New Year = New Goals

Happy New Year!  While most people are busy making resolutions to lose weight or eat healthier, it’s not a bad idea for businesses to do the same and make resolutions, i.e. new goals that can help springboard you to the next level of success.  January is the perfect time to review past goals and hit the reset button on practices that aren’t working so well.

Instead of shedding pounds, it’s time to shed stale business practices and start some fresh ones to keep you competitive in 2014:

Who are your top three demographics?  This is vital information every business should know and constantly reevaluate.  “Customers are fickle, they change their minds based on the many inputs in their cluttered worlds.  A recent study conducted by LIM College students and in conjunction with the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA) showed that 68% of the hot 18-25 year old market would rather shop in a bricks and mortar store than they would on-line.  Surprised?” said Marc Compeau in a recent Forbes article.  Identifying your top customers and using this information wisely is key to staying competitive.

-Branding is everything.  As Bloomberg writer Steve McKee points out, “Too many business leaders believe branding is a discipline that lives in the marketing department.”  But make no mistake; branding is the whole package— from the company logo to how you handle customer complaints.  Maybe a more fitting word would be reputation.  “It’s not like mathematics, engineering, or accounting, in which there are rules to be followed or regulations to be adhered to, but there are a significant number of commonsense, sometimes-counterintuitive truths based on how real humans interact in the real world that can make a significant impact on any business,” said McKee.

-Create a disaster plan.  “No matter how good you are as a businessperson and manager, there will always be circumstances beyond your control that can affect your business,” said WSJ reporter Colleen DeBaise.  From natural disasters to a closed vendor— unforeseen events can happen anytime and when you least expect it.  Have a contingency plan that your business will follow to help ease the impact of such events.  Having critical data backed up and kept offsite will ensure your valuable information is safe.  Have backup vendors in the queue in case your primary vendor shuts down either temporarily or long-term.  Check the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for more templates and guides on how to deal with emergencies.

-Consider using paid social media advertising.  Thanks to Facebook and Twitter completely revamping the way they handle and display paid sponsors, it is actually paying to advertise via these mediums.  According to MarketMeSuite, Facebook looked at 60 different campaigns that used their advertising and found that 70% of the 60 campaigns had a 3-times or better return-on-investment (ROI) and 50% showed 5-times the ROI.

If these business solutions seem fitting for your business, but you’re not sure how to get there, Ellos Global would like to partner with you and make these ideas a reality in 2014.