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Make changes rather than reacting to changes

Everything changes all the time. Right now, for example, your competition is in a meeting, busy figuring out how to whip you off the track. Your clients' and supplier's circumstances have also changed today.

And you think this is fun - right? The key is, of course, commitment. You have to like the game. You must have a desire to play it. You enjoy being updated and not only that - you would still rather be the one to update (yes, you're supposed to be getting control anxiety now) because it's fun to change - but only if you are in control of the changes!

Here you have a head start that will help you with the changes:

1. Keep an eye on the world
• Which industry publications do you continue to subscribe to this year? Are there some that you longed for? Magazines are great ways to keep yourself updated - and get you annoyed because they write too much about your competition and too little about your company.
• What books are you reading? What will you read this year that will inspire you to new, exciting developments?
• What websites do you create in a separate folder for to visit each day?
• What parts of your world needs to know that you exist? How can you tell them?
• Have you activated press coverage on your competitors and not only on yourself?
• Do you subscribe to your competitors' newsletters so you know what happens?
• Do you visit your competitors' websites too often? Good.

2. Keep track of customers
• How will you find out what customers plan and where they plan to execute their events (right in front of them) to make you offer the world a package solution before anyone else gets there?
• What are you going to shock your customers and your competitors with this year?
• Why should we buy things from you? Give us a clear reason this year and you'll make some really interesting noises at your checkout register.

3. Keep track of yourself
• How can you contribute to creating changes by yourself? What steps will you take with your product or service to take your business one step further?
• What did the customers say last year that they wanted? Where is that product now?
• What trend was the hottest last year? What was your gut feeling that you ought to do about it?
• What will you do with your own website to give it a really nice facelift now that it has been slumbering for a while?
• What about the old logo, the old payoff? Do they still work?
• What does the brochure look like? Do you still use the old one from last year with a separate A-4 leaflet where you talk about the products that have been discontinued?
• How do you take care of yourself during this arduous journey?

This list is particularly useful in the early fall and early spring.
  Good luck!  

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.