Strategies: Year of the Rat brings opportunities

• Finding customers in new ways. Most of us get used to selling our merchandise and services through one channel — a distributor, certain retailers, or reaching customers through one major marketing medium. Now's the time to develop additional avenues to connect with customers. Find new ways to advertise and new ways to sell.

• Building up your reserves. Rats like to hoard their belongings. While you need to spend money on new endeavors, avoid unnecessary expenditures when possible. Put that money in the bank instead.

You don't have to be a believer in astrology, Chinese or otherwise, to find lessons and inspiration for your business in the Year of the Rat. After all, each of us could use the opportunity for a new beginning. So if you're ready for a new phase, now's the time to go for it. Happy Chinese New Year!

Rhonda Abrams is president of The Planning Shop, publisher of books for entrepreneurs. Their newest is Finding an Angel Investor In A Day. Register for Rhonda's free business planning newsletter at For an index of her columns, click here. Copyright Rhonda Abrams 2008.

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