Your 2009 To-Do List

Originally published
Originally published: 3/1/2009

Ten small tasks that can make a big difference in the perception of your company and, ultimately, your bottom line.

If you’re looking for small tasks that can make a big difference in the perception of your company and ultimately, your bottom line, tear out this list of ten tiny things that every small business owner should do in 2009.

1. Act like a prospective customer and call your company to see how the phone system and receptionist treat you.

2. See if your Web site has a “Contact Us” section. If it doesn’t, add one. Ensure that it has a street address.

3. Send your company an e-mail asking for customer support and see if someone responds to it.

4. Answer customer support calls or e-mails (not the one you sent in) for a day.

5. Go out on a sales call with your sales people and a service call with your service people.

6. Read the documentation or manual that your company provides. Extra credit: See if you can do this without reading glasses.

7. Pretend that you lost the documentation or manual that came with your product or service and try to find it on your Web site.

8. Register your product or service, including finding and reading the serial number of your product. Extra credit: See if you can read your serial number without reading glasses. Extra extra credit: If you use a Captcha system for registration, see how many times it takes to get the word right.

9. Add a signature to your e-mail. A “signature” is a block of text at the end of your e-mails that contain all your contact information. It saves your recipients the hassle of asking for your address and phone number or searching for them on your Web site.

10. Join Twitter and then search for your company name, your product, your competition’s name or product name, or market sector terms from your business. Extra credit: Use Twitter as a tool.

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva and the creator of Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People podcast. He is an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley), and adjunct professor of the University of New South Wales. He was the chief evangelist of Apple and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. He has written Wise Guy, The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and eleven other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA, and an honorary doctorate from Babson College. 

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