First off, Happy New Year! Hope you had a good one, I did

And now… back to work. We have put together a list of things you should look at doing in 2012 to keep ahead of your competitors and really make the most out of 2012.

We all make new year resolutions, and 99% I’m sure fail after day 1. Don’t let this happen to your business! Take a look at the list of 10 things below and choose a few to implement for your business during 2012.

1. Go local

These mobile users are constantly interacting with things and places that physically surround them. Microsoft reported that 53% of mobile searches on Bing have a local intent. The online world has become an essential place for businesses to connect with their local community. Make sure your business has a local listing on key search engines: Google Places, Bing maps, and Yahoo maps.

2. Go mobile

By 2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the web through mobile devices than through PCs. On average, 15% of all searches on Google today are from a mobile device. How well are you catering to this mobile population? Make 2012 the year you optimize your search marketing, email marketing and website to focus on this growing mobile community.

3. Learn how to delegate and do more of it

When you’re just starting out and times are tough, it’s natural to tighten the purse strings. However, consider what you could gain by handing over certain tasks to contractors, virtual assistants or full-time employees. By relinquishing control of administrative tasks or company blog updates, you’ll free up time for what’s ultimately going to keep you in business: bringing in revenue.

4. Invest in one new customer touch point

Whether it’s blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, mobile coupons or QR codes, new ways to connect with customers seem to pop up daily. As a small business owner, you don’t have to excel in every new technology or network that comes along, but you should try to be wherever your customers are. Ask your current customers where/how they’d like to connect with you, then spend some time in 2012 to make it happen.

5. Refresh your website

In the race to master new social media tools, don’t overlook your own website. After all, social media efforts like Twitter campaigns end up driving traffic somewhere, right? It doesn’t make any sense to build a beautiful and savvy Facebook presence that funnels people to a boring, inaccurate, and out-of-date website. Keep it current and engaging!

6. Get on Facebook

Make sure you have a Facebook Page for your business in 2012. Update it regularly and send all your happy customers there. Ask them to write something nice on your wall and make sure when they do you engage them, and say something nice back.

7. Use Dropbox

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again! You get 2GB of space free which is quite a lot if you use it correctly. Invite your friends and you can get up to 8GB free!

8. Skype

Video calls, Phone calls, Instant messaging

See when people are online and get instant answers to quick questions with Skype Instant Messenger, whether your colleagues are next door or on the other side of the world. We use this all the time and i just can’t imagine life without it now.

9. Enter the world of Video

Video is everywhere! in 2012 your competitors will start to get video on their website and have video testimonials of their customers shouting about how great they are on their website, don’t let them get ahead of you!

10. Social network in the real world.

Whether the plumber recommends a carpenter or the web designer recommends a copywriter, business is driven by referrals and connections. In 2012, put some effort into networking by signing up for an industry conference or seeking out a local meet up group. These are invaluable ways to develop relationships and share advice with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Extra bonus one

11. Put time for you on the calendar

As an entrepreneur, remember that you’re solely responsible for your own motivation, productivity and well-being. There’s no boss to pat you on the back or give you a raise. It’s up to you to keep yourself motivated and inspired. In 2012 be sure to reward yourself for specific milestones like a big client win, meeting a tough deadline, or working “overtime” for multiple nights on end.