Another year, another opportunity for your business to grow. Along with new opportunities, the new year also brings new challenges. Are your business goals for the year enough to grow your business?
Maybe not. With more than 30 million other small businesses in the U.S. vying for customers’ attention, you need to stand out from the crowd. How will you showcase your business?
Start by updating your company goals for 2019. With the business world changing so much from year to year, it’s hard to keep up. Is your company ready to face the new year? We’ll teach you seven tips to take your company into 2019 and beyond.
As a business owner, you can get distracted by small, everyday tasks. Emails and phone calls eat up your time and stop you from actively guiding your business. Getting bogged down in routine duties can cause your company to lose what makes it unique.
Instead, take time out to think about where your business is heading. Taking time out helps you deal with present challenges as well as plan for the future. Consider, for example, when Toyota wanted to enter the American car industry. Toyota’s management understood that American car manufacturing lines were more productive. They took time out to research what American production lines did well and combined that information with their strengths. Then, they were able to manufacture cars for a fraction of what American assembly lines could.
With big benefits available from taking time out, how can you make time to plan the next steps of your business?
Put it on your calendar. Schedule time every week to focus on the bigger picture. This time should be a top priority, so don’t let anything else creep in and steal it away. Once you’ve got it on the calendar, what should you think about during this time?
Every company has goals, but some are more important than others. Certain goals are essential for your company’s success. These goals need to be the focal point of your business plan.
Deciding what your business needs to accomplish reveals which goals are vital. It also singles out the goals you can put on hold or toss out. How can you figure out what your business wins are?
Determine what your company needs to succeed this year. The 80/20 rule is a good starting point for this. Part of the 80/20 rule states that 20 percent of your accomplishments account for 80 percent of your success. So, look for goals that’ll have a significant effect on your company. Make them the focus of the new year’s priories.
When you’re examining business goals, you may find that what you’re using isn’t contributing to your company’s success. How can you deal with that?
We’ve all tried something only to realize it didn’t work out as we expected. Business isn’t exempt from failed expectations. It’s full of them. After putting a business tool in place, you may forget to check its effectiveness. If you don’t check on it, you may not even realize that one of your business tools isn’t working.
If you’re wasting time and money on things that aren’t working, you’re draining money away from valuable tools that could support your goals. For example, if you keep throwing money at a marketing strategy that isn’t working, you’re wasting cash you could use to improve your marketing. To avoid waste, you need to keep track of how well your resources work. How can you decide what you have to stop using?
The easiest way to find what isn’t working is by process of elimination. Look at what your company uses for marketing and sales, and then assess what’s working. Improve or discard everything else.
What about the things that already work? Can you enhance them as well?
Sometimes you get so caught up in new things that you forget what you already have. Your company might have talented personnel or fantastic tools that are capable of much more. If you only look at your plans for the future, you could ignore your business’s assets or underutilize them.
Neglecting your business’s resources and employees wastes time and money. It keeps your business from reaching its full potential and frustrates employees that want to show off their skills. How can you improve the resources you’re not fully using?
Examine what your business already has. Review your employees’ skill set and analyze your website and marketing. If you’re not taking full advantage of something, create a strategy to help them reach their full potential. Pay special care to one aspect of your business that’s usually underdeveloped: your customer experience.
Clients are your company’s foundation. Their experience can have a big impact on your profit margin. Among customers, 87 percent are very likely to buy again when they have a good experience at a company. But, the customer experience will suffer if you can’t see past the day-to-day duties of owning a business.
Customers have a sea of businesses to choose from. If you want your business to last, you’ll need to build a loyal customer base. Outstanding customer experience can make that happen. How can you enhance your clients’ experience?
Scrutinize every inch of your customer experience by creating a customer journey map. A customer journey map is a diagram that shows how your customers connect with your business. You can illustrate your customers’ journey by pinpointing where your client interacts with your company. Then, analyze how well your business is handling those interactions. Focus on improving the interactions that mean the most to customers.
One way to start improving your clients’ experience is by updating your social media.
Social media can do a lot for your business. The right social media strategy can keep regular customers happy and attract new ones. Over 70 percent of customers who receive a good service experience via social media are likely to recommend the company to others. But, social media success doesn’t happen overnight. Like any other part of your business, social media needs to have a strategy.
Social media will only help your business if you use it the right way. Because social media trends and algorithms are always changing, your strategy must be flexible. If you keep up with the changes, you’ll be able to connect with your customers in a way they feel is relevant and sincere. As Sprout Social put it, “Companies must learn how to connect with audiences in a way that restores trust in an environment where the norm is constant change and well, distrust.” How can you update your social media?
Evaluate your social media strategy and identify any issues. Ensure that your branding is consistent across all channels. Keep up with algorithm updates and social media trends. Now that you’ve updated your social strategy, you may wonder if you’re done for the year. Actually, there’s one more thing on your list.
People love to procrastinate, and business owners are particularly susceptible. With all the little things that need to get done each day, you can easily trick yourself into thinking you’re too busy for something important. You may put off tasks that you feel are too big to accomplish alone.
Procrastination causes serious problems. When you put off completing vital tasks, you can lose money. In fact, 40 percent of procrastinators have experienced financial loss from their procrastination. Procrastinating can also affect your health. Leaving things for later causes increased stress because you can’t help but worry about unfinished work hanging over your head.
If procrastination is such a pain, how can you beat it?
Set priorities, and do the things that need to be done first. If you feel overwhelmed, delegate some of your tasks to your employees or hire some outside help. If you’re feeling uninspired, take a little time to research the task before getting started.
With these seven tips under your belt, are you finally ready to take on 2019?
The new year is full of new opportunities for businesses. You know how to take advantage of these opportunities by taking time out to think about where your business is heading. Decide now on what isn’t working out and make the needed changes. Focus on enhancing your customer experience and your social media strategy.
Now that you’re ready to take your business into 2019, what about the rest of your processes? Is your hiring process ready for 2019?
At Trusted Employees, we can help you take your hiring process into the new year. We can educate you on background check best practices and help you decide what your business needs. Contact us today to learn more.