Did you make a New Year’s resolution? To exercise more? Devote more time to charitable causes? Spend less? While many of us set personal goals at the beginning of each year and vow to take action to improve ourselves, the vast majority of people fail to set workplace goals for the new year. Yet no job or business is perfect. And with most of us back to work in full force this week, now is the ideal time to think about what you can do to make improvements in your job or business in 2014. Here are some suggestions:
- Market yourself and/or your business. In the midst of day-to-day tasks, promoting yourself or your business often slides to the bottom of the to-do list. But if you want to attract new customers, you have to make promotion a priority. Join a networking or business group. Hire a marketing expert or take the time to create a marketing plan on your own and follow through. Use LinkedIn: check your messages, connect with people, or join a new group. The more places and people that see your talents, the more successful you will be.
- Make business planning a regular event. Set aside time on a continual basis to review, adjust, and look forward in order to avoid costly mistakes and stay on track. Focus on what’s important, rather than just what is “urgent.”
- Take a class or learn a new skill. Whether it is directly related to your job or business or not, learning something different will add a new dimension to your life and will help you meet fresh and interesting faces, who could become customers, colleagues or friends.
- Get involved in a local charity. Find a cause that matters to you and give some time. You’ll meet new people, add goodwill for yourself and/or your business, and walk away feeling good about all that you did.
- Make some “ME” time. This one sounds counterintuitive, I know, but if you are “all business all the time,” you will burn out faster and enjoy work less. Make sure you include time for yourself on a regular basis so that you get the chance to refresh and re-energize.
- Out with the old and in with the new. If you are relying on a piece of equipment or a business strategy that just isn’t working well, make a plan to replace it. Not every product or technique is going to work. If you’ve given it the “old college try” and it’s just not producing the results you want to see, ditch it and find a replacement product or plan of action. Sometimes you just have to move on.
- Review your methods of accepting payments. If you are still in the “cash or check” world, you may be missing out. There are many digital, auto pay, and online payment methods available to businesses today. Investigate whether they are right for your business and reduce time chasing receivables.
- Make customer service a priority. No matter what your job or business, customer service can make or break you. Find out what your customers want and seek out ways to provide it to them with less hassle.
- Revamp your social media strategy. Social media continues to be on the rise, with relatively new websites like Pinterest attracting lots of attention, in addition to the big social websites like Facebook and Twitter. At the same time, search engines like Google are changing the analytical information available to businesses, which can affect marketing strategies. Consult an expert if necessary, but make sure that you are using social media to its fullest potential.
- Audit your business’ security measures. As technology continually improves, so do the attackers. Incidents like the recent Target security snafu make clear that security breaches can be devastating to a company’s success. Check your security protocols regularly.
With appreciation for your business, we at Wright Beamer send you our warmest wishes for a successful and prosperous 2014!