The New Year has begun and it is time to make changes. Like people, businesses must also make New Year resolutions to re-energize themselves and allow the company to reassess goals and achieve them with a new gusto. Being complacent is the main roadblock to achieving your ambitions for your company.
With renewed vigor this year, you can help your company grow out of its “small business” shell. In your personal life, not following up on resolutions is probably a tradition and nothing new. However, in your professional life, keeping up and following up on goals for your company can make all the difference to your business.
Even though small companies are constantly trying to change their business models or activities to improve their fortunes, they often end up repeating the same mistakes. This year as an entrepreneur and owner of a small business, you should make sure that your company does not commit these mistakes.
Ignoring paid advertising or marketing on social media platforms.
Yes, good old wisdom from outdated online and social media marketers say that you should avoid advertising and sponsoring content on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This used to be true some time ago because in those days, ads on Facebook and Twitter weren’t very effective. However, almost all social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter have completely changed their advertising options to make it much easier for brands to reach their target audience.
Both of these social media websites have improved the way content is delivered and makes it much easier for brands to create and run advertising campaigns on these platforms. Unpaid content on such social media websites get lost and buried so quick that users barely get to see it. This is why advertising on social media is so important this year. You can create highly targeted ads in a few easy steps and the investment is well worth it as ads on Facebook and Twitter do not look like spam.
Using too many applications.
Technology is cool and you want your company to be cool, tech-savvy and efficient. But too many applications can, in fact, make your business processes and the day to day running of your business very confusing and inefficient. Most small businesses make the mistake of using too many applications when they are not needed.
Before getting applications and software to automate certain tasks, make sure to do thorough research. Moreover, you need to figure out all the processes in your company that truly need software applications. Select a small group of critical processes and tasks and get apps for them. It is best to get one big software application for all the tasks if possible instead of relying on many apps for each process.
Sitting in front of your computer the whole time.
Running a small business can be exhausting and you might think that getting away from your computer or mobile gadget will somehow lead to you losing an important opportunity. Also, with so many applications and such advanced technology available these days, you don’t even have to get up to get things done. You can have a meeting with an oversees client using video conferencing, talk to you employees using messaging apps and make purchases right from your computer.
Sometimes, you need to turn away from the convenience and marvel of modern technology and use old school methods. Talking over the internet seems impersonal and often impolite. If you want to really build relationships with clients and with your employees, walk up to them and talk to them face to face. Build team spirit by getting everyone to gather around during lunch and breaks.
Panicking about the economy.
When harsh times fall, businesses automatically start blaming the government and the economy and the big banks. The blame game will not help your company stay afloat. The past few years have been difficult and many small businesses were badly affected, but not all. Some managed to even thrive through innovative marketing, restructuring of the business and by working harder. Keep a positive outlook and keep going when your company is going through a rough phase.
Not truly understanding what you are selling.
The trick is not to sell your product, but the idea behind the product. Instead of marketing the features of the products, tell customers how the product will transform their lives. To do this you need to understand your market and the product. Take for example Helena Rubinstein – the Australian pioneer in the cosmetics industry, who didn’t just sell face cream, but sold the concept of beauty.
Not delegating work.
In a small business, you – the owner will naturally want to take control of everything and have a finger in every pie, or will want to oversee all the work. This is not possible and the controlling behavior can alienate people. Instead, learn to delegate work to trusted members in the company. You should ideally also outsource certain business activities like accounting and to another firm who are obviously better at it than your company.
Marketing and not connecting on social media.
Most small businesses make the mistake of using social media platforms to blow their own horn and to market their products and services to no end. The point of social media marketing is to connect with customers and to build better relationships with them. This can only happen if they get useful and relevant information from your pages. Make sure to upload content that is interesting, fun, thought-provoking and useful to the readers.
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