It’s a new year, which means it’s time to get serious about your small business. We’ll try and stay away from all the cliches of New Year’s Resolutions, but let’s face it, it wouldn’t hurt to put in some more effort this year. It’s high time your small business began acting not so small, caught up with the digital trends and started generating the kind of buzz and revenue that it deserves.
Increase Small Business Legitimacy:
One way to make your small business look more legitimate is to get a professional office space. An office space can help your company portray a more credible image to potential customers, clients, or investors. Beyond just the image, an office provides a professional address, boardrooms for meetings, and just a general sense of stability. If you can’t afford to buy or rent an office space, which most small businesses can’t, there are other options available.
One alternative you may want to consider is a shared office space. A shared office space is cost efficient because, as the title suggests, you are sharing an office space with other businesses. This helps to lower overhead costs, while at the same time giving you all of the benefits of a professional office space. Shared office spaces also come with many more benefits that you might not see in an office that you rent or buy for your business alone such as already built in security, an existing IT infrastructure, and most importantly, networking opportunities with the other businesses that occupy the same office as you do.
If a shared office is still out of your price range then you can try a virtual office. A virtual office allows you to associate a professional address with your business, while still allowing you to work from home. A decent virtual office will sometimes even support mail receiving and forwarding and telephone answering. This will help you save money on renting an actual physical office, and time on commutes, while still giving your small business a more professional feel.
Put More Effort Into Small Business Marketing:
Improving your marketing results means more business for you, which means growth for your company. One place you might not think to start for improving your marketing is the “about us” section of your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn pages, etc. Shawn Graham, a prominent business blogger, says that the about us section of a website gives you a rare chance to show off what your company is all about. Check out some of the brands and companies that you look up to and update your about us section accordingly.
Another thing that you’ll want to do to improve your small business marketing is analyzing your data. There are many different online tools that you can use to do this, one we suggest would be Google Analytics. With Google Analytics you can view all of your marketing channels and see which ones are bringing in the most traffic and also which channels need to be worked on. Another awesome feature that Google Analytics comes with is the ability to implement surveys to ask your customers how they found your website.
Customer reviews can also play a huge role in marketing your business and products. Most customers these days look at reviews before buying a product and 94 percent of products that are purchased are rated 4 stars or higher. Encourage your visitors and customers to leave positive feedback about your products and services wherever they can. You can offer incentives like draws for gift cards, paraphernalia, etc. to those that give proof of positive reviews that they have left.
One thing to remember is that once you have published your content or products, that is not the end of its journey. You need to broadcast in as many ways possible that you have new content or products available, so that potential visitors know to visit your website. Use your website, social media, email, or your partner’s websites to market your content and products.
Check out this great guide on how to start using content marketing to improve your company’s SEO and bottom line!
Drop What Is Not Working:
After you dive into your analytics for the year you should have a pretty good idea of what products and services are working and which ones are not. Not everything is going to work out the way you had hoped and pouring more time and energy into a failing product might not be worth it.
This is another area where a product like Google Analytics can be useful, as you can view what products are drawing the most interest from your visitors. Letting go of a failing product, service, or business partnership can be tough, but if it’s not working now, chances are it won’t work later unless a drastic change is made. Sometimes simply removing what isn’t working and starting fresh can be a lot easier and more profitable than trying to fix a failed venture.
Get Your Small Business On Social Media:
If your small business does not have a presence on social media this needs to be your top priority. In the United States alone, more than 78 percent of the population have a social media profile on one platform or another. We’ve posted in-depth articles listing the benefits of advertising on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, but we’ll give you a quick rundown of the perks. There are some crazy statistics that come along with social media like 500 million Tweets being sent daily, or 4.2 billion posts being liked on Instagram every 24 hours, which means that there are plenty of people on various social media platforms and your small business needs to be as well.
Most large social media networks like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, come up with ways to allow businesses to advertise to their users. These ads allow you to reach a much broader audience than the one that currently follows your profiles. These ads are usually inexpensive and sometimes the networks (like Twitter) will only charge you if your ad was successful. You can also filter your ads so that they reach people that may be interested in your products and services.
However, you need to do more than just advertise on social media, you also need to interact with your community. Social media offers you a direct line of communication to discuss products, services, problems, and your industry in general with interested parties. Take the time to answer any customer service problems and your community will thank you for it. Companies that ignore their community and simply just advertise are seen more as spammers and are frowned upon by many. Look at how some successful companies use social media and use their success as a template for your business. You can also look at your competitor’s profiles to see how you can stand out from them.
A new year means new opportunities for you and your small business, so make sure you start off on the right foot. Take a good long look at what your business accomplished last year and what needs to be done to improve and come up with a strategy to grow your company. Not everyone sticks to their new year’s resolutions, but it is important to stick to your business strategy for the year if you want to see growth in the future.