2019 is coming to a quick end. It’s time to start planning those new year’s resolutions, both personal and professional. Out with the old, in with the new! There are businesses and products all over the map that promise they can take your business to the next level with their tools. Before you spend any time or money on their programs, we’ve got something that won’t cost you a single cent but will yield great results.
If you’re ready to jumpstart your business in 2020, we’ve got 12 steps that you surely don’t want to skip! There’s one step for every month of the year, though we suggest applying them much sooner than once a month if you really want to see a change in your business this new year.
When you take time to sit down and think about the goals you want to set, the things that are most important to you are revealed. Goal setting is imperative because it helps motivate you to act towards a certain outcome. Maybe you have an idea of where you would like to be as a business by the end of the year, but you’re not quite sure how to get there. Try using the acronym S.M.A.R.T when setting goals. It stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. If your goals meet all of these parameters, they become truly possible, making your goal planning sessions that much more effective. For example: “Acquire three new clients per month by launching a social media marketing campaign.” This goal has a time restraint attached to it (per month), has specific and measurable parameters (three new clients), is relevant by helping to grow the business and is totally achievable (depending on your business). Now that you’ve seen an example, start thinking of some goals for your own business.
Understand your finances
Whether you’re a small business and are heavily involved in your finances, or a larger business that has an entire department committed to handling them, you as a leader should always know what’s going on. Unless you have a working knowledge of the numbers your company is working with, you won’t be able to effectively set goals or make plans for your business. If you can’t answer the basics about your company’s finances right now, this year is the time to change that! Start small; commit to knowing the daily, weekly and monthly numbers for your business. Once you’ve got that down, start looking outward. Figure out the upcoming trends for your business. Knowing this information will make all the difference as you make plans and work on growing your business this year.
Update the software you use
In this age of technology, there is always a newer, better and faster way for you to accomplish a certain task. This year may be the perfect time to try out new software for your business. Having issues with your work order running smoothly? Try a new work order management system to help your workflow run better. Email communication is important for reaching customers and clients but can get convoluted when it comes to communicating between employees. Try a messaging software that is saved specifically for communication within your business. If your remote employees are having a hard time keeping track of their hours, try an online time tracking sheet. If your supply chain activities are getting messy, try a 3PL software. This software will manage outsourced supply chain operations, like transportation and warehousing, and help ease your mind. You can also allow customers to view the system which adds transparency and builds their trust in your business. Here’s another option; check out this online business magazine article about compensation management software and why it may be beneficial for your business.
Focus on sales
This step may be the most obvious of all, and you may think “I’m already focusing everything on sales.” But there are a few steps within this that you may be overlooking. As a leader, you are generally aware of all the projects, tactics and strategies going on to increase the growth of your business and bring in sales. Growth and sales are number one in your mind. But that mindset may not be the case for every member of your company. Ensure that everyone knows that the top priority for the company is growth. Offer incentives for those that take this seriously. Set goals as a company to get everyone involved. Do everything you can to show by your own example of how important sales are for the business. Sales impacts not only the growth of your business but also the loyalty and retention you’ll see from your customers, which circles back around to more sales. Don’t let the importance of sales go under-estimated this year.
Give the exterior of your building a facelift
You’ve heard the phrase, “New Year, New You.” Well, what about, “New Year, New Building”? While you might be kidding yourself by saying the run-down look gives your building a “vintage charm”, you’re not fooling any potential customers or clients. Give the exterior of your business a facelift this year. You could consider replacing siding that is old and grungy, you could try a new paint color, maybe hire someone to change the landscaping and foliage. Even a simple change of a new banner or signage could get people to stop and notice your building. Getting a new look not only makes your building look cleaner and more modern, but it could also help increase the foot traffic that comes into your business as well. Besides cosmetic repairs, check out this online business magazine article for more ideas on how to increase your businesses’ foot traffic.
Establish a good work environment for your employees
After an exterior facelift, you may want to take a look inside. There are many elements that go into providing a good work environment, from making sure that the basics are met (water, sanitation, etc.) to providing comfort (lounge area, game room, etc). Working in an attractive environment can also boost employee’s moods which ultimately affects their productivity. Things like good lighting, comfortable seating and modern decoration can make a huge difference in your employee’s attitudes about being at work. If you’re looking to make a big change with your office layout, read this online business magazine article about the value of switching from cubicles to soundproof booths. With cosmetic needs met, make sure you have answers for the even more important elements of an office building. For example, find a good AC services company that you trust in case of an emergency. Having an AC unit go out creates an unworkable environment and significantly slows down the workforce if not all together shutting it down.
Make a habit of reading a reliable online business magazine
An online business magazine is a truly valuable tool, somewhere you can find recommendations, advice, and stay updated on industry trends. You’ll find everything from entrepreneurial tools, to new technologies and software that can be used to boost your business. Why not get started with this habit now? Check out this online business magazine article about the value of staying updated on industry trends.
