Avoid this mistake for a great new year

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As 2013 draws to a close, many entrepreneurs are sitting down to review how it went and plan for next year. In addition to insights that can be drawn from looking at one's own business, there are also general best practices that all entrepreneurs can implement.

In an article recently published in Forbes, small business consultant Barry Moltz discussed what he calls the "double-helix trap." He finds many entrepreneurs fall into it.

"When they're busy, they don't do any sales and marketing," Moltz told Forbes, which means they're not cultivating the relationships that will get them through tough times. Of course, the other side of this cycle is experiencing an extended dry period when business eases up because outreach efforts stuttered to a halt. This isn't good for cash flow - and it's essential for every business to keep its revenue healthy and consistent.

Entrepreneurs should resolve to focus on customer outreach throughout 2014, not only when they are experiencing a down cycle in their sales. Cultivating relationships, rather than making isolated pitches, is likely to have the best impact on potential customers.

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