Webmaster and Small Business Resolutions

New Years Resolutions

Each and every year people around the world mark the first day of the New Year with resolutions. They resolve to do a wide variety of things, and while few resolutions are actually kept, the tradition is a hallmark of the holiday each year.

Experts suggest that people should make lifestyle changes rather than resolutions. I am a bit more pragmatic. Tackle a task you know that you can succeed at. Do not bite off more than you can chew, and you will be one of the few who manages to keep their resolutions. Here are a few suggested resolutions for webmasters and small business owners:

Webmasters Resolutions:

1. Prune Those RSS Feeds

Large feeds are slow to load, its time to prune those RSS feeds and remove the old contents. Dated feed items can be archived as an HTML web page, but should be removed from the actual feed, to ensure that it loads quickly.

2. Update Copyright Notices

Make an effort to update the copyright notice on your website. A current date will reassure customers that your online storefront is active.

3. Update Meta Tags

Each and every web page on a website should contain a unique title and description. Update and optimize meta tags to avoid excessive use of keywords. Meta tags should be accurate and concise without redundancy and recurring words.

4. House Cleaning

Update old links and remove any links that are no longer valid. HTML is a markup language and without constant maintenance it is easy to have a page with an unclosed tag. While some web browsers make allowances for poorly formed HTML, it is important to realize that not all do. Therefore, it is crucial that you take a look at the HTML behind the web page and make sure that it is properly formed.

5. Try Something New

Pick a technology, be it podcasting, RSS, or social bookmarking. Resolve to try or resolve to learn something new. Businesses stagnate without innovation. Be creative and willing to experiment a little.

Small Business Resolutions:

1. Have a Plan

Small businesses often rely on just a handful of individuals and few small businesses have contingency plans if key individuals are unavailable for any length of time. Cross train employees and document procedures so that your business will survive regardless of the circumstances.

2. Prepare a Budget for 2007 and Stick to It.

Determine where and how you intend to spend your business’ hard earned cash in the coming year. Too many small businesses fail to follow a business plan. Build a budget and stick to it.

3. Define Yourself

As a small business it is important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Identify your strengths and reinforce those strengths in your communication with your customers or potential customers. Be aware of any weaknesses or deficiencies in your small business, and do not over commit. Use this knowledge to stay competitive with other businesses.

4. Use Metrics

It is difficult to know what works and what does not if you are not tracking metrics. Measure the results of advertising campaigns, track website visitors and use metrics to determine what works for your business.

5. Communicate

Communicate with your customers more. Few small businesses understand the value of communication, or realize what they can learn from past, current and potential customers. Communicate and you might learn important information about your business. The unique perspective an outsider can provide about how they are using or product, or what interested them about your business is invaluable.

Resolutions are easier made than kept. In 2007, consider paring down your list and focusing on resolutions that are attainable and will help your bottom line.