As the new year approaches and the holiday spirit winds down, there are a lot of tasks businesses need to prepare for to make the new year better than the last. To meet goals you set for 2013, you need to start making strides sooner rather than later. Here are some things to consider to help make 2013 one of your business’s best years yet.

2013 Calendar

What events does your company have coming up in the new year? Do you have events planned? Company retreats scheduled? Large conferences you need to prepare for? While it’s likely that new things will crop up throughout the year, you probably already know a lot of what will occur and can prepare your employees for it now. In one of your first meetings of the new year, ask everyone to bring their yearly calendars with them so you can all mark down major events. This is also a good time to go around and ask your employees for their event as well. Everyone can mark down events such as birthdays, time off for vacation or maternity leave or other planned days off, etc. This is a great way to get everyone on the same page for upcoming year and also a time to discuss the big events that your company will be involved with down the road.

Planned Charity

How involved in charity is your company? Do you want to be more involved in 2013? Do your employees want to be more involved? Now is the best time to put some plans in place. Here are a few ideas:

–Encourage your employees to choose a non-profit that they want to support and either give them some time off (such as an hour a week to tutor a child) or a monetary contribution (you’ll match any money they raise up to $200 for the year, for example) to help their efforts.

–Choose one or two non-profits to sponsor in 2013. You can either pick non-profits that have a mission that is close to your heart or you can have your employees nominate and vote on options. Sponsor them by buying a table at their big fund raiser for the year or by giving a planned amount to them.

–Put away a certain amount/number of items to donate throughout the year. Maybe you want to ‘spread the wealth’ and support as many non profits as you can this year, but are afraid of blowing the budget and giving too much. Why not put aside a certain dollar amount you can afford or set aside some product that you know you can donate? When your company is asked to donate, pull out some of the money or an item. When it’s gone, it’s gone and you’ll know you donated as much as you could.

Parking Lot Maintenance

“A parking lot is the first impression a customer has about you and your business. It offers your customers convenience and safety in entering your place of business,” Debra Maxfield, CEO and Owner of Stripe it Rich said.

Most, or all, of your employees are going to drive to work. Having a safe parking environment will reduce the stress of the winter months for your employees. People take pride in their cars and want to make sure nothing happens to their cars during the workday. In addition, depending on the type of business you have, you may have hundreds of clients or customers parking in your lot throughout the month and you want to make a good impression on them. What kind of impression does it make if they are parking in a pot hole? The way you take care of your grounds reflects how you take care of business and you want that impression to be a good, responsible one!

“Parking lot maintenance and repairs should coincide with all facilities’ budgets planning to avoid the high cost of major repairs and potential downtime,” Debra added.

At Stripe it Rich, they incorporate inspections in the yearly budget. “We take action by offering our customers Annual Check Point Inspections for preventative and programmed maintenance as well as routine repairs to help facilitate their budget planning needs,” Debra said.

Professional Images

Another thing to consider for your business is its professional appearance. A clean work environment is always something to strive for. But, how people see you in the community is also something to consider. This year, why not try taking professional headshots to get the look your business is going for by a professional who knows what they are doing. One professional photographer to consider is Steve Kowalski, owner of A Better Exposure.

“For our clients, I’ve developed the Personal Professional Portrait, creating the best possible images for our clients,” Steve explained. “My goal and passion is working with the professional and helping them to promote themselves, their business and their brand. This includes highlighting their projects and services that will identify their niche in the market.”

A Better Exposure will photograph headshots for any business, big or small.

“Whether it be for the recent graduate, small business person or existing leader in the community, the images I create will give them an edge in the ever growing competitive environment that we all face,” Steve said. “This is appealing and attractive to not only the business leaders but to introduce the staff that work with the public and behind the scenes as well.”

In addition to headshots, you should also consider professional photography of products you offer or of projects you are currently working on or have completed. Having a portfolio of images is a powerful and classy way to present yourself to new prospects and is an excellent tool to bring along to sales meetings. Remember, pictures can often tell a story that words simply cannot!

Consider a CFO

Something very important to consider at your business is having a Chief Financial Officer. However, many business are simply too small to have someone dedicated to this task. That’s where CFO Systems comes in.

“The middle market CFO has evolved from “chief accountant” to a true visioning business partner for the CEO, most often leading the charge to implement the CEO’s vision for the company,” Brett Frevert, Managing Director at CFO Systems said. “A quality CFO looks at a company’s overall financial picture and helps validate reasonable goals, then creates forecasts and action plans to implement the growth strategies. CFOs take the financial and operational data prepared by Controllers and accounting departments and make it understandable for the management team.”

