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The Christmas holidays are over and we are all back to work with our New Year resolutions made. Many business owners will be thinking about the year ahead for their businesses and looking for ways to grow their business in 2013.

So I have put together just 5 areas that business owners can consider to take their business to the next level in 2013.

1) Reconnect with your original purpose: Most business owners started their businesses with a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve. By getting bogged down with the day to day challenges of running a business, many owners lose sight of their original purpose. Take time to find a way to rekindle that original drive. Maybe getting more involved in the areas of the business that originally excited you will help you to revitalise your vision? It may have been selling or new product development that you really enjoyed – refocusing on those areas you love may bring you rewards.

2) Consider the value in your product: Do you find yourself competing more and more on price for the product or service you provide? Not all products or services have to compete on price. Value can be added to products and services based on the things that are important to your customers. Look at things like the customer experience, potential new products, delivery times and the quality you offer.

3) Look for new markets or diversify: The world is certainly getting smaller with the advent of easier travel and technology. Look for global markets for your products or simply look at other sectors for your products. If you sell products think about complementary products or ‘bundle’ your products to make them easier to buy. If you are a service provider look at the additional added value services you can offer. Not only will your business have better growth potential but you will also spread some of the risk of only trading in a small product range or one or two markets.

4) Set yourself difficult growth goals: If you strive for bigger growth and focus on it, you are more likely to achieve it. You need to challenge yourself and your employees to aim high. Look at your best customers, how you got them, what makes them your best customers and how you can sell more to them. Look at your product range and the markets you sell in. Look at your marketing and what is effective. Set clear goals for all areas of your business.

5) Improve your customer experience: Do you really know what it’s like to be a customer of your business? Right from the first phone call to fulfilment of an order? Is your service efficient, fast and enjoyable? Take a step back and look at every aspect of the customer experience. Set goals to improve it.

Don’t let all the gloom and uncertain economic conditions hold back your ambitions. Good businesses with clear goals and ambition can continue to thrive and grow in 2013. Is your company one of them? How do you plan to grow your business this year?

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