Channel a Successful Year for your Business – Not Resolutions but Goals
With the holidays recently over, it’s now time to think about 2018 and what it could mean for your business. Improving your business requires great commitment and dedication; when planning for the year ahead, TEN Habitat encourages you to go beyond the tradition of simply making “New Year Resolutions” and commit to transforming them into goals.
Check out these helpful tips for channeling a successful year for your business:
Review your S.M.A.R.T Goal Plan
Make your first goal for 2018 to review your business plan. Chances are you have a business plan, and hopefully a two-year strategic plan already – take the time to go over your plans and make any updates or changes necessary to keep you on the path to success. Make sure that your goals are S.M.A.R.T - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. Resolve to keep true to your goals, plans and budget in 2018-with little or no exceptions.
An example of S.M.A.R.T Goals is:
Specific: Your business aims to attract x amount of new customers this year by leveraging new marketing avenues.
Measurable: You commit to measuring your progress via specified marketing metrics and through new clients.
Attainable: You will review your existing customer base and actively do more research on the target market you want to reach.
Relevant: You will carry out a new marketing initiative that will be profitable for your business.
Time-based: You will create a relevant two year Strategic Plan and Marketing Plan along with your yearly Budget, which will be drafted within the first two months of the year.
*Of course, your own S.M.A.R.T Goals will vary based on your business’ nature and specific goals.
Get to Know your Customers
Great customer relationships are the driving force behind every successful business – money simply cannot buy this. Luckily, not only is it free, but one of the most important things you can have within your resources to positively promote your business. Develop healthy professional relationships with the people who are supporting your business, it sets you apart in the market and your clients will most definitely spread their experiences with you far and wide. Staying connected and creating a more open line of communication can be done through building your network, having a strong, responsive presence on social media and definitely via face-to-face interactions where possible. Give after-sale service: letting your clients know you care about them with superior after-sale service keeps you top of mind and creates a deep sense of loyalty to your business.
Your chances of increasing business and securing a place in the market share are greatly improved when your visibility is high. Constant visibility will keep you top of mind for potential customers or collaborations. Make sure that you don’t skim over promoting your business this year and instead choose to make it a priority in 2018. Take the time to go over your budget and allocate funding for promotions; take advantage of free advertising or a chance to “piggyback” on other companies. Review or increase your social media presence; be confident that these platforms are performing properly or refresh their look and content if necessary.
Commit to Giving Back
Companies that give back are highly respected, appreciated and what’s more, their customer loyalty is higher. Consider incorporating a ‘Social Commitment Fund’ in to your budget and utilize it for making donations to selected causes throughout the year; depending on your business’ capacity, you can further contemplate offering partial or full sponsorship for events that are relative to your products or services. You may even prefer to volunteer with a charity or offer internships to recent graduates. Whatever you do, choosing to give back to those things that make some kind of an impact on you is a win/win situation – there really is no limit or minimum requirement for helping your clients or your community. Not to mention, there are some great returns from that ‘word of mouth’ advertising you will most certainly get.
As the year is just getting started, this is a great time to look over your business’ progress in the previous year and plan how things will continue to develop. Use these tips wisely. Best wishes for 2018!