The new year has arrived, and for many ambitious business owners, this means another year of setting new goals and working tirelessly to achieve them. If you’re a small business owner, you may be wondering what you can do specifically to achieve success in 2016. We’ve got some excellent New Year’s resolutions for small businesses, so you may want to consider pursuing some or even all of these for your company this year.
Build a Sound SEO Strategy
Even if you run a brick-and-mortar operation, there’s no denying the importance of having an online presence. Unfortunately, with more than a billion websites on the Internet, competition can be quite fierce. This is where developing and implementing a sound search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can make all the difference. Through the use of SEO, your site is more easily searchable and discoverable by your prospective customers. Some components of a successful SEO strategy may include:
- fresh written content (blogs, white papers, etc.)
- strategically placed keywords and phrases
- content with backlinks and shares
Establish a Stronger Social Media Presence
Another great way to boost your online reputation is to develop a stronger social media presence. This also helps to build your brand and increase your potential client base. These days, your business should at least have a Facebook and Twitter page. However, to maximize your use of social media, you should also explore other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat—especially if millennials fall into your target audience. If you’re uncomfortable with using social media, consider hiring a social media expert or asking one of your current employees to handle this aspect of business.
Attend an Industry Trade Show
All too often, small business owners don’t bother to attend industry trade shows due to the large costs involved in doing so. However, when you consider the fact that trade show attendance can lead to new leads, along with plenty of face-to-face time with hundreds or thousands of potential clients, the upfront investment is often more than worth it. Make it a point to research and attend at least one industry trade show this year. Make the most of your attendance by taking the time to train employees to represent your company, set up an appealing trade show exhibit, and set up a reliable system for tracking and following up on leads.
Keep Better Track of Business Finances
Do you often find yourself feeling stressed out about the upcoming tax season this time of year? If so, then it may be time to re-evaluate your bookkeeping system. You may not have a full-time bookkeeping or accounting professional on staff as a small business, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have an organized system in place. Make an effort to keep your business finances more organized in the coming year, so you can enjoy less stress come tax time next season. This may involve something as simple as investing in a new filing cabinet for storage of financial documents or even something as involved as hiring an accountant or bookkeeping service to help you stay on track.
Keep Up-to-Date With Invoices
If your business relies on invoices to submit and receive payment for your goods and/or services, you might also consider making a more concentrated effort in 2016 to stay on-top of sending out and collecting on invoices in a timely manner. Otherwise, your business could end up losing out on profits. Make sure you maintain an up-to-date spreadsheet of when invoices are sent out and when they’re paid.
Update/Add Listings to Business Directories
Last but not least, if you haven’t taken the time to add your business’s physical address to online business directories, this is probably one of the easiest and quickest things you can do to put your company’s name on the map—quite literally. Google Maps and other local directories collect data from local businesses, so that when people search for keywords related to your company they’re easily discoverable. This is a great way for new customers to find your business, leave reviews, and even be directed to your website. Unfortunately, if your listing isn’t up-to-date or if you don’t have a listing submitted at all, you could really be missing out on a lot of business.
These are just a few New Year’s resolutions you may want to consider making for your small business in 2016. By setting and achieving some or all of these goals, your business can see greater success this year and beyond.