Whether you’ve felt success or tasted failure in 2013, you have to continue working for your business success. In less than 2 weeks, 2014 is already here. We should not wait for the New Year to start thinking how we can assure that our business will thrive in the coming year or years. I know that as you’re a business minded or an entrepreneurial person, you already know how to prepare for the brand New Year, like making a strategic plan and learning lessons from your past mistakes. To reinforce your plan, here are my 5 business tips for your success in 2014.
1. Have a disaster-resilient business
One of the ways to get success is to avoid failure at all cost. Climate change is an issue that business owners shouldn’t ignore. The world has experienced devastating hurricanes or super typhoons, earthquakes, abnormal snowfall, terrorist attacks, and other disasters in the past few years. We cannot afford to let our business knocked off by these disasters. Although we cannot stop a natural calamity to happen, we can at least make our business a disaster-resilient one to minimize loss and damages. Below are some of the ways you can do to have a disaster-resilient business:
- Choose a location that is not prone to be hit by natural disasters. For example, avoid locations near coastal area if your country or city is regularly hit by typhoons, hurricanes, storm surge or tsunami.
- If possible, build or choose a building that is a disaster-proof structure (i.e., hurricane proof or earthquake proof).
- Always have disaster-survival supplies and equipment, such as generator sets, solar powered equipment, safety vaults and radios.
- Get a better insurance for your business and your employees.
- Backup your files and data and store it in a place that can’t be affected by disasters (e,g., storing it on the cloud or other third part data storage services).
- Make a disaster recovery plan.
- Train your employees for disaster preparedness.
- Have an evacuation or relocation plan.
2. Make your business mobile
Last year, perhaps you heard business tips about putting your business online or building a website for your company. This year, if you want to maximize the benefits of having an online presence for your business, you’ve got to extend your reach to mobile market. In 2014, users of smart phones, tablets, and other mobile and wearable computers will continue to grow. Hence, your business website should be responsive and mobile-friendly to penetrate and serve these growing mobile market. The following are some tips to reach your mobile customers online:
- Make your business website mobile responsive or mobile friendly.
- Develop a mobile application for your business and marketing purposes.
- Promote your business on social networking sites that have a mobile platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google+.
- Use interesting images and visuals that attract mobile users without taking much of their time. Remember that mobile users are usually busy, and they prefer content that can relay rich messages or information quickly.
3. Implement integrated marketing
For a more effective marketing and its long-lasting success, take marketing in a holistic approach. In other words, make your marketing strategies, techniques, tactics and styles, whether online or offline, align with each other. What you promote or advertise online should be true offline. Your marketing mix (product, price, place, promotion and people) should be harmonized.
In 2014, online marketing will be more about quality and authority. Remember that Google is already trying hard to remove or demote low-quality sites in their search engine result pages. Furthermore, the giant search engine has also moved to personalized search. Social media marketing also needs more high quality, interesting, and trustworthy content. To summarize it all, online marketing is now more integrated. For your online marketing to be successful, it must be search-engine friendly, social media friendly, and user friendly.
4. Optimize your business intelligence
We are already in a world where information is more accessible than ever because of our advanced information technology. Through the Internet and other technologies, businesses can easily get raw data that are important in analyzing their business internally and externally. For example, we can already easily track our website’s performance through Google Analytics or track our interaction with our Facebook Page audience through Facebook Insights. But these are raw data. In other words, we still need to analyze them and transform them in to meaningful information that we can use to win in our businesses competition.
This New Year, we have to be more analytical. If we are to hire people, we can include an expert in data science or someone who can turn our business data in to useful reports. Remember that intelligence is one of the most important keys to win our competition. Are you wondering why a spy is one of the most important person in the military? It’s because he is the one who can provide the information that will make a nation win.
However, to ensure your business success, you should not only analyze your competitors. But you also have to analyze and understand your own business – your employees, customers, and yourself.
5. Boost your economic power
All of the tips above are difficult to realize if you have a weak financial or economic power. Business competition is not all about great ideas, intelligence, talents and skills. Think about the nations of the world. The most powerful countries are those that are rich and have the highest economic power. They cannot acquire advanced weapon systems if they don’t have money or its equivalent. They have to dig for oil, gold and other resources to make more money. This is also true in business. Business owners have to watch out their resources. They have to make sure that their economic power will rise and not decline.
Entrepreneurship is about passion, but it’s not all about it. Both business owners and entrepreneurs should also give attention to their finances and make sure that their business will be financially stable and economically powerful. Don’t be greedy when it comes to making money. But do not also be shy when it comes to earning money. You have to work your best to earn more. You have to try every good ways to accumulate more funds for your business, like asking for financial support from your friends, family, the government, donors, sponsors, investors and creditors. Finally, if you will have enough money, you have to invest and spend it wisely.
How about you? What tips can you share with us to make sure that our business will be more prosperous this 2014 and beyond?
Photo Credit: Happy New Year by George Hodan