Harry Maxwell, a candidate in last year’s Young Apprentice, shares his predictions for the year ahead:1. I’ll remember 2011 for… record turnover! I think what the year has shown is the influence exposure can have on your business. Featuring on a process like The Apprentice definitely created some form of buzz around myself and my Luxury Five Star Hotel Guide. It almost became addictive logging on tracking the rise in unique visitors, bookings and commission revenue. 2. 2012 will be great because… it is the year for the UK. We’re in economic recovery and I think the London 2012 Olympics will have a huge effect on businesses. From my perspective, the influx of tourists is bound to proliferate hotel bookings so that is a clear window for Luxury Five Star Hotel Guide to capitalise on. However, rewards should naturally spread across all different industries; small businesses in particular are getting me excited. They have a fantastic opportunity here to ramp up substantial growth if they corner the market appropriately. 3. One industry we’ll hear a lot from this year will be… the media industry. While the market position fluctuations have probably settled following the News of The World closure, News International are bound to be releasing a replacement and it will be intriguing to see how it pans out. Additionally, you have to give considerations to the shift towards online readership and how news agencies can drive a popular yet serious business model. 4. The one thing that would help me grow my business in 2012 is… publicity. What The Apprentice showed me was that in terms of business growth, press exposure of your business drives much more traffic than I ever rated and surprisingly more so than medium budget online PPC advertising schemes. Therefore the best thing to help grow my business would be more contacts within the media game to get our name out there, get more people onto the site to place those bookings and drive higher revenue. 5. My New Year’s resolution for 2012 is… to take things step-by-step. What I found throughout 2011 is that by working on various different projects and towards several goals, sometimes the job I was doing was slightly short-changed. So this year is all about focus, having a plan and putting all my energy behind one particular goal and project at a time. That way I’ll be doing the best job you possibly can and helping generate the best prospects for my company. Real Business will be running the “My 2012” series for the next month, bringing you top entrepreneurs’ views and predictions of the year ahead.
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