Some companies do not need a full time CFO because of their expense. “Many middle market companies don’t need a full-time CFO; many cannot afford the expense of a full-time executive level CFO. Many true CFOs are wary of joining an entity that will not fully utilize their skills, and risk eroding their under-utilized skills,” Brett pointed out. CFO Systems provides a CFO for your company on an as-needed, outsourced basis. They are professionals in their field and can help your business as little or as much as needed and be paid accordingly.

Companies should consider CFOs though because of the uncertainties facing the economy in the upcoming years.

“The year 2013 is stacking up to look like a challenge like no other, we have so many critical uncertainties facing our economies- World, US, and Midwest. We are facing issues of properly implementing the Affordable Healthcare Act, volatility in demand, volatility in competition, both domestic and international, and the ongoing challenge of locating and engaging high-quality colleagues,” Brett said.

“Armed with knowledge, we become a part of the executive team to design a reasonable plan with a realistic trajectory. We understand the fallacy of the “hockey stick” forecasts, we understand if and how to secure more capital and we understand how to clearly communicate to the executive team, the company team, the bankers, auditors and investors.”

This upcoming year, consider a CFO to strengthen your businesses finances. “For the last ten years, we have seen middle market companies and their trusted advisors increasingly recognize the benefits of the CFO System Model,” Brett said. “We provide practical, experienced financial leadership, when you need it. Our clients continue to enjoy the benefits of executive level expertise with the ability to recognize and implement practical strategies.”

Have an attorney on hand

As a business grows, things can become complicated. Something can be done or said that quickly becomes a concern of a threatening lawsuit. To avoid having company drama, consider having an attorney on hand for your business plan this year.

“As today’s business environment becomes increasingly complicated, a company needs to be able to turn to a lawyer who can quickly and efficiently provide the necessary advice to avoid business legal pitfalls that will inevitably arise or occur,” Daniel Johnson at Latenser and Johnson, PC said.

Here are some things that attorneys can do for your business.

“While most attorneys are not business planners per se, an effective legal counsel can assist any business in making the correct decision. There are basically three types of business entities:

Sole proprietorship (Bob Jones doing business as Jones’ Plumbing)

Partnership (General and Limited)

Corporations and/or the Limited Liability Company

All these potential entities have certain legal, and possibly, tax advantages and disadvantages. Often feedback from a CPA or tax advisor should be utilized prior to deciding which avenue to take in this regard. Other issues that often face businesses include: commercial leases, franchise contracts, employment law, and delinquent account receivables. Real estate questions can also arise,” Johnson said.

Of course, finding the correct attorney who is a good fit for your business is crucial. You cannot simply pick the first attorney you come across. Make sure to do some research to find the attorney who fits your business. “A business owner should look for an attorney who can provide concise, straight-forward solutions to any situation which may occur. The attorney should be readily accessible, and if unable to deal with a particular issue at hand, refer the client to another attorney who specializes in the area involved,” Johnson said.

A good idea is to talk to other business owners about who they work
with in the legal world. “The best way to find an attorney who can represent and protect your business interests (whether it be an existing or new company) is the usual way: referral/word of mouth. One could ask other similarly situated business owners who they utilize, either as their general legal counsel or for a specific legal issue involved. Generally, an attorney’s existing business client is your best source of information in this regard,” Johnson said.

Consider Implementing a Dental Plan

Who doesn’t love clean, healthy teeth? Unfortunately, depending on the size of your company, your employees may not have access to full dental insurance coverage. That’s why this year, you should consider having a dental plan for your employees.

“Premier Dental offers a Dental Assistance Savings Plan which is a discount dental program to provide affordable access to quality dental care, exclusively at Premier Dental,” Dr. Dan Beninato of Premier Dentalsaid. “Our Dental Assistance Savings Plan is designed to provide access to affordable quality dental care. This program is a dental discount plan and not an insurance plan. It cannot be used in conjunction with another dental plan.”

“This plan provides no yearly maximums, no deductibles, no claim forms, no pre-authorizations, no pre-existing condition limitations, no waiting period and free consolations. This plan is honored only at Premier Dental.”

Businesses should contact the office for additional information and applications for employees. With this discounted dental program, an employer can offer the program to an employee at any time; even when the employee first gets hired.

