I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2015 is already flying by! But just because it’s not New Year’s Day, it’s never too late to lay out some goals and objectives for the year. The beginning of the year is an important time for small business owners to take stock of the lessons learned in the previous year, and decide how they’re going to use those lessons to dictate the coming year. Though we all had different years and learned different lessons, here are five things every small business owner can benefit from focusing on in 2015.
Get out on the floor.
While having your own office away from the team can be great for things like interviews, performance reviews, meetings, and really buckling down and getting something done, an office away from the majority of your employees also alienates you from the all the office hubbub.
This year, I’m making an effort to sit out on the floor with my employees more often.
I like being more accessible if anyone has questions or comments to address to me. I also like getting to know my employees in a casual setting. When you’re interacting with someone from behind a huge desk in your own office, odds are, they’re not going to speak very candidly.
Handle the nitty-gritty.
My customer service team is more than capable of handling “trouble customers,” but this year, I want to help out on the phone more and get in on the action. You don’t have to answer to every little problem, but if something big arises, take the time out of your day to speak to an upset customer yourself. Not only will the customer be impressed that the CEO is taking the time to solve their problem, but you get to give your employees a great example of how you’d like your company to handle unhappy clients.
Take marketing risks.
Such a large part of marketing today is keeping up with social channels. This can be challenging since social networking seems to change by the day! Because social is an ever-changing medium, we, as business owners, need to be taking bigger risks with our marketing. There is no “safe way” because there is no concrete right way. This year, really play around with what works for you. Try Facebook and Twitter paid advertising. Try it every day and then try it once a week. Try it with a budget of $20 and then a budget of $50. Just be sure to keep track of what you do so that after each trial period you know what works best for your business.
Search for unlikely partnerships.
I truly believe that if you ever feel like your business is at a stagnant point, the easiest way to grow is to look for partnerships.
Partnerships are great because they introduce your business to a whole new audience that might not have otherwise been exposed to it.
This year, look for partnerships in unlikely places. Even if you’re just establishing a cross-blogging relationship, you’re still getting new exposure. As long as the content doesn’t look out of place on your blog, try as many cross-blogging opportunities as you can! Look to your customers, Google the top blogs in your industry, and always bring a business card with you when going out because you never know when you might meet your next partner.
Amp up the communication.
We can all communicate with our employees better. In 2015, try communicating with your employees every chance you get. Share with them sales goals and how the company is actually doing — this keeps everyone on the same page and fighting to achieve a common goal. Let people know when you’ll be out of town so that no one’s taken by surprise and all the necessary work is evenly distributed to who feels they can handle it. Finally, make an effort this year to remind your employees how thankful you are for all of their hard work and dedication to the company. After all, your business couldn’t run without them.