Think New Year’s resolutions are only for your personal life? Think again.
At the start of each new year, you have the opportunity to set your small business up for success. It’s a time of reflection to assess last year’s progress and keep on track to reach your goals.
Keep reading to discover the top six New Year’s resolutions you can make for your small business.
1. Embrace Email
A small business must identify the marketing tools that increase revenue without eating up your budget.
Although it might feel old sometimes, email consistently outperforms other marketing platforms in return on investment (ROI) — with a 122% ROI, email quadruples what you get with other options.
If the ROI doesn’t have you convinced, then keep in mind that 73% of millennials prefer to receive business communications via email. In other words, roughly 51 million consumers check their email for brand messages.
It may be easy to get swept up in the latest social media trends, but email is where you can win customers and see real results.
Going into the New Year, look for any missed opportunities in your email marketing. Are you sending promotions? Have you A/B tested your content yet?
At the very least, you should have an email newsletter sign-up form on your website. However, if you genuinely want to level up, then embrace personalization and list segmentation. The more you can make your audiences feel understood, the more you’ll get out of email marketing.
2. Say Yes to SEO
As far as cost-efficient marketing strategies go, search engine optimization (SEO) is right up there with email marketing. When done correctly, SEO can drive significant traffic to your website and establish brand awareness.
Consumers rely on search engines to help make their decisions. According to Think with Google, 64% of people use search during “I-Want-to-Buy moments.” Additionally, a relevant search influences 39% of shopping decisions.
Optimizing your website to rank at the top of Google Search gives you a considerable advantage. If you don’t pay attention to relevant keywords and search results, you’ll hand that valuable space over to competitors.
For WordPress users, this means taking advantage of everything Yoast SEO has to offer. Make sure to optimize your content as well as your structured data according to SEO best practices.
If you work with a website provider or agency, make SEO a top priority. Search for your relevant keywords to find out where you can improve your search engine visibility.
3. Make Moves Toward a Mobile Workforce
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that businesses can expand even when employees work remotely — and the trend towards remote work options will only grow.
By 2024, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that mobile workers will make up about 60% of the total workforce.
You don’t have to commit to a fully remote team. However, as a small business, you need to keep up with the working population’s needs. Giving your team the tools for remote work when necessary is an excellent step in the right direction.
Here are some ways to get started:
- Integrate online collaboration tools into your workflow.
- Use employee self-service technology to manage benefits and questions.
- Find online communication tools that make your team feel connected.
- Explore your options for hiring independent contractors.
- Create a cybersecurity policy for employees to use when they work remotely.
By adding more mobile workforce capabilities, your team will be more flexible and resilient. As a business, you’ll be able to adapt to external changes and continue hiring the best people.
4. Experiment With Something New
Do you have a new product idea? Or maybe you have some thoughts about new website design layouts. Whatever new solutions you’re sitting on or theories you’d like to test, there’s no time like the new year.
Innovation helps you grow. Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone to find the tools and tactics that work for you.
Leading marketers set their businesses apart by trying new things and using strategic business experiments.
The best part?
Businesses now have access to more data points than ever before. More data equals more opportunities to experiment and learn about your customers.
When you craft a new experiment, start with something small and straightforward. Before you make any changes, write out your hypothesis to know what you want to measure. And finally, make sure that you can scale the changes if you like the results.
5. Re-Commit to Customer Service
When you’re a small business, you want to focus on growth. However, you never want to lose sight of the customers that keep your business alive.
One of the unique advantages of being a small business is creating a personalized experience for each customer. It’s what sets small businesses apart from larger corporations.
So, while you put plans in motion to expand and evolve, re-commit to providing excellent customer service.
Review the customer feedback you’ve received over the past 12 months. If you don’t have much feedback, start asking for it.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when re-committing to customer service:
- Find out what’s working and do more of it.
- Fix any website problems.
- Look for patterns in complaints to find missed opportunities.
- Use customer feedback to inform product or service development.
6. Invest in Your Team’s Growth
Employee education programs aren’t just for Fortune 500 companies. Small businesses can leverage them too.
Your people make up your business. If you want your team to improve, then invest in your team’s development.
Failing to support your employees’ continued growth can lead to significant inefficiencies down the road. So, figure out a program that you can manage and put it to work.
Even if you can’t afford resources such as industry conferences or online certification courses, there are plenty of ways to encourage employee learning. Consider internal cross-training or establishing a mentor network.
Each new year provides exciting opportunities for businesses. Use the time to look back as well as plan ahead.
Small business owners need to focus their attention and resources on the actions that create the most impact. So, take some time to reflect on your growth and make sure you’re on track to meet your goals.
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