“The program can extend to include employee family members as well,” Dr. Beninato added. “Maintaining good dental care is an important part of overall health care. With the rising costs of health and dental care, the Dental Assistance Savings Plan is an excellent program for business owners to offer to employees. Again, a discount dental program that’s affordable and provides employees access to quality dental care.”

Have a Security Plan

When your employees come to work, they want to know they will be in a safe environment. This upcoming year, why not consider having the safest environment possible for your employees.

“Security needs to be addressed not as an annual expense, but a monthly expense in a yearly plan. The security investment model has shifted to where businesses no longer have a large capital outlay every 5-7 years. They are able to take advantage of a more flexible and scalable security system with built in ongoing maintenance and pay for it as a flat monthly fee. Smaller updates to equipment may then occur every two to three years,” Chris Vilim, President at CoreTech said.

A.M. “Bobby” Brumfield with Leonum adds, “Leonum Advisors’ services are a crucial part of business planning because they will create a course of action prior to an occurrence and will prevent the need to build a plan while in the midst of a crisis. We generally work with government entities, corporations and small businesses that need to implement safety, security and workplace training programs. Business continuity plans are essential after a crisis occurs and these plans will determine which companies survive and which will not. Without a solid business plan, your company, regardless of size, is at risk.”

Systems need to be maintained on a consistent basis for them to work adequately. “Threats to IT and physical security are constantly changing, and systems need to be maintained and updated on a continual basis to maintain security. Businesses have the option to still purchase equipment or have it included as a part of the monthly fee from a managed security provider. Good IT security systems are introducing new features and functionality on a constant basis to combat threats. Unless you are staying up-to-date and learning how to implement the new features and functionality you will fall behind and put your business assets at risk,” Chris said.

“Take advantage of the skill sets and expertise a managed security provider will supply by engaging them in discussion about your business plan and goals. A true partner is invaluable to providing expertise.”

CoreTech offers many services for all different sizes and types of businesses. “We offer IT security for small and midsize businesses, as well as physical security for small to enterprise companies. CoreTech is able to provide virtually all the services a company would need to secure their IT environment including cloud hosting to on-premise firewalls to managed security as a service. As it relates to physical security, small companies look to our division, SecureTech, for a few cameras that may be feeding their video back to our data center locations. Enterprise companies with multiple sites that need a significant number of cameras, along with access control also look to SecureTech. The businesses that benefit the most from the convergence of IT technology and security are companies that are geographically dispersed with multiple locations. Today we can centralize the systems and provide more accessibility. Previously, physical security was cost prohibitive for many businesses. Now they can take advantage of a cloud services model, which provides even greater benefits,” Chris said.

CoreTech helps with all steps of installing and will offer on-going services once installed. “We can help with anything from the initial consolation and strategizing to systems design, procurement, installation and training. We are also able to handle the ongoing support and maintenance of the platform as well. As new advances and changes come about we are able to help clients implement them to improve their systems,” Chris said.

When deciding whether or not having security at your business is important, make sure to really research different options and the importance of security to your employees. “When businesses start planning physical security initiatives, it’s important to understand that it’s not just about locking doors and recording activities for historical purposes. There are additional operational support that can be gained form a video system. There is opportunity to monitor equipment, space, operations, and people. There may be additional business functions and processes that your video can support as well,” Chris said.

Update Communication Services

Communication skills are critical for any business to succeed. “Communication services are very important to business owners. It is essential in a business that all employees can communicate efficiently not only with their customers but with each other as well,” Jessie Noel at Cross Pointe Innovations said. “The business community is becoming more and more reliant on being able to receive, access and respond to messages when on the go, not just when they are at their desk.”

Something for your business to consider is staying current with technology developments. “These devices (like the iPad) combine many of the best features of a smart phone and a computer. They are larger than a cell phone which is ideal for working on reports or giving presentations and are more easily transported as they are smaller and sleeker than a computer,” Jessie said.

At Cross Pointe, they work with all different companies on all aspect of their wireless needs. “We assist companies in looking at what they are currently using and seeing if that is the best option for them based on their needs. We also offer services where we analyze your current wireless spend to see if there is any overspending. Many companies who have had their bills audited by our experts and found money to be saved were then able to use that money to update and purchase new technology for their employees,” Jessie said.

