It’s a new year! The holiday season brings with it a substantial uptick in sales, fulfillment, and marketing, but now that you’ve turned the corner into 2015, it’s time to start thinking about your business’ strategic goals, and how to achieve them.
No doubt you’ve already made a dozen lists of growth strategies, hiring plans, marketing goals, etc. As a small business owner, you know that making resolutions for your business in the new year is hard. We wanted to make sure that you prioritize the kinds of changes and tactics that will help your business become more sustainable and profitable not just in this quarter, but over the long term. Read on to discover the 3 small business resolutions your small business should keep to make 2015 your strongest year yet.
First Resolution: Update Your Web Presence
Your customers don’t just interact with you in place. Your website, Facebook page, online ads, Yelp listing — to your customers, they’re all an extension of you and your brand.
This year, resolve to update your entire online presence. Make sure it reflects what your business does in the strongest way possible, and make sure it’s consistent across all of your channels and media. That means language, keywords, logos, imagery.
Start by making a checklist of everywhere your business exists online. Then add places where you might want to expand this year. Considering an Instagram account? Want to add a Bing listing? Add everything to your checklist, and work your way through it. You may need to set aside a few hours, but it will bolster your brand, and set you up for success across the entire year.
Second Resolution: Set Concrete Goals To Accomplish
This may sound so obvious that it’s ridiculous. But setting out clear quarterly goals with regards to cash flow, visitors to your website, new stores to get your products into, etc., is harder than it looks.
Make sure you detail achievable goals in each area of your business, and don’t be afraid to evaluate your progress at the end of every month. If something isn’t working, change course. By setting goals in smaller increments, you can test and learn rather than looking back on a lagging strategy six months after the fact.
This brings up a second-part to thisresolution: Get to know your data. Don’t just understand your sales figures, but look at your full financial picture, your web traffic, the number of people who come in and out of your store during a given weekday or weekend day. All of this will help you benchmark what you do during the year, and it will let you make smarter decisions month after month.
Third Resolution: Update Your IT (or your IT roadmap)
Many small businesses that we work with don’t have an IT roadmap. They upgrade or purchase new IT products just to overcome a sudden challenge or issue. This means your small business is always reacting. Instead, start off 2015 by deciding where your IT needs will go over the next 24 months.
Start by looking at your current and future business challenges. What’s a pressing need today, but also, what needs can you imagine coming up later in the year? Or a year from now? Will you need to renew your website domain? Buy newer computers? Update your servers? Get a VoIP system for the office? Maybe you’ve always wanted to add e-commerce to your site.
Then, map your challenges to the technology solutions you need. Look at costs (both in terms of dollars and time) and start making a roadmap of what you can afford to update, and when. By working this way, you won’t be caught off guard when technology needs pop up.
Have A Great Year!
Don’t be one of those entrepreneurs who’ll let 2015 slip right through their fingers. With a little big-picture planning and some calendar commitments, you can keep your small business resolutions and achieve your annual goals. The key is to set some time aside this month to envision where you want to go, and then draft logical, manageable steps to take you there. Feeling overwhelmed? There is no need to go at it alone!
What other resolutions will your business be keeping in 2015? Cheers to a prosperous and productive new year!