Now that we’re almost two months into 2015, you may have fallen off the path towards meeting your personal New Year’s resolution. If you own a business, there’s still more than three quarters left in the fiscal year to hit your financial goals. It’s time to refocus your energy and make the following New Year’s resolutions for small businesses\
1. Be Ready for Mobile Payment
If your business falls into the retail or dining categories, arm the store with mobile point-of-sale devices. Advancements in field communications systems are fueling more mobile transactions like Apple Pay. Assume your customers come with virtual wallets and be prepared for them to shell out in rapid form.
2. Adapt to the Affordable Care Act
Regardless of its controversy or the possible greater impact it may have on small businesses, the fact of the matter is the Affordable Care Act is projected to keep growing this year. Capitalize on the situation at hand by getting coverage for your employees via SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) in order to secure a tax credit that’ll eventually help the bottom line.
3. Run Business Smarter
The world is revolutionizing into a smart life – as in, people are gaining increased accessibility to the internet (through devices) and virtually connected in some way or another. Make sure your company is evolving with the times and optimizes operations using smart technology. Try implementing work-related innovation made by Samsung – the tech pioneer has helped paved the way for smarter productivity with devices equipped to immediately store and sync information over a cloud through network connectivity. Day-to-day minutia like emailing, managing expenses and sharing documents are thus, extra efficient and easier to control since it’s all under one roof.
4. Invest in Social Media
Should social media be an avenue of marketing for your business, which it most likely is if you intend to stay relevant and afloat, this is the year to increase the ad spend in social marketing. Paid social media will take over the advertising landscape in 2015 and many social media platforms are beginning to or have already changed their algorithms to push promoted ads to the top of the feed. Because the value of online media is starting to garner hard results that justify investment, organic search isn’t what it used to be. To make sure your brand is seen amongst the noise, try pumping some dollars into online promotion – it’s where the majority of consumers are spending their time and money.
5. Improve the Marketing Strategy by Actually Utilizing Data
Data is tremendously useful when used wisely. Consumer behavior, trends and analytics are captured in real-time and easily accessible to just about anybody who is interested, but leveraging the information is another story. You’ve got the tools in place. This 2015, use data to your advantage and really dive deep into understanding what your target demographic is interested in and how they buy things in order to strategically develop a marketing plan. For instance, you could target ads on various sites you know potential customers frequent or personalize messaging to better entice the viewer.
6. Mobilize the Troops
We are deep into the era of smartphones and tablets. Chances are your potential patron is looking up everything and anything using a mobile device. This means mobilizing all touch points between your brand and your audience. Building a responsive website, creating an app, upping the email communications and campaigns, Instagramming something that seems to represent the brand personality – all are ways you should be engaging customers in the mobile arena.
Increased awareness and execution based on knowledge is the theme of ’15 for small businesses. These resolutions will set your company up for success in both the immediate and long-term future.