Along with your promise to yourself to finally get in shape and start saving money, below are 5 “to do” items for your small business, guaranteed to make just about any business more profitable in a new year and beyond:
1. Get Up to Date on Technology
Are your business’s computers and peripherals outdated? Is your company network as secure as it needs to be? Are you still paying for software downloads or discs when you could get the same software cheaper in the cloud on a month-by-month basis?
Now’s the time to do a tech overhaul.
Assess what you have, figure out what you need and determine how to afford it. You don’t have to go for the latest bells and whistles, but you do need to get technology that can serve your business needs now and grow with your business in the year ahead.
2. Get Mobile
Whether you sell consumer products or business-to-business, the reality is this: Your customers are rapidly adopting mobile technology.
At a minimum, going mobile means you must make sure your business website loads easily on mobile devices from smartphones to tablets. Also consider whether you need to develop a mobile app for your customers.
Finally, figure out how and whether or not you need to add mobile marketing and advertising into your mix.
3. Get Out There
Are you networking as much as you should to keep the new business pipeline full?
If not, you’re likely experiencing the feast or famine syndrome, where you’re so busy working in your business that you don’t have time to market yourself—until you come up for air and find no projects in the hopper.
Keep the business coming: Resolve to regularly network with prospective clients both online and off.
4. Get What You’re Worth
Many small business owners, especially those in service industries, struggle with pricing. In today’s economy, the temptation to bid low to get the business is always there.
Don’t give in, because once you start undervaluing your services, your customers will, too. Resolve to set a fair price for what you do and stick to it. If that means raising prices, don’t be scared.
You’d be surprised at how often higher prices can lead to an increase in perceived value—and an increase in sales.
5. Get Help
Entrepreneurs are known for being sure of themselves—so sure, in fact, that they’re often reluctant to ask for assistance or advice. But getting insights from someone outside your business can make a big difference in whether you put your business on the right road or go down the wrong path.
Resolve to get the help you need this year by finding an outside mentor who can give you advice and encouragement. The Small Business Development Center or SCORE office near you are two great places to get free mentoring, no matter what stage your business is in.
Share your “to do” items with your friends, colleagues and partners to help keep you accountable and encourage you to stick to them.
What business goals are you setting for your small business this year?
To Do Checklist Photo via Shutterstock
Thank you, Rieva.
I love it.
I just raised some of my prices.
Would you like to know why?
Because of the value of my services.
The Franchise King®
I love the suggestions! I agree with get out there — I want to add another:
Contribute. No, not money necessarily, but your time, talent and expertise. When you contribute to your local small business and entrepreneur groups, you can drive massive value for others and make a big impact. Also, be willing to mentor and guide people along – it is a great way to support others and increase your reputation.
Love it Joe. All are great suggestions. I’ll add another…..Get Spiritual! Connecting to something larger than yourself. Kick ‘slick’ off your shoulder…..that voice that will kick you in the teeth any time the going gets rough.
Great post, Rieva. This is an simple and effective checklist that should get any small business off to a great start in the new year. Thanks for sharing with us.
Excellent timing on this article, since my main goal for 2013 is to get myself out there more, get more “face” time with clients (really, phone time, since I work with people all of the country, and I don’t quite have the airline miles hahahah). I spent more of last year trying to reach as many people as possible (quantity), and it wasn’t really working for me. In december I evaluated what I wanted, and what was working. 2013 is the year of really FOCUSING on people, and putting myself out there, in front of the actual people who will buy my product. I’ve been using Hoovers and LeadFerret to get the lists of people I feel will be the best leads, and I’m going whole hog and putting myself out there for them.