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4 New Year's Resolutions Your Small Business Should Keep This Year
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

4 New Year's Resolutions Your Small Business Should Keep This Year

Jan 6 2014, 3:36pm CST | by

Each January, Americans make a list of resolutions to help them live a better life throughout the year. Whether those resolutions are to lose weight or get out of debt, a new year provides the...

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29 weeks ago

4 New Year's Resolutions Your Small Business Should Keep This Year

Jan 6 2014, 3:36pm CST | by

Each January, Americans make a list of resolutions to help them live a better life throughout the year. Whether those resolutions are to lose weight or get out of debt, a new year provides the opportunity to begin with a clean slate. Since we all know that the first step toward realizing our goals is to set them, New Year’s resolutions offer the perfect opportunity to put those goals in writing.

January is the perfect time to review your organization’s goals and create new ones. Here are a few great New Year’s resolutions that can help businesses in today’s competitive environment.

Follow a Content Marketing Plan

As 2014 begins, content marketing is a more important part of the landscape than ever, driving search engine rankings and keeping customers interested. A recent survey found that 93 percent of marketers are using content marketing today—a number that increases each year. However, as interested as businesses are in this new frontier, many aren’t sure where to start.

The first step toward ramping up your business’s content marketing strategy this year is putting a plan in place. Print media professionals have long used editorial calendars to schedule content, but in recent years they’ve become popular with marketers. Today, editorial calendars are used to plot social media posts, blogs, articles, and website news updates. Often going under the name “content calendar,” they can help a team plan a campaign around a big event. They can also be used to keep a team on track with its posting goals, serving as a regular reminder to keep a company’s online presence active.

In addition to a content calendar, businesses might also choose to delegate some of the posting responsibilities by bringing more than one staff member on board. By opening up participation to your entire staff, you may find you have a few team members with hidden social networking or blogging talents. It also gives your business a diverse voice that keeps customers interested.

Utilize Apps That Make Life Easier

With hundreds of thousands of apps available to mobile device and PC owners, busy professionals can easily simplify their lives—often at no charge. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the overwhelming lists of apps under each category in app stores. Here are a few free apps that can help businesses automate some of the more time-consuming tasks.

  • Evernote—If the “Notes” section of your smartphone is full and your desk is covered in Post-Its, Evernote is the perfect app for you. Using a device’s camera, voice recorder, or keyboard, users can save information for later review, keeping everything in one place.
  • HootSuiteManaging multiple social media accounts can be a headache. Hootsuite creates a dashboard that allows for easy management of multiple social media accounts at once. But perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the service is the ability to schedule posts in advance. So team members can plan tweets and Facebook posts for the optimum time of day and week to reach customers when they’re online.
  • Uber—The days of relying on taxi services to get from one point to another while traveling are numbered. Uber lets customers request to be picked up via car using a mobile device. Once they reach their destination, they can pay using that same app. The service is available in most major cities and is working to expand to even more cities in 2014.
  • Postmates—Too busy to leave the office for lunch? Need someone to pick up a gift for administrative professional’s day? Postmates can provide it. The app utilizes couriers in various cities to pick up items and deliver them to businesses or residences. The service runs until midnight seven days a week, making it a great option for having dinner delivered when a meeting runs late.
  • Cardmunch—If your New Year’s resolution includes being more active on LinkedIn, Cardmunch can help. The app can scan any business card and store it as a contact while also displaying LinkedIn information. Professionals can then choose to add the person as a connection on LinkedIn.

If you’ve been putting off adding a few apps to your smartphone, a new year provides a great excuse to download them and try them out.

Show Customer Appreciation

One year is ending and another is beginning, giving businesses a reason to take stock of all they’ve accomplished. Most businesses would be nothing without the loyalty of customers or clients. Customer appreciation efforts should be part of any business’s New Year’s resolutions, reminding them to find a way to thank supporters.

One of the best ways to show appreciation is to offer loyal customers a freebie or discount. Some businesses do this through customer appreciation parties that kick off the new year. This can be promoted through your social media pages, also potentially leading to shares or retweets that bring in new customers.

But small businesses can gain an edge by personalizing these acknowledgments. When a known loyal customer enters the shop, associates can give a small token to that customer, along with a personalized thank you note. The customer will likely be so impressed, he or she will tell friends about the experience, which will hopefully result in additional loyal customers to thank next year.

Consider the Cloud

Cloud technology is taking over the marketplace, opening up possibilities for smaller businesses that can now compete on a much larger scale. Whether you choose to take advantage of cloud-hosted software offerings or offload your entire network infrastructure to the cloud, by investigating options, you may be able to save money while keeping up with the latest technology.

A new year means a fresh start for growing businesses. By reviewing past goals and strategies and adding new ones, businesses of all sizes can prepare to compete with much larger companies within the same industry. These four resolutions are important because they represent the spectrum of technologies businesses are embracing today.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan R ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into b ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat today ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussei ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

8 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in co ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

8 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Dat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year inv ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway ( ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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