As businesses wrap up the fourth quarter of the 2016 fiscal year, many of them are looking ahead and sorting out how to make 2017 a success.
Here are 10 tips for marketing your business should be utilizing or preparing to put into effect before the calendar turns to next year:
1. Prepare a Budget Projection
Too many businesses cut out projection preparation as they write up their business New Year’s resolutions. One of the most important steps in achieving business targets for the New Year will involve introducing projections and accountability. Start your projections by calculating your expected net income for each month of the year and projected monthly expenses. This will allow you to understand the number of monthly sales you will need in order to achieve profitability.
2. Evaluate Your Personnel
Ensuring success in 2017 will mean taking a step back and making sure you a starting with the right team. Give your business the best step forward by fortifying it with a team that runs like a well-oiled machine. This might mean shifting your team around to optimize their skillsets or hiring new team members or freelancers who can enrich productivity.
3. Check in With the Team
Q4 is the perfect time to check in with your staff and make sure that they’re happy with the work that they are doing for you. Sit down with them for feedback and don’t just listen to their comments and concerns, demonstrate to them that you’re ready to provide solutions. Show that they’re more than just monkeys tightening bolts on an assembly line and that they’re valued for their work.
4. Click the Refresh Button On Your Product Line
What rolled over from 2015 into 2016 might not be the product that the grabs the interests of 2017. Now is the time to evaluate your product line and determine if it’s up to snuff when it comes to customer demands. Breathe new life into what you have to offer by determining what solutions your current products aren’t currently solving and start innovating.
5. While You’re At It, Refresh Your Target Audience
Primarily going after millennials won’t be cutting it for businesses in just a few years time. Work with your team to find out how your company can get on board with the new generation and draw in an audience they hadn’t yet considered.
6. Check in With Your Customers
As the holiday season wraps up, you should be checking in with customers on social media and checking out their product reviews to get an understanding of what keeps them happy. Determine how you can continue to address their needs by offering customers incentives for filling out emailed surveys and writing up reviews.
7. Survey Customer Data Collection
Recording and keeping track of the information that customers give you will only reward you with results if you make sure that you’re analyzing the data. Truly get to know your customers by collecting the right data and analyze what sites your traffic is coming from. Look at the bounce rate on your site’s sub-pages and read your customers’ comments and reviews. Analyzing these observations will give you a more clear idea of the thought-process behind your consumers’ purchases.
8. Dive Into Social Media
Hopefully, you used early 2016 to get on board with social media changes and the impending mobile dominate marketing sphere. If you haven’t, you’ll find that 2017 won’t be so forgiving. Optimize your site for SEO and contemplate if now is the time for your business to consider creating a mobile app. Now is the time for your company to implement online outreaching efforts. This undoubtedly means putting the right experts behind your company’s keyboard of social marketing.
9. Upgrade Your Technology
Survey the tools that your company is currently utilizing and filter out the applications and software that work from the ones that aren’t. If your business hasn’t already updated security tools such as firewalls and antivirus software, don’t even wait until 2017— do it now. Employing the help of intranet software companies such as Interact, Jostle, or Bloomfire could mean all of the difference for your business path to 2017 happiness.
10. Remember, You’ve Got A Reputation To Protect
If you’re not Googling yourself or your business on the regular, it’s time to start. Reputation management is imperative for every business to implement all through the year, but this quarter it’s particularly important. Conduct a reputation audit and make sure to address negative feedback as best as you can. Look over crowd-sourced review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Foursquare and make sure you reach out to reviewers and commenters that don’t paint your business in the best of lights.
Read more: Danielle Langenderfer