For individuals, the start of a new year is the perfect time to make resolutions and focus on self-improvement as it is a symbol of new starts and beginnings. Those who own a small business should also use this time of year to make changes and improvements that will help them see growth in their company and its profits and will not only benefit them throughout the year but in years to come. For businesses looking to make changes in the New Year, here are four areas that you can improve to help make your business better in 2014.
Focus on your Brand
Branding should have already been a focal point for your business in 2013, so 2014 should be the year to fill the gaps and create a succinct brand and company image that reflects the professional and personal nature of your business.
A brand is more than just a carefully designed logo and visual marketing plan and should be inclusive of your company’s beliefs, ethics and ideals which are also clear and consistently projected in the brand you create. When creating or developing a brand, consider were it will be apparent, and make sure that your brand designs and ideas can be easily transferred to a variety of platforms.
Consider your Ethics
Ethics in business is not only a strong selling point but also has many other benefits, so making changes to your company to ensure that it has better ethical values will help your business immensely.
Along with government bodies often viewing ethical and charitable businesses favourably, you can often reduce expenses by using ethically sourced items, and of course, become more appealing to the public and consumers due to the morale stance your business takes. You might want to consider choosing a charity to sponsor for the year, and begin to arrange money-raising events that help with donations and are perfect for team building efforts.
Image Credit: Creative Commons
Look to Your Customers
For many businesses, their loyal customers are the reason they exist as without them they would have financially failed long ago, so take the New Year as a time to reassess and review customer needs to ensure that you can deliver the service and standards that they desire.
Use January as a time to conduct feedback surveys and collate data that can highlight any issues and be used to make improvements and changes that will help it continue to be customer focused and drive sales and trade.
Your business may have done very well during 2013 but sadly, that does not guarantee that it will continue to do so in 2014, so you need to consider alternative business plans and marketing methods that you can use should things start to go a bit stale and you see profits start to dip.
Alternatives don’t necessarily have to replace your existing methods, but could also be introduced alongside them to create better results. For instance, as your business expands, you may find the need to introduce and develop more complex forms of marketing and include a combination of visual advertising, television commercials and press releases, to achieve better results and so that it gives a better reflection of your company’s standing in 2014.
Beth Stubbings thinks that businesses should be looking to use the New Year to make improvements and start development. She would recommend New Business to any owners looking for business advice.