The end of the year is always a time to make resolutions for the year ahead. So how about making some resolutions to make your small business boom in 2015? Business experts give us a few suggestions.
1. Try something new to generate buzz. ?”Research and implement three new marketing techniques that you’ve never tried before,” suggests Melissa Gratias, productivity psychologist.
2. Keep your loyal customers happy. “Your core mission is to keep customers happy. No matter whether you’re working in a challenging or a flourishing economy, there are things all customers expect a top-rated service provider to do: return phone calls, show up on time, under promise and over deliver,” advises Angie Hicks of Angie’s List, a U.S.-based, paid subscription supported website containing crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses.
3. Pay closer attention to your online reputation. “Smart businesses know that unfavorable customer reviews can be an opportunity to shine. Use the information. A series of negative reviews points to a problem with your business,” Hicks points out. “Use the feedback to fine-tune your operations, making sure you’re returning calls and emails on time, being prompt on appointments and communicating clearly with customers.”
4. Smooth out your internal process. “Analyze and streamline three frequently performed processes every quarter,” says Gratias.
5. Better understand your customers. “Learn three new things about your customers or industry each month for the entire year,” says Gratias.
6. Eliminate the duds. “Stop selling at least 10 percent of the products or services you now offer. They don’t make waves, likely never have and clutter what does fly out the door. In virtually all cases, less is more,” says Mark Stevens, best-selling author of “Your Marketing Sucks” and CEO of management and marketing firm MSCO.
7. Become a better leader. ?”Shifting from handling everything yourself to managing and leading other people can be a challenge,” says Hicks. “Be humble enough to acknowledge your weaknesses and be open to doing the work to strengthen them. Consider how the people around you might be able to teach you something.”
8. Plan for and achieve growth. “Set a target of a minimum of 25 percent growth in 2015 and refuse to accept less,” says Stevens.
9. Get it together. “Make sure all of the elements of your marketing– Internet, PR, advertising, branding, SEO, Social Media– are integrated and reinforce each other,” offers Stevens.
10. Make 2015 the best year ever.