Megan Goeke with U.S. Cellular added, “Smartphone and tablets are becoming mainstay in corporate America because they help employees communicate quickly and be more productive when they are away from the office. These devices also help on-the-go business owners connect with their employees, vendor partners and customers and stay organized throughout the day. The rapid growth of applications extends the benefits of smartphones and tablets beyond fast and easy communication. There are hundreds of business-friendly apps, such as Document Scanner and Trip Planner, which can do more than anything you find in your briefcase.”

It’s almost mind-boggling to think of everything that will be available for business owners this year and the coming year. “For most businesses, the popularity of smartphones and tablets is changing the way they look at their device strategies,” explained Megan. “By 2016, research firm Gartner predicts that two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone and 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile. Tablets will be the key accelerator to mobility. Many business professionals prefer them because they are easier to carry than a laptop computer, have large touchscreens that create a web-browsing experience that is more like a PC and feature vibrant graphics that deliver information with clarity. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a wide-screen display and dual surround-sound speakers.”

Incorporating this technology into your business may seem overwhelming, and it certainly shouldn’t be done by a business owner who is not educated about wireless technology. “Before business owners purchase new mobile devices for employees, they should consider all the services a wireless carrier offers after the purchase,” stated Megan. “It’s also important to make sure your employees have the best network coverage. At U.S. Cellular, we help business owners select the devices and plans that meet their needs, so they stay connected to the office and organized while on-the-go. U.S. Cellular is committed to delivering the best customer experience. Our customers enjoy unique benefits, such as free Overage Protection and free Battery Swap.

U.S. Cellular also offers customers a valuable rewards program that recognizes customer loyalty and rewards customers for simple things, such as paying bills on-time, adding a line or referring friends and family. Points may be used for faster phone upgrades, additional lines, devices, accessories and ringtones.

We feature a strong lineup of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by our high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality and customer satisfaction of any national carrier. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Champion in 2011 and 2012. This award represents the 40 highest-performing companies that deliver service excellence to U.S. customers.”

Ease of use of communications is important for your employees, especially those who need to be mobile or active during their workday and who have trouble holding on to a traditional handset or even a mobile phone. Headsets and Bluetooth technology can often be the answer to these problems and is something that Headsetters can help you with. They can provide you and your employees with options that will keep your hands free while you make important calls–saving time and energy. These accessories can also help with meetings, especially if you need to make conference calls with employees or customers at a remote location.

Work with a Staffing Service

Finding, hiring and retaining the right employees is always a challenge for any business owner who has employees. Many business owners have no idea how to conduct human resources practices and don’t really have the time to do so anyway as they are busy with running their company. If human resources and staffing is a challenge for you, you should consider working with a staffing company in 2013. Here are a few reasons why:

Improve Productivity

Bringing in temporary workers to handle work overload can prevent employee burnout of full-time staff. When work schedules are overloaded, employees can quickly become unmotivated and overwhelmed. This can increase mistakes made as well as decrease productivity. Increased absenteeism is often a side effect when this occurs. By bringing in temporary staff to handle the extra work load, full-time employees can continue to focus on their main job tasks while maintaining their productivity.

Try Before You Hire

Temporary employees give the business a chance to try out an employee before making a permanent offer of employment. In some cases, a person may have the experience and education for a job but simply does not mesh well with the business environment. Having the opportunity to have the person work on a temporary basis first gives the business a chance to evaluate how the person will fit in with the corporate culture and other employees. It also provides time to identify any weaknesses that would not typically be evident in the interview process.

Decrease Costs

Temporary staff are employed by the staffing agency, not the business that is using their services. This can decrease the overall costs of the employee as the business does not have to provide benefits to a temporary staff member. In addition, bringing in temporary staff may reduce other overhead costs such as overtime for regular, full-time employees. While the per-hour cost may be more than the per-hour cost of a full-time employee, temporary staff can be used as needed without a commitment of a 40-hour workweek regardless of if the work exists to support it.

Avoid Unemployment Claims

Because the temporary staff person is an employee of the staffing agency and not the business, there is no concern about the person filing for unemployment when their services are no longer needed by the business. This can also reduce overall operating costs for the business as the unemployment claims rate of the business will not be raised due to letting go of temporary staff. Human resources costs may also decrease as managers will not be spending multiple hours dealing with unemployment claims and the Department of Labor.

Increase Flexibility

Temporary employees allow businesses to use staff as needed. Temporary employees can be brought in to cover the vacation of an employee or maternity leave. Many staffing agencies can provide employees in a wide variety of disciplines to meet all of the needs of the business. The business then has the flexibility to use the services of the temporary staff as needed, whether it is a few hours a week or on a full-time basis. Using a staffing agency can avoid the permanent commitment that a full-time employee requires, saving both time and money.