Enhance your front office training
Your front office employees and customer service representatives are viewed as the face of your company. It’s important that they are always prepared for any question or request a customer will have for them. Enhancing and focusing on the training they receive this year will make a huge difference both in your productivity and in your relationship with your customers. Assure that your front office and customer service employees are ALWAYS up-to-date on projects, promotions and any issue that a customer may contact them about. If they don’t have all the information for a customer, it won’t only look bad for them, it will reflect poorly on the entire company. Enhancing their training is in the best interest of the entire company. This online business magazine article talks about the value that good customer service will have on your leads and sales.
Work with a consulting firm
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your business is have a fresh, non-biased pair of eyes take a look at some of your issues and processes. Consulting firms are chock-full of professionals who specialize in a variety of fields. Do some research on process improvement consulting firms this year to add some extra horsepower and clarity to your business. Their specialists can look at all elements of your business (the finances, systems, daily operations, etc.) and identify areas where improvements can be made. They’ll help you streamline your processes and expand your growth as a business. Most importantly, they’ll help resolve some of your most stressful problems and allow you to focus on other areas of work.
Step up your marketing game
It’s no secret that marketing is one of the most important things you’ll do for your business. The more potential customers come across your name, your ads, your product, etc., the more likely they are to recall and choose your business when making a purchase. Good marketing leads to sales, greater customer trust, and overall growth of your business. The first step to up your marketing game is to create a marketing plan. It’s your action plan for what you want to sell, who your audience is, and the tactics you’ll use to make those sales. A marketing plan will ensure that all your employees can see your vision for your business and will be able to help to enact it — just make sure that they’re familiar with it. Get some tips on essential marketing technology with this online business magazine article.
Work with reliable and sustainable distributors
If you do any sort of manufacturing, you know how important plastic is to the process. Ensuring that you have a trustworthy industrial plastic distributor can make a huge difference to the speed and productivity of your product production. While considering your plastic distributor, give this online business magazine article about the importance of product packaging a read. You’ll also want to consider the transportation of your products, especially when using pallets. Wood is an energy-efficient material, being both recyclable and eco-friendly; cement and steel require factories and materials like fossil fuel to produce them. Finding and using the best wood pallets Florida has to offer, will help you lower the carbon footprint your business leaves on this world. If you’re looking for something a little bigger than pallets for the transportation of your products, check out this online business magazine article about new vs. used cargo storage containers.
Make self-care a priority
In 2017, as many as 52% of Americans didn’t use their paid time off. That time to themselves is valuable time used to recuperate, relieve stress, and be prepared to return to the office at 100% percent. Encourage your employees to take advantage of their paid time off; it’s in both theirs and your own best interest. You’d also be wise to provide other self-care opportunities for your employees. One valuable option is to set up a medical massage for headaches for your employees. Headaches caused by stress or tension can wreak havoc on an employee’s ability to focus and work hard. Hiring a massage therapist to apply this special type of care will help employees be at their top performance level. You can also take advantage of this for yourself to relieve some of the stress and tension that comes from being in a leadership role. Another option is to help your employees plan for the future with the use of a life settlement calculator. This will be especially valuable to your more senior employees.
The bottom line
This new year won’t be just “another year” for your business. Applying these 12 steps to your business, though seemingly small and simple, will make a huge impact. It will take some time and a lot of work, but the changes and successes you see this year will be worth it. What are you waiting for?
Running a business can be a costly struggle. You have employees to pay, taxes to pay, equipment to buy, equipment to repay, and on and on the list goes. Luckily, you can control much of what you spend on business peripherals that can cut business expenses without hindering the growth and quality of your business. One such example is if you need storage, you can buy used storage containers.
Used VS New
You can argue up and down for hours which is better: buying something brand new or buying something used. It is not so black and white, in fact, it is often grey and murky. It always depends on the situation. Purchasing new equipment can get pricey. That equipment is, well, new and has not been destroyed, refurbished, and is in excellent condition. It will work at peak performance right out of the box.
Buy something used and it has oftentimes, seen better days. It might “work,” maybe even sometimes, but it was far cheaper and depending on what the situation is can be fa
All sorts of manufacturing is done in the United States in factories and workshops from coast to coast, big and small. Finished goods such as furniture, cars, books, electronics, and even kids’ toys are being produced year round, and American farms are producing plentiful foodstuffs at the same time. But it’s not enough to merely produce those goods; they have to be transported to and from factories, warehouses, and retailers, and that’s the responsibility of the modern transportation network. This robust network boasts some 12 million trucks, planes, seagoing ships, and freight trains to deliver goods domestically to all 50 states, and many international shipments are made as well for trade. The United States imports and exports may goods to and from allied nations such as Canada and Mexico, and more beyond. However, these carrier companies may need some help with their cash flow after they deliver goods for a shipper customer, and invoices may be a long way off. This is when invoice
Small, as opposed to large businesses, have less than 500 employees on staff. It’s interesting to note that 99.7% of all businesses within the United States fall within this category. Unfortunately, a large percentage of small businesses fail due to cash flow issues. A U.S. Bank study found that this applied to 82% of failed businesses. While there are a variety of situations that can contribute to cash flow issues, the incidence of unpaid or late invoices impacts this situation significantly.
