Happy New Business Year!
Forget about resolving to increase exercise and decrease carbs. For business owners it’s all about growth, maximizing efforts and not being the best kept secret!
Here are 10 business resolutions for the New Year to help move the scale:
1) BE POSITIVE (yes, all caps and in the #1 spot on purpose).
Passion fuels the corporate jet! Remember why you started a business: was it to be your own boss? Control your financial future? Bring people products or services that would change their lives?
Read your original business plan. Re-write your mission statement. Think of the excitement of your first location, first paying customer or getting a ‘Yes’ on a bank loan application. 2019 is going to be your year! Negativity begets negativity, but positivity keeps you healthy, happy, creative and full of energy – the must-have ingredients to thrive in business.
App Suggestion: Perspective. Create meaningful actions and track your accomplishments everyday!
2) Go SEO!
‘61% of internet users do online product research before making a purchase, but
75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.’ Dreamhost.com
Don’t host a great online party and not tell anyone where you live. Hire a local SEO expert to get you on that first page! It’s worth the minimal investment to reward your online efforts. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce listings for professional web services (here’s Belleville and Quinte West).
3) Learn More!
Are you still unsure what SEO even is? Or responsive design? Or how to sell online? Commit to learning about one aspect of new technology/available services each month. Take a course, hire a consultant for a few hours, listen to audio books when driving, or
learn on-the-go with Blinkist or Audible!
4) Piggyback on established sites.
Don’t do all the heavy lifting yourself. For example, Bay of Quinte has a local events calendar with a lot of traffic – if you have something to list, submit an event here (and if you run into trouble, send your SOS to email@example.com).
TripAdvisor is an amazing business builder! Use locally targeted Facebook ads. Improve your Chamber or Association profiles including contact info and videos.**
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5) Make an entrance!
Plan one live appearance at a networking event each month (check out that BoQ calendar above!). Online is great but don’t forgo meeting people, networking, building relationships. People need people to grow businesses.
6) Back up your database.
Every person who has ever had their hard drive explode will tell you with tears in their eyes to do this immediately. Don’t risk losing it all by losing it all. Here are some tips.
7) Take a day off to research product and service adjacencies.
What other products or services touch yours? If you sell the hot dogs, start selling the buns. Restaurant? Offer delivery. Electrician? Sell energy efficient smart plugs. Photographer? Framing. Pet Walker? Deliver dog food. Landscaper? Assemble outbuildings. Bookkeeper? Sell e-books on financial organization.
Be creative and simply sell more.
8) Down time is GO time.
All businesses close their books December 31st – get your year end paperwork together now. March and April are for selling, not catching up. Clear your desk, inbox and to-do list NOW.
Advertising: Like bookkeeping, now is the time to plan your advertising. Write the flyers. Meet your suppliers to discuss new products. Plan the contest to launch the new spring line or to clear out the winter stock. Schedule the posts.
Business people always wish for more time. Your wish was granted – it was yesterday.
Are you busy being busy or busy being effective? Write out a list of ways you get distracted. Do you check emails through out the day? Checking morning, noon and night only keeps you distracted. Successful business operators say when they began managing their time, they began to soar.
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10) Make a relationship with a lender.
People wait until they need money to introduce themselves to lenders. Set up an introduction meeting during your down time, too. Know what info they require so when you need money, it could be just a phone call away. The Business Development Bank of Canada is a great resource–speak to Derrick.Morgan@bdc.ca if you are in the Quinte Region.
And the bonus resolution – there is no business if there are no customers.
Make a customer service plan that will blow the socks off your customers because they are always your priority. Contact old clients wishing them a Happy New Year. Thank new customers for their business in 2018. Shake hands with potential customers. Work to exceed expectations every day, every time.
Next up: stay tuned for Alison’s next blog on turning on your off-season.