Your business has made another successful trip around the sun. Now what? Just as swarms of freshly resolved fitness fanatics inundate gyms around this time, business leaders tend to take this opportunity to realign and look at what they want to change in the new calendar year. In short, businesses make resolutions, too.
Below is a short list of big areas you should focus on when looking to set your new course:
Marketing – Customers are like friends: you can never have enough. So whether your marketing efforts are pulling in new customers in droves, or making the sound of a tree falling in an empty forest, there are always ways to improve, and new avenues to explore. Programmatic advertising, the use of software to purchase advertising according to pre-calculated parameters (explained further here and here) is a shining example of an emerging trend that may soon be a new normal. No matter the approach, certain aspects of about modern marketing are clear: there are no canned processes, and it’s not easy. Reaching an evolving marketplace through evolving methods requires patience, creativity, and tons of data crunching. The days of buying an ad and sitting back are gone for good.
Customers – While much of the business world gravitates toward the conveniences of automation (see programmatic advertising above), it is critical to remember that customers aren’t just clicks and purchases, they are actual human beings. Just like you, people know when they are being manipulated. So just be honest with them. Don’t try to trick them into a low-value proposition just to add a name to your database or a “like” to your social media page. Tell them exactly what you intend to offer, then give that to them. It’s no coincidence the term “click-bait” has quickly become a notorious addition to our lexicon; it is easily recognizable and increasingly unappealing.
Employees – When reevaluating all aspects of your business, don’t forget to consider your most valuable asset. The people who comprise the face and core of your organization require constant respect and attention to growth. Assess past training initiatives and processes, and determine fresh approaches to rekindle passions. Carefully examine incentive programs. The best idea for connecting with your team? Communicate directly with them. Find out what they need, want, and aspire to. Then help them achieve their goals.
Processes – Many companies spin their wheels exactly the same way they always have, for no other reason than always having done it. It’s a new year. Be prepared to shake things up and try things differently. Actively seek different perspectives and new models. Rethink workflows and job descriptions. Gain clarity on the big picture and then think incrementally; a few saved minutes a day can result in huge efficiencies over the span of a year.