New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business
Yes, it’s that time of year again; time to work off those mince pies and start the year with a positive attitude to the year ahead, which for most of us normally includes making a few health-related resolutions.
And while you are thinking about the state of your waistline, don’t forget to think about the future health of your business this year as well! Here’s a quick guide to 10 resolutions you can make to give your business a boost for 2012:
1) Review your company logo. A logo has an important role to play in representing a business, as it is usually the very first thing a client will see. It needs to be professional, memorable, relevant and modern. If you already have a well-established logo you may not want to completely replace it as your customers will already recognise it – but a subtle revamp is worth considering, keeping it fresh and appealing.
2) Get a website. If your business doesn’t actually have a website yet then you are sending out a very strong message that your company doesn’t move with the times. All types of business can have a website, they don’t have to be internet-based. Even if it is just a single page website – get one! With the popularity of smartphones ever increasing, a website will enable your business details to literally be at the fingertips of your customers. (Think of it as a rather large business card.) You may not be able to be found online yet – but your competitors can!
3) Have a business stationery set designed. After your business logo, you may not be able to necessarily guarantee which item of your business’s stationery your customers will see next. Compliments slip? Invoice? Business card? Don’t guess – just make sure it all looks great by getting a business stationery set designed and then everything will complement each other professionally.
4) Add an email newsletter sign-up facility to the homepage of your website, and send out an informative and well-designed email newsletter to tell your clients. They can contain information regarding new products, special and exclusive offers, articles and blogs, competitions, reviews, member events, and so much more.
5) Provide your customers with the facility to write reviews about your business – for example by registering with an outside source such as Google Places, which includes a reviews section. Some business directory websites (such as freeindex.co.uk) allow you to download a widget and add the reviews received on their site to your own website. Or you could have a specific review/testimonial page designed for your website. Reading positive accounts from genuinely happy customers will reassure new ones.
6) Get yourself online. Once you have a website, you can add your business details to the huge range of online business directories available (many of which are free). You can also join your business up to the great range of social networking sites available, such as facebook, twitter and Google+. Another idea is to have some static or animated banners and buttons designed and use these on relevant websites that have advertising space available for a fee.
7) Do some research on publications that reach your target clients (such as newspapers, magazines, books etc) both printed and online, and place a well-designed advertisement. Bear in mind that printed publications are produced well in advance to allow time for printing, so plan ahead or you may miss the submission deadline date.
8) Sponsor a local event. Depending on your type of business, you may be able to provide a service at a subsidised rate or for free, and in return you will be raising your business profile within the local community. Sponsoring an event usually includes having your business logo and details on the event’s promotional literature, which can include posters, advertisements, programmes etc.
9) Exhibit at a trade show/exhibition. This is a great way to reach your audience and leave a lasting impression. Ensure your stand looks as professional as possible by getting eye-catching posters and banners designed. It is also advisable to take substantial printed marketing material with you, such as glossy brochures, interesting leaflets, and business cards, as they will help the client remember you – crucial after a hectic day where they will have spoken to many people. Ensure you get your artwork designed well in advance of an exhibition date to allow time for printing and delivery.
10) Find your business a reliable and professional graphic and web