The new year means that it’s time to reflect on your business so you can assess what is going right and what aspects need a little work. Maybe you’re looking to set new goals for your company like a percentage of growth, an increase in net worth, or the number of clients you take on. Whatever the goal, you should sit down, make a plan, and execute it. Here are our tips to make sure that you and your small business start the new year off strong.
- Pick great employees
Finding amazing employees isn’t always an easy task. First, you have to put up job postings on sites like Angie’s List or hope internal referrals bring in top-notch talent. Then, you have to sort through dozens, maybe hundreds, of resumes. Finally, you’ll have a batch of promising candidates who you’ll interview in person.
When those potential employees come in for an interview, this is the time to try to get a feel for their character and if they’d be a good fit at your company—both professionally and culturally.
Another important aspect of this process is properly screening your applicants. An employment background check helps to weed out people who are liabilities because of credit issues or a criminal history. This is an important step that can save you the hassle of having to fire and then re-hire.
- Bundle your services or products
If you’re looking to increase your profits, bundling your projects can be more attractive to prospective clients. Customers may view bundles as savings, and even if the actual amount of money they save with a bundle isn’t very much, perception is everything. If you can afford to be flexible with what each bundle offers—for example, if you can swap out products or services—you may find more customers interested in buying what you’re selling.
- Ask for referrals
Do you have a lot of happy customers? It’s time to tap into that valuable resource! Don’t be shy about asking your current and past clients for future customer referrals. In addition, you should also be regularly asking for reviews. Good reviews can be used as testimonials on your website or on marketing materials like brochures. Just make sure that you ask their permission first before using any quotes.
- Up your social media game
If you don’t have social media for your company, make it your goal to get things going in the new year—it might just help you boost your sales. You don’t have to sweat about getting just the right hashtags or posting a photo with a particular aesthetic, you just have to get your name and brand out there.
Focus your social media strategy on four three concepts:
- Consistency: try to post one post per week at a minimum. Make sure you use both hashtags and a geotag.
- Follow similar businesses: one great way to build followers is to find people who are in the same industry. Who knows? Maybe it’ll lead to a collaboration of some sort.
- Tell a story: nobody is going to want to follow you unless you share stories important to you and your company. Focus on a narrative when you’re posting. Maybe introduce key employees via social media posts.
- Engage: ask questions, engage with customers, and encourage comments. Don’t forget to follow other accounts and comment on others’ posts as well.
If you don’t have a full-time social media strategist and don’t have the budget to hire one, consider hiring an intern to help out.
- Have a promotion or sale
Having a sale might seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to raise your profits—after all, how are you going to make money by lowering the price of your products? You may be surprised to learn that sales can lead people to buy more than they would otherwise. Even if you’re offering a small discount, your product or service might seem more attractive to clients who are hesitant to bite the bullet.
The new year brings forth a renewed sense of purpose when it comes to your small business. Use this time to invigorate your business with fresh ideas, innovative customer solutions, and maybe even some new employees. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and profitable 2019.