As the holidays draw to an end and we begin to prepare for the end of the calendar year, we think of endings. And, in turn, of new beginnings. Now is a good time to reflect on and recognize the progress made this past year, and make goals for the next.
We at UNO have a lot to be thankful for in 2013. We’ve had a successful 2012 and are continuing to grow. But, like all humans, we’re continually looking to improve and advance. In this light, UNO has assembled its top New Year’s resolutions for small businesses.
- Go local. The online world has become an essential place for businesses to connect with their local community. Make sure your business has a local listing on key search engines: Google Places, Bing maps, and Yahoo maps.
- Social network in the real world. Business is driven by referrals and connections. In 2013, put some effort into networking by signing up for an industry conference or seeking out a local meetup group. These are invaluable ways to develop relationships and share advice with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners.
- Refresh your website. In the race to master new social media tools, don’t overlook your own website! It doesn’t make any sense to build a beautiful and savvy Facebook presence that funnels people to a boring, out-of-date website. Keep it current and engaging!
- Diversify your workforce. Studies have now shown that having a diverse workforce does in fact lead to competitive advantage. Diversity of the seen and unseen – culture, thought, style, skills, education, workplace flexibility, and perspectives – ensures that every member of the team is represented and valued. When looking to hire new employees, think outside the box! Diversity of thought, view point and mindset leads to more innovative results than “like-thinking.”
- Think Inside the Box. Identifying potential new clients might be easier than you think. Reach out to your workforce, existing clients and personal contacts and ask them if they know someone who may need your product or services. Enable your workforce to act as “brand ambassadors” for the business to help raise awareness of the company and help identify new business opportunities.
- Learn how to delegate and do more of it. When you’re just starting out or times are tough, it’s natural to tighten the purse strings. However, consider what you could gain by handing over certain tasks to employees, assistants or contractors. By relinquishing control of administrative tasks, you’ll free up time for what’s ultimately going to keep you in business: bringing in new business.
- Reward Yourself! In 2013 be sure to reward yourself – and your employees – for specific milestones like a big client win or meeting a tough deadline.
We want to hear about your New Year’s resolutions – what are your goals for your business in 2013?