Upgrade Lighting Systems

When proper lighting management is executed, lighting systems are upgraded within the building as new technology emerges.

Superior Lighting Inc, would like to be your lighting management partner and not just your lighting maintenance provider,” Martha-Edith Hernandez said. “As your lighting management partner, we take a proactive approach to operating your lighting system. We’d like to help you set up a preventative strategy instead of a reactive one.”

Many businesses don’t think of lighting management as something crucial, but Hernandez says it is.

“Many benefits accompany the preventive lighting approach, cost effective maintenance that ensures persistent system performance, minimize outages, maximize energy efficiency, consistent optimal lighting. All of these benefits can be seen all throughout the life of the facility and not just when it’s new,” Hernandez said.

Using a professional company, like Superior Lighting that executes a retrofit in your building, can create substantial energy savings, which regains your investment in a few years.

“As your lighting management partner, we have a vested interest in your company’s bottom line and your complete satisfaction. We will work with you to establish planned inspections and ongoing service agreements,” Hernandez said.

Incorporate Fleet Tracking

If your business has a fleet of vehicles (a fleet could be as few as two or three company vehicles or as many as 100 plus), you probably find that issues sometimes come up regarding their location. Perhaps one of your drivers becomes lost, or you cannot communicate with them, or one of your customers wants to know when they will arrive to make a delivery. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to know where your drivers are at all times? It’s possible, with GPS fleet tracking.

“For under $1 per day, per vehicle, you can implement programs to save fuel and cut back on lost wages from unauthorized vehicle usage,” stated Kelly Jensen, President of LincTrack GPS Solutions. “On average, I would say our customers experience a return on investment (ROI) of 20 to 1. As fuel costs keep going up, we can help reduce wasted fuel and even help your company go green. Companies we work with use GPS tracking for vehicle monitoring as well as for billing purposes. Delivery services like it most for tracking pick-up and drop-off of goods and to ensure proper routing and navigation.”

“If you are not using GPS currently, most likely your competitors already are,” explained Kelly. “We offer free demos of our system and have a full staff available for online training and factory-supported tech support. Locally we offer 24/7 tech support and hand-on sales, installation and service. We can explain to business owners how we fit into their 2013 plan and how we can save them time, money and frustration in the new year.”

Join a Networking Group

Networking is essential for almost all types of businesses. Even if you are not trying to sell products or services locally, connecting with other business owners and managers is an excellent way to learn and improve your business. Being known as a good community partner is essential for all businesses, whether your client base is in the city or spread around the world. Meeting with other business owners is also a great way to get out of the office, stimulate your brain and find out what’s going on in the business world. There really is no DOWN SIDE to networking if you’re doing it right.

The way to network ‘right’ is to find the right group or groups to be a part of. Some things to consider are:

–What are you looking for? Some networking groups are more
strict, meet more often, and focus on referrals. If you are trying to sell products or services locally and are serious about gaining more business from your networking group, one of these might be the best choice. Other groups are a little more informal, require less of a time commitment and have more of a ‘social’ aspect to them. These may be better for those business owners/managers who are more interested in meeting people and getting integrated into the community.

–Who is involved? A networking group is only as good as the people who are members of it. No matter what ‘type’ of group you join, there will be great ones and not so great ones depending on the leadership, level of involvement from the members and more. The only way to find out is to visit a few groups and see how you fit in and if it’s the type of group you think you can enjoy and excel in.

–What is the commitment? The last thing you want to do is join a group and find that you cannot handle the time, monetary or referral commitment. Be honest with yourself about how much you can really give to a group and join one that will not be stretching these limits. You may find that you get so much out of the group that you’re willing to put more into it than you thought, but you don’t want to overcommit yourself and end up leaving as this would leave a bad impression on the other members and a bad impression of networking groups on you!

Leadership Training

Every business owners or manager can improve on their leadership skills and the new year is a great time to focus on this. Attending a leadership program or training is an excellent way to brush up on skills, learn more about yourself as a leader and develop weak areas to make you a better business owner and manager. One option to consider is the LEAP (Leadership Acceleration Program). LEAP is a leadership skill acceleration program proven to turn smart managers into results-oriented leaders. LEAP provides a framework unlike any other leadership training program on the market today

Unlike other leadership development programs, LEAP™ graduates show a 45% average, measurable increase in leadership confidence and competence and have a long track record of results they’ve achieved using our world-class curriculum, methods and tool-kits.

