Welcome to the year 2011 entrepreneurs! With the economy looking up this year and American spending on the rise, this could be the year for your business! Make sure you set yourself on course early for a successful and profitable business year by making some of these new year’s resolutions.
1. Resolution Number One: Explore New Ideas. It’s easy to fall in to the same old routine in your business month after month with the same marketing, products, or services. While it’s important to keep a consistent image, changing things up every so often keeps your company exciting and new and keeps your customers interested. Continue with the same company name, logo, and colours because those are your signature that separate you from other companies, but consider adding a new service or product, or changing a promotion you’ve been using. Maybe it’s time for a new commercial or new promotional materials, maybe even think about trying a new type of advertising like getting a Twitter account where people can follow you and your business. Changing the face of your company just a little keeps your unique image consistent but reinvigorates the market and draws in both new and old customers.
2. Resolution Number Two: Integrate Your Business. If you’ve been struggling with your image over the last year, now is the time to integrate your business. It’s important to present a consistent image to the world so that all consumers associate your products, services, or even company name with one idea. If you have multiple stores, make sure they are consistent with one another in terms of colours and items offered. Bring your commercials, online advertisements, and website in line with each other so that your logo says one thing to your customers: reliability and success.
3. Resolution Number Three: Update Your Advertising. As the internet takes off and consumers focus more and more on what they see online, business marketing on the internet has become a necessity for any entrepreneur. If you don’t have a website already, creating one should be a priority. Many people look up companies in the area online before setting out, and if you’re not online, they’re not finding you. Having a website with at least your contact information allows customers to find you and come in to your establishment. If you sell a product, giving your customers the opportunity to shop and/or order online could also be a huge bonus to your company. The prevalence of online shopping is only growing among young adults and many older adults are getting on board too. Going online allows all kinds of people to become customers.
4. Resolution Number Four: Focus on Your Customers. Any business owner knows that customers are key to keeping your business successful so make 2011 the year of your customer. Make up a profile of your ideal customer by looking at who you serve, who your product or service appeals to most, and who most needs or uses your product or service. This will help you target any promotions and publicity you put out there throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to pass on customers that don’t fit into your customer ideal if they’re too much trouble, but also don’t refuse to go out of your way for a customer either. Some customers will be more trouble than they’re worth but a little extra care to a customer will result in referrals from them for years to come.
5. Resolution Number Five: organise Your Finances. Before you can make money in the new year, it’s best to organise your finances, allowing you to see how much you have and where you’re going. First, start by creating a long-term plan and a budget. The easiest (and first!) way to make your budget better is to cut unnecessary expenses from your operations and control spending. Computerizing your inventory may be a useful way to do that or maybe even just organising your supply closet will help. Next, define your priorities. If you want to expand into a new state by the end of the year, you should start setting aside money to make that happen and your employees should know about it. Priorities and goals should be shared with the whole business team so that ideas can be brought out and everyone can work together. Lastly, start paying on some necessary expenditures. Identifying some expenses that should be paid such as retirement savings or debts will help you budget better and use the resources you have more wisely.
Whatever your business, make 2011 your year to shine! Every entrepreneur knows there are always areas in a business that need improvement so find them and make them your new year’s resolution. It’s never too late!
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