It’s a brand new year, and with that comes all kinds of good intentions for the year ahead. As a small business owner, why not take this opportunity to set out some goals for taking your business to new heights in 2017? Here are some ideas for what you could put on your list of New Year’s resolutions to make this year the best yet for your business.
1. Launch a new product or service
Lots of work goes into launching a new product or service; it isn’t going to happen overnight. But setting yourself a concrete goal of expanding your range of products or services by a certain date this year will give you something to work towards. For example, if you manufacture novelty gifts, you could set yourself the goal of launching and marketing a new gift in time for the Christmas 2017 buying season.
Explore new product or service ideas
Set yourself a product/service release date
2. Review your online presence
If you haven’t already got a website – perhaps because you’re a small high street retailer and think you don’t need one – now’s the time to build one and start taking advantage of the many benefits of being online. If you do have a website, a new year provides a good excuse to review and refresh your existing content to check it’s all up-to-date and relevant. While you’re at it, it’s time to embrace social media if you haven’t already, as this will help you reach out to new audiences.
Create a website for your business
Get set up on social media (starting with Facebook and Twitter is a good idea)
3. Target a new market
If you’ve been sticking to marketing your products to the same target audience, why not try branching out this year and reaching new customers in different geographical locations or demographics? For example, if you’ve traditionally been trying to reach people in your local area, you could expand your marketing efforts to cities further afield; if you’ve previously targeted just the UK, you could try investigating markets overseas. If you’ve mainly aimed your products or services at twenty-something women, you could try out marketing to other ages and genders.
Brainstorm new target markets; how could you target them?
4. Update your software and processes
Is your business working as efficiently as it could? Sometimes making simple changes like updating your outmoded business software or simplifying the way you deal with suppliers could make a big difference to your bottom line. For example, there may be clever new software available now that wasn’t around when you first started out, which could mean you can automate processes that you’ve previously had to do manually. Making time savings in this way frees up time to focus on other ways of growing your business.
Review existing software and update where needed
5. Start a blog
Tying in with Resolution 2 – growing your online presence – a brand new year is the ideal opportunity to launch a blog for your business. We’ve previously extolled the virtues of blogging for business, and with so many great benefits ranging from more website traffic to instilling trust, there’s every reason to make 2017 the year you start reaping these rewards.
Create a blog on your website or set up a new blog from scratch
Make a list of blog ideas and topics
Create a content planner/calendar
6. Form partnerships with other businesses
Have you explored the potential for partnering with a business that offers complementary products or services to yours? If not, this could be a powerful way to grow your business in 2017. For example, if you run a restaurant business, you could connect with a local tourist attraction to promote your business to tourists in return for you recommending your visitors to their attraction.
Explore businesses that you could potentially partner with
Contact the top three to discuss partnership opportunities
Even if you only manage one of these resolutions, or form some of your own, writing down your plans is a great first step in the right direction. We wish you a happy and prosperous 2017!