It’s time for a new year, which means new successes, new failures, new learning opportunities and new changes. For many businesses, small and large, 2018 was a year of learning, growth and progress. As the year ends, business owners should take the time to evaluate their business throughout the past year and learn from mistakes and successes. We all know the quote by philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This applies to businesses as well because if we don’t learn from past failures and complaints, we will keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of several tips the entrepreneurs say they learned and put into motion in 2018:

Prepare for Customer Feedback: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Every business owner has dealt with the frustrating experience of receiving negative feedback online. On the other hand, they have also experienced the joy of positive reviews from happy customers. The good news is that even though you’ll get customer feedback that is “bad”, you can use it as a learning experience for your business. Your good feedback can also be a learning experience, and is also positive reinforcement that all of your hard work is paying off. Some of your feedback might be plain old ugly. This could come in the form of a customer who is just simply never satisfied and always looking for something to complain about. It could also be a service gone terribly wrong and even though it was a fluke, that customer wants to let everyone know. There are lots of ways to deal with this feedback, even when it’s not so good.

There are some things you can do to prepare for all sorts of feedback about your business:

  • Respond to all reviews, whether they are good or bad.
  • Respond professionally to the bad and thankfully to the good.
  • Make things right if there was an issue on your end.
  • Prepare your employees to ask for reviews from their happy customers.
  • Check on your online feedback regularly.

Embrace & Utilize Automation as Early as Possible

Karlene Agard of ARAVUN says that, “Time is the only resource we can’t get more of, so treat it with care. Automation and outsourcing will enable you to work on your business and not just in it.” How true that is! Most business owners don’t have an extra 10-20 hours in their week to focus on customer engagement, building up their online reputation and data management. Luckily, all of those things can be automated through FreshLime’s platform. Allowing important business aspects to be automated will help you save time and energy to focus on other things in your business, and make your business start to work for you. Many entrepreneurs are pushing others to focus on automation in their business, specifically on the marketing side of things. Why? Because that’s where business is headed now. Technology is everywhere and your customers aren’t willing to wait around for you to get your message out to them. Remember, your competitors are likely automating their business as well. Make sure you have the upper hand!

Know Your Data

This one sounds scarier than it is. Luckily, FreshLime has your back once again. Not only does FreshLime focus on marketing automation, but we also focus on storing your important data for you and making it easy to understand. When you know your data, you know where your money should be spent, where your money is being wasted, what products/services are the most beneficial to your business and who your customers are. You can’t properly market to your customers if you don’t know who they are, what they are interested in from your business and where they are coming from. When you know your data, you know all of these things and more. Knowing your data is a big business tip for 2019, because of how much your data means to your business. Once again, it’s all about technology and you need to keep up in order to succeed.

Hopefully we can all learn from the mistakes of other business owners/entrepreneurs and avoid the same issues. Use this list as you start up your new year in business and focus on any changes you need to make with your business.

Happy New Year!
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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