10 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Businesses

New year resolutions are always tough. Though they always appear perfect on paper, they’re always a lot more difficult to get going. However, with a bit of habit-forming, New Year’s resolutions can change our lives very much for the better.

With that said, there’s no reason we can’t make the same happen within our businesses. Even when we have our businesses entirely under control, there are always minor changes that can be made in order to better them.

Throughout this article, we’re going to take a look at ten of these minor changes that can improve a small business tenfold.

#10 - IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE

Every small business knows how important it is to have an online presence. However, have you ever considered the importance of maintaining and improving that online presence?

The new year is a perfect time to develop certain aspects of your website that may be lacking. This can include regularly writing a blog or making sure everything is mobile-friendly.

Whatever your case may be, we highly suggest taking the time to improve upon your website. The more attractive your website is, the more customers you’ll attract to your platform.

#9 - DEVELOP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA

Going off the topic of online presence, another key essential is your social media. This may be a given, but it’s important to remember the importance of staying up-to-date with your social media.

Beyond posting regularly, this also means engaging with your audience and developing new ways for them to connect and promote your website. For many out there, this may come as a bit of a learning curve as you may not be fluent in social media trends/slang.

But if you’re able to get over this learning curve, then you’re going to be much better off. If you’re in the position to, it helps to hire a social media manager to run your social media accounts.

#8 - MAKE SURE YOU’RE MOBILE-FRIENDLY

Though this was briefly discussed in “Improving Your Website,” we’re going to revisit it quickly as it’s so important. Being mobile friendly is everything nowadays. Just think about it - when you’re scrolling through Facebook and find a link you’re interested in, don’t you want the website you’re visiting to be just as easy to navigate through as Facebook is?

Mobile is vital not just for attracting an audience, but also for e-commerce. Did you know 66% of online shopping time is spent through smartphones? And that number is only increasing year-by-year.

There are a number of different things you can consider when it comes to developing a more mobile-friendly platform. Things such as responsive test drives, improving site’s load times, redesigning your site pop-ups, enabling AMPs, and making an app - whatever you need to boost your business to the next level!

#7 - UNDERTAKE AN EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

As we’ve talked about on this blog before, an email marketing campaign can drastically change the number of sales you make. 89% of marketers claim that emails are their primary channel for leading sales and they say this for good reason.

An email is a more personal way for you to engage with your customers. It gives them the opportunity to not only focus on what you have to offer but personally links them to your latest deals. Email marketing is the perfect way for website owners to build a relationship with their customers and, in turn, improve sales.

So, see where you may be going wrong with your email marketing. Take the time to learn what types of emails customers are more likely to click on, set goals, and work on improving your email list. And, if you don’t already have an email list, see what it takes to get one started!

#6 - IMPROVE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE

Another important factor in customer relationships is your customer service. With the advent of internet-based marketing, it’s vital for a business to be completely transparent about their policies and ethics while maintaining a good relationship with current customers.

The importance is so strong, some data suggests that 71% of customers have stopped working with a business when they had a bad customer experience. The worst part is, if you’re offering such an experience, you’re giving more opportunities towards your competitors.

So, what can you do to improve your customer service? Look into some of the core principles that make customer service so great - professionalism, communication, and active listening. With these in mind, adapt them to the customer service you already have available.

#5 - GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY

If you’re running a small business, it’s very likely you’re based in a community. Even if most of your marketing efforts are done online, it helps greatly to not only know your community but to engage in it as well.

Things like collaborations, crowdfunding, pitching in together for a charity, and sharing knowledge are all ways you can improve your presence within the community. Even if these efforts are taken in the digital space.

It helps even more if you’re willing to take the extra time to meet customers in person. Even with some much technological advantage, nothing beats quality, in-person face-to-face interactions. Try hosting a meetup, setting up workshops, or even putting together informal get-togethers. These little things can really help you improve on the bigger picture.

#4 - KEEP UP-TO-DATE ON MARKETING INNOVATIONS

Though the digital landscape has made it much easier for people to promote their business, it doesn’t come without its difficulties. One of the biggest that’s often ignored is the ever-evolving marketing tactics. For a while, trying to get as many Facebook likes on a post was all that was needed. Now, you might want to consider starting a podcast or managing a micro-influencer.

There are a number of different marketing innovations that take place right in front of us on a daily basis. Keeping up-to-date on these innovations is the key to a successful business.

Furthermore, while we’re on the topic, it helps to keep up-to-date when it comes to your digital design. Whether this is your website or the latest social media trend, the importance of keeping up-to-date goes beyond your marketing innovations. It always dives into your social media presence and website design.

#3 - GIVE BACK

One of the most rewarding aspects of growing a business is you also have the ability to help a community grow. Your customers are your neighbors and, with that said, it’s vital you show them some love as well.

Whether this is through a donation campaign, participating in community activities, or simply giving away some of the products you have on offer, there’s a lot you can do to give back to the community that helped build you.

#2 - BUILD YOUR BRAND

And while you’re building on the community, why not also look into building your brand. At the end of the day, your brand defines you and your business. It is what you are known for and the authority you have in your particular field of industry.

When building a brand, it’s important to keep a number of things in mind. For example, you’ll want to make sure you’re loyal to your target audience and make decisions based on that niche. Secondly, you’ll want to consider the impact your voice, feel, style, and substance can have - both in the real world and the digital.

Take popular brands like Disney or Adidas as examples. They can all be recognized purely by the uniqueness of their brand. Even if you’re not trying to have a global platform like they do, it’s helpful to understand why they have such an impact on culture and society.

#1 - EXPERIMENT WITH NEW TOOLS

Finally, with everything that’s been said prior to this, why not try out some new tools sweeping the webs? Though it may not be in your comfort zone to experiment, it can greatly expand your range of skills and knowledge - both within your industry and as a marketing practice in general.

Experimenting with new tools can mean learning a new (preferably, digital) language, understanding the ins-and-outs of platforms you work off of (such as Wordpress or Squarespace), and meeting younger people who have developed a platform of their own in your niche.

There are a number of different things you can do to improve your business. Though we have set these as our New Year’s resolutions, it’s helpful to always keep some of these changes in mind. For at any given time of the year, there’s an opportunity to improve our small business.