The new year is fast approaching, and this can only mean one thing: new year’s resolutions. Every year, the majority of us will vow to improve ourselves in some way or another. But as a small business owner, why not take make some professional resolutions too? After all, no matter how successful your business is, there’s always room for improvement somewhere along the line. Even the world’s most successful brands acknowledge this and are constantly on a quest for self-improvement: that’s why they’ve made such a profound triumph of themselves! So, here are a few areas that most businesses can make positive changes to. Perhaps you will be able to apply them directly to your own company. Maybe you can alter them a little or use them as a springboard in the right direction. Either way, take note and begin considering ways to see your business flourish throughout 2018.
Simplify Your Business Process
There are so many different aspects of a business that need attention that you can often find yourself becoming overwhelmed. Sure, every business owner is going to experience high levels of stress at some point or another. But if you are stressed most of the time, this is something that needs to change. After all, how are you supposed to make informed, well judged and thought out executive decisions if your mind is constantly elsewhere? Territorial tendencies tend to be common amongst small businesses. This is understandable: you’ve built your brand from the ground and want to have complete control over everything that goes on within it. However, there’s only so much that one person can do and as your business expands, you’re going to have to accept a little help or support to keep things going. The answer to your problems? Outsourcing. This is ideal for those who aren’t quite ready to take on employed members of staff, but could do with alleviating a few stresses from their shoulders. Outsourcing allows you to put menial or repetitive tasks into the hands of others, freeing up your own time and focus, which you can then focus on other areas such as brand expansion and new product development. Common areas of outsourcing to consider include manufacturing, IT, market research, advertising, and scheduling or administrative tasks. If you want to make life even easier for yourself, you can look into eCommerce solutions. This is a one-stop solution for all of your eCommerce needs, including technology, marketing, creative design, photography, call center, and fulfillment services.
Consider a Brick and Mortar Store
If you’re currently based entirely online, but your brand is experiencing high demand and increasing success, it may be time for you to consider establishing yourself in a brick and mortar store. Sure, working solely online may be cheaper and easier. But creating a tangible space for your business gives off a real sense of legitimacy and authority. There are also numerous benefits that come hand in hand with a real-life store. First, you have a base where you can engage with people on a face-to-face basis. Sure, emails and other forms of online messaging may do the job. But there’s only so much you can do to offer high-quality customer service to consumers who aren’t in direct contact with you. Communicating in person, on the other hand, can allow you to get a better understanding of your customers and build a more loyal customer base. A brick and mortar store also allows potential buyers to handle your goods in real life. Whatever you’re selling, this means fewer returns. If you run a clothing company, people can try items on, determining whether they fit well. For other goods, people can get a true to life idea of the product’s color, size, and other details. You can also actively sell, encouraging people to view or consider alternative products, upgrades, or add-ons while they are with you in store.
Sure, when you’ve first set up, it may be tempting to grab your profits and run with them. However, you can use the new year to teach yourself how to reinvest in your company and brand effectively. Sure, this may mean a slightly less lavish personal lifestyle for yourself for a while. But the later rewards will be worth all of your patience. Consider reinvesting your profits into advertising and marketing campaigns, boosting your brand awareness and bringing your goods and services to the attention of more people. Alternatively, bring manufacturing in-house and invest in the equipment that you currently rely on others to use.
Sure, the past year may have been great for business. But never settle or become complacent. Make 2018 even better!