Imagine how great it will feel when your manager graduates the program and presents you their personal “LEAP™ ROI Executive Report” showcasing their measurable growth and business results achieved through integrating their new leadership skills into their day-to-day work habits. This is one program you’ll never call an expense!

Employee Training

Taking leadership training yourself is a great idea as all business owners can brush up on their skills and learn new ways to lead and motivate their people. Providing the opportunity for your employees to improve as well is also an important part of your 2013 plan. Every good leader knows that their organization is only as good as the people who are in it, so increasing the knowledge or sharpening the skills of your current staff can do nothing but increase the overall success of your business. Here are a few ideas:

–Provide a stipend. Tell each employee that you will cover a certain dollar amount of training of their choice (with your approval, of course) and let them choose where they want the extra education.

–Sign them up for workshops or classes. Perhaps you have your eye on some new software for the office and want to provide your IT staff with a day or two of training on it or there is a similar situation that would be good for a certain department.

–Bring in a speaker or trainer. If you don’t want employees leaving the office or having to do extra training on their own time, consider bringing the education to them. Bring in a speaker or a trainer who can either train them in a certain area or provide general motivation and planning skills for your entire team.

Consider Recovery of Receivables

“The recovery of outstanding, aging receivables should always be on the top of the list for any business owner serious about staying in business for the long run; regardless of the industry or market they serve, or what month the calendar happens to be in,” Mark Kottke from National Accounts Systems said.

Mark suggests having a tight, deliberate collection process to bring potential bad debt to light early and often, giving business owners the best opportunity to get paid for the professional, quality goods and services they provide to their clients and communities.

Something to consider is choosing an agent to sort out your receivables. “Find a local agency that mirrors the approximate size and scope of your business enterprise. An agency with 500 collectors may have the references, capabilities and experience that a business owner is looking for, but your accounts will certainly get lost in the enormity of their portfolio and the service and performance you receive will most likely be commensurate to the number of accounts and total dollars you place with the agency on a monthly basis,” Mark said.
National Account Systems in Omaha is a collection agency with all of the capabilities and experience of the large national players in the industry. They take a professional yet unapologetic approach to the idea that our clients deserve to be compensated for quality services.

Improve your Office

Have you taken a look around your office lately? Many people walk into their offices each day and don’t even recognize the conditions they are in because they are so used to it. However, your employees and definitely your clients or customers will notice if you are in not-so-ideal working conditions. Maybe your only problem is that the décor is a bit out of date and a few piece of equipment need to be upgraded. Or perhaps you need a total overhaul as you have too many people crammed into too small of a space or even dealing with unsafe working conditions. Your working environment is extremely important, for image, for worker morale and more!

Window coverings are a good place to start if you are looking to just make a few aesthetic changes. The window coverings can often be seen from outside of the building and can also affect things like the lighting inside your office and the comfort of your employees. Consult with a company that specializes in window coverings who can come in, give you an assessment, and provide you with some upgrade options. All you need to do is pick your favorite and the installation will be done for you.

If you’re dealing with a more extensive problem and need to consider major remodels, you should meet with a general contractor, engineer and/or architect who can go over what you currently have, where you want to be and how to bridge the gap between the two.

Consider Auctions

Having an auction is usually only considered as a liquidation for a business, but an auction can fit into your business plan in many ways. “In today’s market, with computer technology, online and live auction simulcasts produce nationwide. Auctions can be used to move dead stock inventory, excess equipment and high end, slow moving merchandise because they create excitement,” Mark Beacom with Auction Solutions Inc. said.

The first thing to consider before having an auction is choosing an auctioneer. When searching for an auctioneer, consider these questions provided by Mark:

“Consider if they have extensive auction experience. Are they dedicated to the profession by earning professional designations? Have they developed an extensive client base? Do they integrate technology into their business activity? Do they have a good reputation and will they candidly and professionally communicate today’s market realities and provide full return on investment?”

Mark’s final advice is to strike while the iron is hot. “If you want to have an auction, it is best to make it your first option, not a last resort. Larger auctions with high quality merchandise attract larger buyer bases,” Mark said.

To make the upcoming year steps ahead of 2012, make sure to consider all of the above-mentioned ideas to really make your business succeed in 2013. It is the little things that really make a business strong.