5 Ways to Change Your Company in 2012 Credit: Rangizzz | Dreamstime.com

It's back to work this week and once you've gotten yourself some coffee and assessed the immediate tasks at hand, it might be time to start thinking about how your company may have to change in 2012.

While change is never easy for any company, it does offer a chance for businesses to see their market and their customers in new ways, according to Jeffrey Hayzlett, a global business consultant and author of the new book out this week called "Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change, and Grow Profits" (McGraw-Hill, 2012).

Hayzlett said the new year presents an opportunity for businesses to consider new strategies, investigate and invest in new technologies and invent new ways of doing business. Still, it's not always easy to convince the rest of your company that it's time to shake things up.

Hayzlett, a frequent guest on Fox Business News, MSNBC’s Your Business and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump,offers BusinessNewsDaily readers five ways to facilitate change at your company and grow your business in 2012.

Become a change agent - Change agents are a catalyst for growth within an organization. They stop at nothing to do what is right for the good of the company. They work across the seams of the company to push efficiency in every facet. Become an agent of change and create a company of change agents, soldiers for growth and all things more effective.

Create a better mood - A negative atmosphere can ruin a company faster than bad business. The most important thing a leader can do to improve the culture of their company is to change the mood. Whether you are a startup or a well established company, your business should look and feel alive.  Walk around and make a list of things that need refreshing, repair, or replacement. Ask your people what needs to be fixed and recruit them to help fix it. The bad working conditions have affected them the most, so get them involved in the change.

Harness the power of 'friendsourcing' - Friendsourcing involves pulling in information or input from a trusted group of peers willing and able to assist your mission, spread your message, and help you grow.Friends listen to friends when it comes to the products and companies they frequent and spend money with. So build a "friend frenzy" of happy customers to drive great word of mouth. Leverage friendsourcing.

Create a focused social strategy - When you use social media, be present and listen. Companies that once thought they controlled their brands are realizing that social media is the new norm. No more catchy slogans. No more hiding behind 800-number phone trees and website labyrinths. It's about listening, responding, and being radically transparent. Get out there if you're not. Get out there completely if you are.  

Get loud- Amp up the volume of your efforts by doing more advertising and marketing. Now is not the time to cut back. There is an old saying in marketing,

"In good times, advertise. In bad times, advertise more." I see a lot of business owners who are too scared of the market to make bold decisions. Now is the time to turn up the heat. Know you customer, understand your core message, and get loud.