Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Small Business Tips for 2012

With 2012 finally here, it’s time to start preparing your goals. Now that the economy is slowly picking up, and consumers are getting their confidence back, now's the time to bring your company to the next level. Here are some things that you can focus on to get ready for 2012.

Review what has worked for you last year.

Always review what you’ve done the last year that has worked or failed. If you don’t, you’ll be doomed to repeat your past mistakes. Consider any marketing campaign that didn’t pan out the way you wanted. What could you have done better? Provide a better offer? Or target the right market?  Or was it the timing?

Update your sales and marketing plan.

The most important part of any business is your sales. Keep track of how many sales you expect in each quarter and outline what actions you are taking to achieve those targets. You need to keep your sales pipeline full with prospects and have an action plan to convert them into customers. 

The plan doesn’t have to be a huge document – just enough to outline your current situation: Your current sales revenue and income, how many new clients you have and repeats,  profit margins, expenses and others. Then write down your goals for where you’d like to be this year. And finally, outline three strategies that you will use to achieve your sales goals for this year. Create a step-by-step list on what you need to do to execute each strategy.   

 Update your website and online marketing strategy.

One of the most effective marketing that you can do as a small business is through the web, and if you’re not focusing on creating an online marketing plan, you are leaving a large amount of money on the table. Of course, you need to do more than just create a website – learn how to promote it and understand how it will allow prospects to become your customers.  

Create a board of advisors or mentor team.

Creating a mentor or advisory team is one of the best steps you can take for your business growth. By working with the right mentor, you can avoid mistakes that will slow your business and cut your learning curve tremendously. Your team can help you open doors that would have been otherwise closed if you did it on your own.  

 Throughout all of this, don’t forget to relax! As an entrepreneur, you are working 24/7. If you don’t schedule some downtime, you will eventually burn out. Take the time to do an activity that is not related to your work and stay fit. The end result being, you’ll be fresh and happy to face your business challenges every day.