Happy New Year!
Even if 2019 was great for your business and you’re starting 2020 ahead of the game, there is still room for improvement. Often in business we can be so focused on achieving perfect results, that we forget to work on improving our goals, strategies, or processes. As American author Mark Twain said, “continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection,” so why not resolve to focus on improving your business in 2020?
Keep reading for five ideas to help you improve your small business.
ONE: Make Education a Priority
One way to improve your business, your employees, and yourself is to focus on continuous education. Even those with advanced college degrees can benefit from taking the time to learn new skills or sharpen old ones. Look for educational courses in your area or online that will be valuable to the success of your business and invest in one or two for your team.
For example, if you have a manager who is looking to sharpen her business administration skills, contact your local college for related courses. If you have an employee who is interested in helping to grow the business’s web presence, consider sponsoring them to receive a web design certificate. Sharpen your leadership skills by attending a local leadership conference. There are even online courses to help your team brush up on their proofreading and grammar skills. With so many options for continuous education, the hardest part will be deciding which to try first!
TWO: Ask for Reviews and Feedback
Collecting positive, genuine online reviews for your business is more important than you may think. According to a recent survey by BrightLocal;
- 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
- The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business
- Only 53% of people would consider using a business with less than 4 stars
- The average consumer spends almost 14 minutes reading reviews before making their decision
Reviews have some serious power. That can be great for your business if you have positive reviews, but bad for business if you have mostly negative reviews or very few. Start the year by refreshing your review collection strategy and watch your business grow!
THREE: Expand Marketing Efforts
There are many ways to extend your marketing reach without breaking the bank. For example, social media is a high-impact, low-cost way to reach customers new and old. If you want to do more with your marketing this year but are on a tight budget, work on boosting your social presence.
It’s also a good idea to start 2020 with your website in mind. Make sure it is engaging, secure, and easily understandable for your target audience. After all, your website is the biggest marketing tool you have. Don’t have a website? Our creative professionals can turn your digital dreams into reality. Contact us today to learn more.
You can also improve your business by completing market research. This process is a bit more involved but will help you get to know your competition and more about what your customers want. Visit our blog again next week for a post on how to complete market research for your small business.
FOUR: Enhance Mobile-Friendliness
What’s one thing your customers never leave their home without? Their smartphone! Those pocket-sized, rectangular devices accompany your customers wherever they go. Most people use their phones constantly to make calls, send texts, organize their calendar, set reminders, and even as an alarm clock in the morning.
Many phone plans today allow us to access the internet from wherever we are, which means potential customers could be browsing your website at any time. How does your website look on a mobile phone? Even if it looks amazing on a desktop, the experience on a phone can be lacking if you didn’t keep mobile-friendliness in mind from the beginning.
Grab your phone right now and look up your website. How does it look? If it looks like a zoomed-out version of your website, the content is scattered, or you can’t find the menu, your site is probably not optimized for mobile screens. Improve your business by changing this! Consult with your web designer or contact us to talk with our creative professionals.
FIVE: Update Your Business Plan
A savvy business owner such as yourself probably created a business plan before opening your doors. If you didn’t there’s no time like the present to create one! A business plan is a crucial part of any business and will help you plan for and build to success.
Plans often change, however, which is why many business owners review their business plan each year. This allows them to review their accomplishments and decide on new goals and objectives for the coming year. If you haven’t already, review your business plan or create a new one to help you stay focused on improvement in 2020.
Keep an eye on our blog for more tips and resources to help you improve your small business in 2020!