Microsoft Canada

Microsoft Canada

January 08, 2007 09:00 ET

Five ways to help keep your business resolutions in 2007

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 8, 2007) - From quitting smoking to getting out of debt, January is the time of year when people look to make big changes for the New Year. Small business owners are no different and many have made aggressive goals for 2007. But without an action plan, most resolutions fizzle out before the month ends. Here are five common resolutions -- and tips that will help you keep them!

1) Looking for more work/life balance? Get mobile!: Managing a business is a round-the-clock job, so finding ways to create more flexibility and ease the pressure is a constant challenge. Investing in a mobile device like a laptop, Tablet PC or Smartphone can help break the chains that keep you at your desk. You'll be able to answer all your customer inquiries in a timely manner and still enjoy your child's soccer game.

2) Trying to grow your business? Engage an expert: Expansion and growth are always top priorities, but most small business owners lack the resources of larger companies. By taking advantage of your local small business association, government organization or local college, you can find programs that help with developing business plans, developing marketing plans and financing your business. Implementing the right technology can also help create workflow efficiencies, increase productivity and enhance customer service. A Microsoft® Small Business Specialist is an expert that can assist in defining technology needs quickly and at an affordable price point. These consultants have undergone special training and have been designated by Microsoft as Small Business experts.

3) Want to trim down? Start with your inbox: While many people make resolutions to get fit, the New Year is also the perfect time to get your inbox into shape. How much time do you spend searching through the thousands of emails you have saved, opening, reviewing and ignoring them again? These messages are getting lots of attention but very little action. Start handling each e-mail message only once before taking action-which means you have to make a decision as to what to do with it and where to put it. Try following the 4 D's model:

1. Delete it

2. Do it

3. Delegate it

4. Defer it

You'll save time AND reduce the clutter.

4) Need to better maintain your business relationships? How about CRM?: You know the old adage: It's not what you know, it's who you know. A successful entrepreneur's network will consist of numerous customers, vendors, friends and other business owners. Managing these relationships can be a challenge without a customer relationship management (CRM) solution like Microsoft® Dynamics CRM Small Business Edition. This solution provides the tools needed to create and easily maintain a clear picture of your contacts, better understand customer behavior, manage marketing campaigns and drive sales activities.

5) Want to learn something new? Try e-Learning: Upgrading skills is necessary to survive in today's business world, but it can be hard to find the time to attend structured classes. Thankfully, the classroom isn't the only option as the Internet has made it easier for busy professionals to upgrade their skills. Online training and tutorials are available in almost any subject with flexible deadlines, allowing you to learn at your convenience and at your own pace.

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has 10 regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.

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