We’re coming down to the end of 2012 (insane right?!) and it’s time to start thinking about New Years Resolutions. No, not just your personal ones to stop smoking, cut back on coffee and lose the holiday fifteen – I’m talking about all you small business owners out there. I’m sure you’ve all got your beginning of the fiscal year goals and reports, but why not sit down with your staff and map out some resolutions for yourself as a business? Couldn’t hurt, right? Here’s some that I’ve seen posed over the past year or so.
Get found Claim your business (free of charge) on Google Places, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Foursquare and Bing. Just by claiming your business listing you increase your chances of being discovered. Customers can find you on their mobile phones and tablet devices as long as you have claimed your business listing. Be sure to include your business address, website, photos, special offers, and other details about your business in your listings. Additionally, the more (positive) reviews you have the better, so encourage satisfied customers to write a review about your business on the sites listed above. **Hint, hint you may have to offer an incentive, again get creative.**
Get Social Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social networks are not just for teens, they are free powerful marketing tools for small business owners (if used correctly and consistently). You don’t have to be on all networks, select the networks that will best accommodate your mission and be consistent. Consider hiring a social media consultant if you need help getting started.
Partner with a charitable cause Find a cause to support that means something to you and your business. Show your customers that you care and they will likely support your business and your cause. This will also create (or keep going) positive buzz about your business.
[Side note: This is one that I’ve been touting for years. Aligning yourself correctly with a charity or non-profit can be one of the most beneficial things for your company. It’s just good PR. It makes you look good and you feel good for supporting a good cause. And, if we’re getting down to the numbers - it’s also got it’s tax breaks.]
Be a match maker Introduce people in your network to other people that they can do business with. By doing this you are strategically building your network while helping others along the way. Both parties will be very gracious for the introduction and they will want to reciprocate your good deed by continuing to do business with you and introducing you to future business opportunities.
What are some of YOUR new years resolutions? Perhaps you’ll inspire some other small business owner and we can all make 2013 the best year possible.