The first half of the new year will be so tough, SmartCompany will be working over time to inspire and to challenge you to get out of bed in the morning. What a great challenge for entrepreneurs!

The first half of the new year will be so tough, SmartCompany will be working over time to inspire and to challenge you to get out of bed in the morning. What a great challenge for entrepreneurs!

By the second half of the year, while everyone is still groaning, we will begin to report on some positive signs that begin to emerge. By the end of 2009, SmartCompany will be feeling far more confident about the future.

Here are my 10 new year resolutions:

1. Our competitors in print are under attack as they seek to dramatically reduce costs and pay down debt. This is the time for us to invest further in our core business; providing high quality editorial resources and giving readers more of what they love as we grab even more market share! It’s also the time to pinch good sales and marketing staff.

Resolution: Stop smirking.

2. Become web 2.0. Yeah, yeah, I know we say we are – but I have a confession. We love being gatekeepers and telling readers what to read, as do all good journalists. But next year we are giving up all control! We relaunch SmartCompany web 2.0 in February.

Resolution: Do not freak out at lack of control.

3. Need cash

Resolution: Get cash in the door any way we morally, professionally and ethically can.

4. Make sure that in battling the downturn, important issues for business do not go off the agenda such as climate change.

Resolution: Set up SmartCompany Green Company awards to champion those businesses that have made huge green strides.

5. Educate small business about online. Many Australian retailers don’t understand the benefits of a good website. Many small and medium businesses are not taking advantage of advertising online and using other inefficient forms of advertising like newspapers, TV and magazines.

Resolution: Learn to avoid jargon such as “CPM” and explain online advertising and benefits more clearly. (Please note, sales and marketing staff.)

6. Cut costs further, particularly in IT. Look at what new types of technology we can adapt to do things quicker, better, faster and provide more services for advertisers and readers.

Resolution: Sit down with all IT and technology bills and renegotiate. Explore mobile technologies.

7. Stop people doing their money! It happened in the 1990s and it will happen again as people who are retrenched rush off and startup small businesses. We have already seen inquiry level for franchisees rise. Research shows us that “necessity entrepreneurs” (people that start businesses through necessity) are not nearly as successful as “opportunity entrepreneurs” mainly because they jump in without analyzing the opportunity properly. It will also be important that these potential business owners can set their businesses up properly and understand the basics.

Resolution: Run start up seminars to assist the retrenched, get started properly.

8. Listen creatively. Next year is about meeting constantly with clients (that is, advertisers) and providing fresh ideas to solve their problems.

Resolutions: Shut my mouth for the first five minutes when meeting with clients.

9. Find more stress busters for 2009 because I will need them. Walking in the bush and the gym are not enough. Might have to add alcohol to the mix.

Resolution: Stock up on French champagne in January as they try and clear unsold Christmas stock and before the price goes up in March. Plan to spend some strategy days at home, just thinking, away from day to day clutter.

10. Aunty B was outrageous this year. She has told poor hapless business owners seeking her help that they “are nuts”. She has offended GenYs across the country and advised out of touch, grumpy baby boomers to hurry up and retire to the great golf course in the sky. What will she say next?

Resolution: Sack Aunty B and hope the editor doesn’t reinstate her.



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