Posted by Oliver Meredew on January 13th, 2016.
Making New Year’s resolutions in January is an established tradition all across the world – a personal wish or target to work towards (and ideally meet) before the end of the year. The reality of the situation is a bit disheartening, however – only around 10% of people actually manage to stick to their personal promises each year. But, while personal goals can quickly fall by the wayside, business goals should form part of your plan for the year ahead, so resolutions for your business should (in theory) be much easier to stick to.
As a business owner, it can be tough to pick just one resolution to make for the New Year, so why not push the boat out and go for several? 2015 may have been a profitable year, but if you go that extra mile and explore the suggestions below you could really squeeze the greatest potential out of the services you offer.
Make these resolutions really work for you by thinking of them as proper rules to work by in the new economic year.
While 2015 may have been a good year, it can be fatal for a business to get complacent. Growth is something that every business should aspire to, although this can manifest in a variety of forms. At the most basic level, expanding your outlets can be considered a solid fulfilment of this resolution, whether this is buying new premises, aiming to increase profitability or making the overall running of the business more efficient.
While this is an excellent resolution to aspire to, it may currently be beyond the means of a small or struggling business to make expansion their top priority. In this case, it can be beneficial to explore the options that are available in this area such as getting involved with an affiliate, setting up a partnership or getting affiliate status with a similar company or (in certain cases) applying for a grant from the government.
It’s a basic rule of business that if nobody knows about a company or service, nobody will be talking about it. With the exception of hyper-exclusive restaurants and secret society spas, everyone who is anyone should aim to have an online marketing strategy in the 21st century. A direct website is always the best place to start, but this can also be backed up by social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. While giving daily updates on both services may seem like a time consuming or pointless activity, this actually helps to build the company brand tremendously by making a business more than just a faceless outlet. There are also a number of social media management tools, like Hootsuite, which can make being more social easy and hassle free.
This resolution ties into the previous point, but also applies to offline business strategy. Whenever a company operates, keeping a consistent image and code of operations is key. This can take on a variety of forms, whether it’s devotedly sticking to your opening hours, keeping your media posts in the same size and style with each upload or simply delivering a constantly high quality service for your customers, whatever the weather.
As much as innovation and variety are appealing, it’s ultimately disorientating if there is no constant in a business or company. By staying ‘in character’ with the image you have created, you are increasing the likelihood of drawing new customers in as well as making regulars out of those that have already been attracted.
This resolution can be more of a personal one than a company-wide one, but in many ways it is universally applicable. When looking to send your business into new territory, take a look at all of the options available. There are the more straightforward ones, such as setting up in a new location (this can be national or international), but also more radical choices such as opening a new division or expanding into a new sector. While this may have its financial and time-based constraints, starting off a fresh chapter in the company’s history can be richly rewarding for the right person. It might even entail learning a new language to smooth the securing of lucrative custom from overseas.
Just because nobody is talking about your business, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t thinking about it. While you might feel that nothing needs changing whatsoever, your customers (the people who really matter) may not have the same opinion. Oftentimes, outsiders are more adept at identifying problems within a shop or service than those running the business.
To get access to these potentially valuable pearls of wisdom, you might want to send out feedback emails to existing clients, offer incentives for in-store responses or simply start off small with a satisfaction form that pops up on the website. Naturally, friends and family need not apply!
If you’re looking to grow your business in 2016, having a defined set of goals (and actions for reaching those goals) is crucial. Spend this January drawing up a detailed plan of attack and spend the next 12 months implementing and monitoring any resolutions you feel could enhance your business for the future.
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