - with the additional environmental benefit.

More information: Smartcompany.com