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Smith: This year, decide to be more resolute in your business resolutions
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I am a big believer in tradition. What day of the year is filled with more tradition than Jan. 1?

At the stroke of midnight I always say "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" for good luck. There are the elite college bowl games to be played.

For lunch and/or dinner, you can fill up on turnip greens, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas and corn bread. To finish the day off, take a few moments and make your New Year’s resolutions.

In my opinion, New Year’s resolutions are not taken seriously enough. After all, you are making a promise. Perhaps you make New Year’s resolutions for your business. Give careful thought to what your resolutions might be. Look up the word resolute and you’ll find it means determined, steadfast and firm.

Keep your promise to yourself as well as your business. You actually might surprise yourself this time next year if you keep your resolutions.

Here are a few suggestions if you are having a hard time coming up with your resolutions.

I am going to treat my customers and employees the way I would want to be treated.

This year I am going to have a written business plan and stick to it.

If I should need help with my business I will set my pride aside and ask for it.

Regardless of how much I dislike a task, I will deal with it as soon as possible and put it behind me.

I will not make the same mistake twice.

I will hire people who are smarter than me.

If a project is not going as it should I will pull the plug and cut my losses.

Should an employee make an error, remember that no one is perfect, and give that person another chance. Most likely, the employee feels bad enough already without salt being poured into the wound.

No matter how much I dislike doing the books each month I promise to keep them up to date.

I will only worry about things that I have control over and not those I do not control.

It is important to spend more time with my family.

I refuse to bad mouth my competitors.

I will use my time more productively.

I will improve my business management skills through more education.

I will listen when my employees and customers make suggestions.

I will thank my customers for doing business with me.

I will thank my employees for working with me.

I will thank my spouse for standing behind me and my dream.

Have a great 2008!

J.C. Smith is a consultant for the Gainesville district office of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, 770-531-5681. His column appears Tuesdays and at