8 New Year’s Resolutions to Make for Your Business in 2017

The new year brings with it renewed hope that things will be better for your business. Here are some of the resolutions that you can do that will benefit your business in the long run.

The new year brings the promise of a fresh start, which is why you should take a moment to reflect on the hard lessons that 2016 has taught you so that you can move forward with renewed focus this year.

Here are some practical, timeless resolutions that you can make this year that will allow you to reach your business goals and improve your bottom line.

1. Organize your business files. Too much clutter in the business can prove to be a distraction and affect productivity levels, which is why you need to purge your business of things that are outdated and are no longer relevant. Organize both your digital and hardcopy data so you can easily retrieve them when needed. Use cloud-based tools such as Google Drive or Dropbox to save and share documents. And don’t forget to do a backup of the things you still need.

2. Make customer service a priority. The way you provide customer service to both prospective and current customers can make or break your business this year. Take the time to know your customers’ wants and needs, and find ways to engage them through a direct and open conversation. Your customers will not hesitate to tell you what will make them happy and remain loyal to your business.

3. Focus on your marketing efforts. In order to attract more customers and improve your sales this new year, you need to develop a long-term marketing plan and budget. You may need to go through several starts and work through several trial-and-error procedures in order to determine which marketing method will work best for your business in terms of cost, effort, and ROI. If you have the budget, you can hire a marketer, a copywriter, or a social media manager to help create and build your brand’s profile and marketing campaigns. Ramp up your content marketing and social media marketing strategies, but don’t forget your offline marketing activities as well, such as direct mail advertising, distributing business cards, or advertising through personalised paper cups.

4. Be social. Make 2017 the year that you dominate the social media space in your niche by marketing in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. If you’re not active in any one of these social media sites, you’re missing out on opportunities that your competition is probably taking advantage of. If you don’t have the time to do the social media marketing yourself, consider hiring an in-house community manager or outsourcing the said position.

5. Start your own blog (and update it frequently). If you already have a website that’s just gathering dust, leverage it by adding a blog and coming up with fresh content regularly. Incorporate SEO keywords into the copy in order to make your business visible in the search engines.

6. Always be experimenting. Don’t be afraid to change things up. Experiment and try out different strategies until you figure out what works best for your business. Experiment by placing ads in avenues that you have never tried before, such as Facebook or Google Adwords.

7. Niche down. Unfortunately, there are many other businesses out there who do what you do. In order to stand out from the sea of competition, you need to narrow down your products and services to a niche market. You won’t be able to work on a social media strategy or optimize a website for specific keywords until you know what your niche is. Narrowing down your niche is critical to effectively marketing your business online.

Learn to delegate. If you find yourself wearing a lot of hats in the office, you might not be able to perform all of your tasks sufficiently. There’s only a limited amount of work that you can do, however hard you go at it. Orders may get delayed, incoming calls remain unanswered, or social media accounts aren’t updated. As a result, your business may suffer if you are attempting to do everything on your own, and you tend to focus more on running the business rather than growing it. If you were stressed, overloaded, and burned out in 2017, learn to delegate and outsource your tasks to other people. This year, make it a point to delegate more tasks in order to reduce the risk of burn out, and also to boost the morale of your staff.