As we kiss 2013 goodbye, we prepare our sail towards 2014, hoping for a greater and more prosperous New Year. For small business owners, it’s time to face new challenges. It’s time to use the lessons we learned from 2013 to emerge stronger and more successful in this promising brand new year. It’s always been the time to keep on growing. To achieve growth for the first time or to continue growing your small business this year, here are 10 quick tips to make your business even bigger, stronger, and resilient in 2014.
1. Reach mobile customers
In 2014, having an ordinary website for your business is not already enough. You have to make sure that your website is mobile ready and can reach mobile users. Get your business website a mobile responsive design. Moreover, consider developing a mobile application for your brand. Utilize mobile based social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Foursquare, Pinterest and Instagram.
2. Be resilient to disasters
Climate change is an issue every small business owner should never ignore in 2014. Give your business a protection, a backup system and a recovery plan for any expected and unexpected disaster that may come in your way. Check your location, office building, data storage system and other structures if they are disaster resilient.
3. Integrate your marketing campaigns
Don’t rely on online marketing alone or on offline marketing alone. Use both of them cohesively. Furthermore, don’t use one form of online marketing alone. Don’t rely on search engine marketing or social media marketing alone, but utilize a fusion of various Internet marketing campaigns, which can be composed of search engine optimization, social media marketing, content marketing, visual marketing and other types of online marketing types that are applicable in your business.
Never rely on traffic from Google alone. You never know how long Google will be willing to refer traffic to your website.
4. Make use of your raw data
Nowadays, data are everywhere. You can get raw business data online and offline. You can get marketing information from your customers’ feedback or management data from reading your employees’ evaluation sheets. You can also get economic data from the financial statements provided to your by your accountant. On the Internet, free services like Google Analytics, will give you reports about how your website is doing on the search results.
To grow your business in 2014, you have to learn how to transform those raw data in to useful and intelligent information that you can utilize to make better decisions. You may also get some help from experts, such as from financial analysts, statisticians, and data scientists.
5. Develop new skills
If you want to grow your business, you have to grow yourself first. Whatever your chosen niche or industry is, acquire new skills that will help you become a more effective and efficient business owner, entrepreneur, manager, leader, and marketer. Here, you have to find a coach or a mentor to help you on your training and development.
6. Follow the old good rules
Although we are already living in a modern and more innovative world, business owners should still hold on the old good rules, principles and practices that will always be applicable regardless of time. You still have to cling on the principles of honesty, courtesy and humanity. For example, when marketing your brand and products on social media, you still have to interact with your potential and existing customers in a more human and personal way instead of using robots or automatic scripts in connecting with them.
7. Be socially responsible
In order for your business to grow, it must be loved by the society. In order to be loved by your community, love them first. Allocate part of your time and resources in helping your society, the planet they live in, the culture they preserve, and the people they protect.
Wow your customers and make them even happier than ever. To grow your business, you have to grow your loyal customers. To earn loyal customers you have to make them feel important and special. To make them feel important, you have be serious in giving them quality products and services. To make them feel special, you have to share them things that are special to you, such as your precious time, money, and profit.
9. Love your employees
Strengthen your business’ internal structure to grow as a stronger organization. In 2014, challenge yourself to be a better manager and leader to your workers. Love your employees. In order to do that, you have to learn how to love yourself first. Put inspiration and motivation within yourself first to enable yourself to inspire and motivate your employees. Have the qualities that make your employees happy and productive, such as honesty, humility, compassion, wisdom, respect, patience, self-control, and kindness.
10. Be responsible to yourself
Last but not the least, take care of yourself. You are the captain of your business. That’s why you have to stay healthy, calm and active. In 2014, don’t forget to regularly work out your body to make it stronger and to relax your mind to make it always calm and ready to do best in your business.
Remember that growth in business is not only measured by how big a business is. Growth is characterized by strength, resilience, endurance, and the power to influence the people around it.