Paul Haarman: 10 Tips to Get Fresh Business Ideas for the New Year

Every New Year we come up with a list of resolutions we intend to accomplish. Whether it’s to lose weight or quit smoking, we all have lofty goals that we hope will help us lead a better life says Paul Haarman. However, what the majority of us don’t realize is that those same resolutions can and should apply to our businesses as well. In fact, there are millions of small business owners who don’t make any effort to grow their companies beyond the original purpose for which they started.

If you’re one of them, now would be a great time to explore some fresh ideas for business growth.

1) Look at the Bigger Picture –

You’ve likely been focused on your business’s day-to-day operations for the past year, but now it’s time to take a step back and look at how your company measures up to your competitors. Closely examine what their respective pluses and minuses are and then determine if you can identify some areas that could be improved upon or capitalized on. Look at what they’re offering and think of ways that you could better serve your customers in light of those offerings.

2) Seek Feedback –

The beauty of having an online presence is the ease with which you can solicit feedback from actual customers. You may also get input from experts who specialize in your industry or even potential clients about what services would make their lives easier (or more fun). They’ll likely give you some valuable insight into what you should be doing differently this year explains Paul Haarman.

3) Hire a Consultant –

There’s nothing wrong with paying someone to get fresh ideas and unbiased feedback about your business. If you don’t believe in yourself or feel like you’ve hit a wall, there’s no shame in employing an outsider to come up with alternative ways of growing your company. You can even pay them for their time by the hour if it means they’ll still be able to give you their full attention.

4) Attend (or Host) a Conference/Trade Show –

Even if it’s not specifically geared toward entrepreneurs or small businesses, attending an industry-related conference or trade show will get your creative juices flowing in all kinds of new and interesting ways.

5) Take a Class –

60 to 90-minute crash courses at your local college or small business development center are a great way to get a fresh perspective about how to grow your company – whether it’s by offering different products or services or marketing to a particular demographic.

6) Read Up on Industry Publications –

Whether its business magazines, newspapers or online publications, staying up to date with what’s happening in your industry will give you valuable insight into where the market is heading. That might lead you to discover something that can be use to jumpstart your company’s growth.

7) Call Old Customers –

There are few feelings quite as satisfying as getting a “glowing” recommendation from an old customer. They may even tell you how they initially heard about your company and who referred them – which could lead to some great networking opportunities for growing your business.

8) Partner with Others –

When one door closes another opens. Admittedly, not all partnerships result in success but if done right, it can take your business to the next level says Paul Haarman.

9) Network –

Networking is view as a crucial component of any business’s growth and development. But networking doesn’t always have to be about making new contacts. You can exploit existing relationships to expand your company’s profile and even brainstorm fresh ideas with friends and acquaintances who share your same interests and goals.

10) Think Big –

Some entrepreneurs so focus on small-scale success that they never see the bigger picture. When you’re in a rut, it might be time to take a look at the big picture and then make some lofty goals. Once you do that, following through on those objectives will no longer seem like such an impossible task.


Setting goals is easy, but actually achieving them can be a challenge. Don’t let the lack of growth in your company become a self-fulfilling prophecy says Paul Haarman. Take these tips and put them to work for you – even if it means simply making a change because you’ve become tired of stagnating.


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