Small Business Start-Ups and Invoicing
In order to launch a small business, the Wells Fargo Small Business Index reported that an average of $10,000.00 is needed for start-up capital. Once a small business has begun operating, it’s been determined that almost 60% of its invoices are not paid on time. If this situation were reversed, however, it has been estimated that small businesses within this country would be able to hire 2.1 million additional employees. As a result, unemployme
Getting your business noticed can be a challenge in a time when digital marketing drives everything. Did you know, in fact, that there are a number of times when a business simply does not make it because customers simply do not know about the location of your business. With the right outdoor LED signs, however, you can make sure that you are able to not only compete, but also succeed.
The latest research indicates that the actual value of an on site sign equals the impact made by running 24 full-page newspaper ads every year. The signage for businesses can help make sure that local customers know not only your location, but the kinds of goods and services that are offered.
Scrolling Marquee Signs Offer a Number of Different Advertising Options for Many Kinds of Businesses
If it has been awhile since you have updated the signage for businesses that you own, now is the ti
With the building market what it is today it can be a difficult decision to go out and buy a new building. Getting rid of your old one, the building that holds so many memories and is so dear to you, can hold you back from going out and joining the buying market. But perhaps, before you find yourself stressed out over taking building tours and looking at all of the new possible options that are out there, you should look into modular building options to see if perhaps this type of building is the right type for you and your blooming business. Cheap portable buildings can save you the time and money you may need.
Just because these modular building options can be portable and easier to purchases does not mean that they are in any way less of a building than if you were to go out and find one that is already built and station in place. In fact, in many ways these modular building options can provide you with more benefits than a typical building could do if you were to find jus
Going from a curious customer to a sale seems like a pretty straightforward process. You market yourself, wait for people to drop by, then everything handles itself. Right?
Wrong! Turns out a lot of doubt can weasel in-between the cracks and get in the way of your success. When a customer isn’t changing their mind at the last second they’re being distracted by the competition. Marketing has never been more complicated than it is today, with the average consumer exposed to thousands of advertisements a day. You need more than just your wits if you’re to meet your monthly minimum.
With the aid of an outbound sales call center you can rely on some more modern knowledge to redirect your customers through that tricky sales funnel. Here are some important terms to know on your way to becoming a marketing expert.
Did You Know?
The digital age is very much a double-edged sword. On one hand it’s easier than ever for you to reac
Fires can be quite terrifying indeed, there is no doubting this fact. After all, fires can all too quickly grow out of control – and, left unchecked, they have been known to consume just about everything in their path. Without adequate fire prevention services, the toll of property damage in relation to fires would be much higher – but so too would the toll of human life and suffering. Burn injuries can be excruciating to recover from, and can lead to life long treatments, scarring, and pain in those who have been victim to them. And fires can kill as well, both through smoke inhalation as well as through the flames directly. Fires, no matter what, should always be taken seriously.
This is something that is very much backed up by the data that has been gathered on fires, particularly hotel and motel fires. These types of fires are particularly common and lead to as many as – if not more than – 150 injuries over the course of each and every year here in the United States alone. Unf
When you run a business you have many responsibilities that help to keep the company afloat. One of the responsibilities is making sure that your employees are productive and happy. After all, happy employees stick around and do their best work. However, there are some aspects of the modern office setting that can be less than satisfying for workers and can lower productivity levels. One of those is the cubicle setup.
When employees are crunched together in cubicles that are line up side by side, there are a lot of distractions in their day. There is also more room for things like gossip and eavesdropping that can lead to unnecessary office drama. This is why it’s a wise business decision to make the switch from cubicles to soundproof office booths.
One benefit of investing in soundproof phone booth office spaces is the likely lift in productivity that will follow. Employees have their own space that is quiet and private means there will be less
Making the decision on how exactly to package your items is one that can be a difficult one for even the most experienced business owner. With so many commercial food packaging bags and options out there, knowing what is best for your product and what is going to make your product fly off the shelves and into the homes of happy customers can be a difficult sea to navigate. Are clear pouch bags the best choice for your item? What about a custom printed vacuum pouch? Or even organic paper bags? How do you know what your items are best off in?
When you’re choosing what the best packaging is for your item it is very important to put yourself in the mind of the consumer when you are deciding what is best for your product. Finding the right type of package can be just as important as what you are putting inside of that packaging. Knowing your items inside and out and knowing what is going to appeal to others could be the