Happy 2020! We are looking forward to a year of success, growth and learning with all of our small business friends. The new year is often a stressful time for people, personally and professionally. It’s a common time to look at our lives and re-evaluate where we are, what we’re doing and where we want to be. It can be overwhelming when we set ourselves up with lots of personal goals, and then remember, we need to make professional goals too! On the other hand, it’s very exciting to have a “fresh start” and to focus on the growth we want to see in our lives and our businesses. 

 

It doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming to set your business up for success in the new year. There are many little things you can do that will make a big impact on the future success of your business, and you might already be doing some of them!

 

How can you, as a business owner, manager or future entrepreneur, set your business up for success in 2020 and beyond?

 

Implement Effective Customer Communication Strategies

Consumers are telling businesses what they want as far as customer communication everyday, but are businesses listening? We know that customers are drawn to businesses like Amazon.com, and it’s not just because of their low prices. People love the quality of customer care that Amazon provides, and they make it so easy to talk to someone whenever you have a question or a concern. If you’re wondering whether or not customers want to be able to reach you at the drop of a hat, through webchat or other automatic messages, consider this: When you’re the customer and you have a question or concern that needs to be resolved, do you like the waiting game that can take several days or even a week before you get a response? Probably not. Implementing effective customer communication strategies means that your business is providing customers with easy and convenient ways to communicate with you, any time. 

 

Customer engagement is another key to effective customer communication. If your customers never hear from you, chances are you will never hear from them either. Consumers have access to any and every business in all industries just by typing in a quick search. Most likely, customers won’t become loyal to your business after just one visit if the interaction doesn’t continue. Engage with your customers through SMS text messages, email, webchat and social media so they know you’re available whenever they need you. 

 

Set Reasonable Financial Goals for Your Business

Whether you’re just starting out and you simply want to break even financially this year, or you’re searching for investors for your business, make sure your goals are reasonable. Setting goals for yourself and your business that are too far out of reach only causes disappointment and feelings of failure. Instead, set goals that you have to work toward but are also attainable. If you want your business to grow, your revenue has to grow. We all know that, but it’s easier said than done. However, setting your sights too high won’t do your business any favors. Set reasonable financial goals for your business and work toward them in 2020 so you can set higher goals next year. 

 

Focus on Improvements You Need to Make to Your Products/Services

No matter how awesome a business may be, we all have room to improve. Focus on improvements that need to be made to your products and/or services to meet your customers’ needs. If you receive a lot of negative feedback about a certain chemical in a pest control product you use, it might be time to explore other options. If you hear from customers that your employees aren’t as friendly as they should be, consider training them and setting customer service goals that will benefit your business.

 

On the other hand, you should always focus on the positive as well. If you receive positive feedback from your customers about a specific product or service that you provide, you know that you’re doing something right and you should continue with your methods. If your customers are happy, you should be too!

 

Work on Your Online Reputation

First of all, what’s an ‘online reputation?’ Your business has a reputation online, whether you keep up with it or not. Your online reputation is, collectively, all of your listings online and where you show up in searches, what your reviews say about you, and how you respond to those reviews. If your business isn’t already listed on several different social platforms and search engines (i.e: Google, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, Twitter, etc.), 2020 is the time to fix that. Consumers are searching all over the web, every single day, for businesses just like yours. If you aren’t showing up or your information is inaccurate, you’re missing out big time.

 

Now, how do you work on your reviews? 

  • Focusing on gaining more online reviews is a great place to start. Ask each and every happy customer you work with to review your business online. Let them know how beneficial it will be to your business and make it a habit of asking for reviews.
  • Respond to each and every review your business receives. Whether the review is positive or negative, respond in a timely and professional manner in order to keep your online reputation up to snuff.
  • Make necessary changes based on feedback. None of us like to hear negative critiques, but often times it is very important information we’re receiving. If you have an employee or policy that receives more than their fair share of negative feedback from your customers, it might be time to re-evaluate that aspect of your business.

 

Keep Your Attitude Positive

Keep your attitude positive! This one should be easy, right? It’s the only thing on this list that YOU are in total and complete control of. However, it’s not always that easy to keep your spirits high and your attitude positive when you’re running a business. It’s a tough job and there’s a lot of stress and overwhelm that comes with being a business owner. There are some things you can do in order to help your attitude stay more positive at work, and in general:

  • Take time off when you need it.
  • Pat yourself on the back: You work hard and you’ve accomplished a lot, even if you don’t always see that.
  • Remind yourself why you started your business and stay passionate about it.
  • Delegate your work. Don’t force yourself to do everything just because you can. 
  • Utilize the tools that are in place to make your life easier. 

 

Making your business successful and focusing on its growth is a big job. The good news is, FreshLime is here for you every step of the way! Whether it’s customer service, retention or your online reputation that your business struggles with, we’re here to help. 

 

We hope you have a great 2020 and we look forward to helping your business dreams come true!

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. 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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