For many people, the beginning of the year is a time of setting New Year’s resolutions, implementing new changes, and defining new goals. The beginning of the new year is a clean slate. It is a good time to think about where you would like to take your business and determine your next steps.
Each year, you should plan to set goals to increase profitability and grow your small business. Also, you should plan to make changes to anything which is not working and ensure the company is focused on key metrics and desires you would like to set for your company.
More than 80% of small business owners don’t track their goals. Even if small business owners have ideas of what they would like to do, they are not measuring their progress towards the goal. Goals should be SMART goals and you should put systems in place to ensure you track your progress.
Your business goals should be written down, communicated to everyone in your company, and reviewed at least once a month. This includes implementing goals for your employees to ensure their goals line up to the company’s overall goals.
Here are some suggestions on some goals you can set up for your small business:
Improve your customer service methods and train your team members.
Many small businesses do not have a process in place to ensure great customer satisfaction. Create systems to ensure every person who interacts with customers knows how to handle every scenario. Excellent customer service should be a top priority for your business and your employees should know that bad customer service is not tolerated.
One bad experience for someone can ruin the reputation of your business. One person tells many people about their bad experience. Now, they even post their reviews online. Be the place where customers talk about how great your team handled an issue.
You should also create a process of how to address any online reviews written about your company.
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Increase traffic on your website.
There are several ways to increase traffic to your website. If you have products you can sell, it is important to put those on your website. You can also provide services and blogs to generate more traffic. Consider developing good, business blogs and content to help drive traffic as well.
Using social media posts with hashtags, affiliate marketing, and managing your search engine optimization (SEO) are some ways to also drive traffic to your site. Research best practices and make a plan to implement some of those processes.
For example, if you are a landscape or construction business owner and have worked on an important project for the community, notify your local news to see if they would be interested in the story. You can research best practices on how to pitch to media to pick up stories for free marketing. This is the number one thing public relations (PR) companies do for businesses. You don’t need to hire a PR company to do what you can do yourself.
Develop and increase traffic to your social media sites.
Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter account? Most adults use Facebook, so it is important to develop a page for your business and reach out to your customers. Social media is a low-cost option to market your products. You can do drawings for prizes if users like and share your posts. This will also drive more traffic to your site.
Social media can also be a way to show the fun side of your business. Instagram is a great way to show pictures of what working there is like. It can help you establish your brand to help fulfill your hiring needs. Think about capturing your company events and putting those pictures on your business Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Increase your productivity.
There are some great apps and software for your small business to help increase your productivity. One of them is ezClocker for time tracking. It is a scheduling software which is easy to use. It will save you money and time by allowing you to view your employees’ timesheets in real time. Employees can use their own mobile device as a time card and it has GPS support where employee’s GPS location is captured when they clock in/out so you can verify their location.
For HR practices, there are many systems that can help with recruiting, document management, and even managing pay and benefits. Research different ones and find out what works best for your budget and needs.
For customer service, consider investing in a system (e.g., surveys at end of voice and text chats) to track customer service objectives.
Whatever systems you use, ensure they help improve productivity and will help with your overall budget.
Develop new products or services to enhance your business.
Consider thinking about what new products or services you can add to help build your business. Is there something customers have requested but you haven’t had the right tools in place to implement?
Also, think about ways you can get referrals from other businesses or team up with another business to gain customers. Ensure you are attending networking events to get new contacts.
Research new ideas online and see what will work best for your company. You don’t have to implement everything but establish goals for one or two ideas to enhance your business to drive more sales.
Create a budget and reduce expenses.
Constructing a line-by-line budget and plan will help you determine what you can buy now or later. You should review your budget monthly and make adjustments based on your sales.
There are several ideas you can implement to help you reduce your office expenses. For example, can you implement new technology to reduce paper? Ensure you make a budget every year and stick with it. Then, every year you should make a plan to reduce your costs by a certain percentage until you get to your ultimate goal. You should know exactly what you are spending which also helps you determine your markup on your product and service.
Develop a training program for you and your employees.
Identify training for the upcoming year in which everyone needs. There are important topics which are mandated legally for state and federal guidelines. You don’t want to deal with any legal problems.
By identifying those training opportunities and ensuring your employees participate, you are investing in your company and your team.
Also, think about other training programs they may need which aren’t necessarily required, but will help you take your business to the next level. For example, do you have someone who works for you who is interested in moving up in your company or needs additional training to do their job better? What training can you provide to help them?
You may want to ask for input on goals from your key players in your small business. They may have ideas you haven’t thought of and give you some helpful feedback on some things that may not be working.
Work together to develop your team’s individual goals to ensure they align with the business goals and the vision you have set for your company. Whatever goals are made, they must be executed so it is important that the goals are achievable.