Posted by Kristin Arnold on January 28, 2008

I was talking with Jim Blasingame this morning during the Small Business Advocate Show about his “Strategic Look at Critical Components” within a small business. There are seven key areas to consider when making your plans for the new year: Financial, Human Resources, Management, Marketplace, Technology, Public Policy, and Personal.

Over the next few several weeks, he’ll be discussing each category in more detail in his newsletter. And, as he discusses, and you think through the possibilities (either alone or with your leadership team), you are going to come up with a veritable cornucopia of ideas!

But you can’t (nor should you) do all of them. So try using this little matrix to help you sort out the ideas:

Take each idea and determine the level of effort expended (low/medium/high) compared to the expected payoff (low/medium/high). Depending on where you place the idea, you will get a good idea if it’s a waste of time, a “quick win”, a business opportunity or a special effort.

Definitely cross off the time wasters! You may want to make the quick wins a tactical “to do” with a deadline. But the business opportunities and the special efforts…now those, by definition, will take more effort. Pick just a handful of these (I suggest no more than five), and make these your resolutions for the new year!

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