Photo Credit: iStock.com/Artist's Oko_SwanOmurphy
Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect
The year 2016 is just around the corner and entrepreneurs are flexing their business muscles to take on any challenges that lie ahead. It is a time for change. It is a time for growth and to get out of your comfort zone to take your business places that you have always dreamed of. As business guru Brian Tracy says, “It doesn’t matter where you came from. All that matters is where you are going.”
On that note, here are some goals that may kick start your business or entrepreneurial ventures to the high skies –
Maybe your goal for 2015 was to expand your customer base by giving out flyers at venues where your target audience hangs out the most. Maybe it was to strengthen your workforce by hiring employees who are more skilled. If these tactics didn’t work as effectively as you thought they would, it may be time to rethink your strategies for the next year.
It pays to have a marketing plan. Start off by thinking ahead. Malls aren’t the only places where you may find potential customers. Think smart and develop an app where you can find scores of people who may be interested in your brand. Need skilled employees? The job market is now more competitive than before. Most professionals now frequent online portals to find the best jobs. Your best bet is to follow suit.
If yours is a new business, chances are that you tend to focus on profits at the expense of cash flow. You aren’t alone. Most SMBs make the same mistake during the first few years in operation and pay the price. As a result, they find themselves running out of cash faster than they like. Remember, it takes cash to pay your suppliers. It takes cash to meet your payroll and maintain your operations.
And this is exactly why you should prioritize cash flow as your New Year’s resolution. Cash flow ensures that your business runs like a well-oiled machine. It ensures that your employees are paid on time and that your business is provided with a steady stream of resources at all times. Once you have this aspect under control, managing your business will become a whole lot easier.
If your business has a website, which it hopefully it does, upgrading it might serve you well come New Year. According to a recent post on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a lack of websites is a common pitfall for small businesses. The post quotes figures that prove, “…51percent of small businesses have websites, despite the fact that 97 percent of consumers search for products and services online.”
A well designed websites isn’t just eye candy for consumers; it also has an impact on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This factor ensures that people are able to find your business online. And if they are able to find your business online, they will find your products and services as well. Once you adopt such a strategy you can expect a sizeable boost in ROI after the year is done.
Nothing frustrates customers and employees more than outdated equipment that refuses to run smoothly. Everything from a slow online connection to outdated components or tools can make the simplest tasks time consuming chores.
The old adage “time is money” applies here. Change your internet provider or choose a package that offers a faster service. Replace old PCs, laptops and other digital devices with newer models. These prospects may be pricier on your business budget; however, the returns will speak for themselves once your online operations run without hitches or glitches.
When it comes to business growth, change is the order of the day. In other words, a business that isn’t willing to adapt to change is doomed to fail before it even takes off. This can be related to anything from current changes in consumer demand to mergers or changeovers.
Taking your business towards uncharted territories can be daunting especially if its survival is at stake. However, it doesn’t hurt to get out of your comfort zone once in a while. Take a new approach from how you usually do business. For example, if you can’t get customers to come to you, go to where they are. Don’t be afraid to approach them directly either. But make sure that your strategies are well thought out in this regard.
A business is only a one man show after it is conceived. Once it grows, you need more than your own brains and skills to maintain it. Operating your business will seem like a mammoth task otherwise and may result in the untimely demise of a potentially promising venture.
A true leader is one who trusts his employees with the commitment, competency and conviction to carry his business. The trick is to delegate the right tasks to the right people or people who have the insight or competency to do such tasks justice.
SMBs cannot afford to ignore social media, especially during an age where everything from plumbers to potential sales employees is sought out through online referrals. In fact, a survey on Our Social Times reveals that over 81% of SMEs use social media platforms to market their business.
Be creative with how you use social media channels like Youtube or Facebook to market your business. Smart marketing is the key. Learn what makes users tick and use the knowledge in your SMM (Social Media Marketing) strategies. Resorting only to engaging content to promote your brand is a mistake. Paid advertising is gaining traction and fast.
All work and no play makes for a workaholic. While the prospect is no less admirable, it can take a toll on you in the long run. While most opine that achieving a work-life balance is nigh impossible for an entrepreneur, it doesn’t hurt to prioritize it.
Set your own working hours and stick to them. Leave your work at the office when you are home. Make sure that anyone who works for you, like your employees, knows when you are available and when you are not. And remember, if you do not set limits for yourself, no one else will.
As the anticipation of the New Year holds us in its thrall, it’s time for budding businesses to adopt a more proactive approach towards corporate growth. Of course, you don’t have to stick with the resolutions shown above if you have some of your own. The important thing is to stick with them only of they will truly make your business flourish better than before.
Good luck to you and your business for 2016!