1. Clean out your email list.
Believe it or not, having a huge list of subscribers to your newsletter is not always good. If that list is old or dishonestly required, you may be actually hurting your chances of reaching people who are actually interested in your brand. That’s because people can block or mark your emails as spam, which puts a black mark on all emails from your company from then on. Email providers may actually start seeing emails from you as spam even before you have a chance to prove otherwise. So take my advice and make sure your email list is filled with people who actually want to see what you have to say.
2. Update and expand your branding.
Are you still using a logo that you designed yourself in Microsoft Paint? Does your website look like it was created in 1999? Then this year is the year that you update your branding. Hire a professional designer and make sure all of the images you use for your small business are consistent, attractive, and polished. You’ll be surprised at how big of a difference this can make.
3. Make customer service a priority.
I can’t stress enough how important customer service is. In a world where one bad Yelp review can make a potential customer’s mind up about your business, you can’t afford to be angering people with bad customer service. And on the flip side, an excellent customer experience will create brand loyalists quicker than anything else. Make sure to train your employees well and streamline your processes so that customers leave your business beaming instead of frustrated.
4. Delegate more.
Many small business owners get to where they are today because they are hard workers and good leaders. That’s not bad, but it’s important to remember that you can’t do everything. As a control freak myself, I know what it’s like to think that you need to do everything in order for it to get done right. But for your own sake, take the time this year to learn to delegate more. Find people you can depend on and give them them things to do—it’s as easy as that!
5. Give something back to your community.
If you find yourself in a position of even modest success, take some time and resources this year to give back to your community. There are so many ways to do this—raise money for charity, encourage your employees to volunteer, host a benefit concert. Be creative and have fun with it! Potential customers will see your efforts and be impressed with your drive and altruism. Plus, it’s just a good thing to do.
The new year is a great opportunity to set realistic goals and go about achieving them with your small business. However, don’t forget that you can make changes during any part of the year—after all, there’s no better time than the present to improve yourself and your business.