Last Updated: Jan 5, 2016
Nearly everyone makes at least a couple of resolutions for themselves at the beginning of the year, and your business can benefit from them too. Here are three resolutions that can help your business be more successful in 2016.
If you’re like most of us, you make a few resolutions for the new year. Whether you make them ‘official’ and shout them to the world and ask friends and family to hold you accountable to them, or whether you just make a mental note of these resolutions as goals for the new year is up to you, but most of us have a least a couple of resolutions going each year.
What I would like to challenge you to do is make three resolutions for your business in 2016. They may not have a big impact, or that impact may take awhile to surface, but if you collectively do these things that I’m listing below, you’re likely to notice a favorable impact in 2016. That’s something I’m sure all of us could use no matter how well or how poorly things are going for us in our business endeavors.
Refresh your website
If you’re a busy professional and your website is ABOUT your business but isn’t your BUSINESS, then keeping it fresh is an easy thing to overlook. I personally do this all the time. I publish regularly to my blog, but in terms of the look and feel of the site and the marketing information about me and my products and services, well, it hasn’t changed in quite awhile. That’s why it is definitely one of my top priorities for the new year. If you’ve been trying to land new clients who were on the fence last year or the year before and you try again, the last thing you want them to see is that you haven’t changed your website much in two years. When I see something like that my first thought is that they are out of business and forgot to take the website down. Keep it fresh. Your clients need to see changes happening and your potential customers need to see an attractive site with a fresh look and interesting content.
In addition to keeping your content fresh, be sure to check what your site looks like on smart phones and tablets. If you aren’t using a design that looks right on all formats (without having to pinch or expand pages to read them), then talk to your webdesigner about switching to a responsive template for your website.
Increase your social media presence
It’s been said over and over that the return on investment (ROI) for the time you spend on social media is hard to calculate. And that is very true. Do Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook help make you more profitable? That’s a good question. Probably. I get paid to help software clients all over the world with their online content and promotion, but the overall benefits are sometimes hard to see. One thing is for sure, most or all of your competition is using it, so if you’re not, you already seem out of touch or archaic.
If you don’t have a social media presence yet, create one. Sign up for a Twitter account and create a Facebook page for your business. Promote both on Twitter and acquire some followers and likes. Tweet helpful and witty tips and info intertwined with some information about your offerings, your industry, and your personal experiences. It can take some time – and you may want to reach out to a third party to create and/or manage your social media presence for you. The key is to get that presence going and use it. Any more, most consumers look for the vendors they are interested in on the web first, and that search often starts with a review of their social media presence.
Reach out to customers or clients you lost in the 2014 – 2015 timeframe
We gain customers, we lose customers. It’s just how business – especially small business – goes. Some customers value the service we’re providing and would pay anything for it. Others are only looking for the cheapest deal they can find. These are just facts of life – the realities of doing business.
However, customer situations change. Whatever made them leave you may have changed. Maybe their budget is more robust and they can afford you again. Or possibly they downsized internally and whatever you can provide is something they can’t do internally anymore and now they need you to do it for them once again. It doesn’t take long to reach out to these lost clients, and you may get a few of them back. That’s a high hourly reward for the act of reaching out and letting them know you miss them and want them back. The key is to offer something new to them to get them interested again. And at the very least, you may be able to ask them why they left, giving you very valuable information to take away as you work to build your current client base and retain your existing clients.
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Brad Egeland is a Business Solution Designer and IT/PM consultant and author of A Real World Project Manager’s Guide to the Successful Project. He has over 25 years of software development, management, and project management experience leading initiatives in Manufacturing, Government Contracting, Creative Design, Gaming and Hospitality, Retail Operations, Aviation and Airline, Pharmaceutical, Start-ups, Healthcare, Higher Education, Non-profit, High-Tech, Engineering and general IT. Brad is married, a father of 11, and living in sunny Las Vegas, NV. Visit Brad’s site at www.bradegeland.com.