The new year is the perfect time to reflect on the past and work towards new goals. If you’ve put together some personal resolutions, why not work on some business resolutions as well? Now is the time to put together a new year business plan. Here are ten new years’ resolutions for small businesses on a budget.
1. Use Google My Business and Other Directories
How many online directories is your business listed on? Can people find your business through Yelp and other platforms? At the very least, you should have a Google My Business page. Directory listings make for an excellent way to create high-quality backlinks for your website. These backlinks make it easier for people to find your business and improve your website’s SEO performance. Google My Business is critical and one of our best new year small business tips.
As the name implies, the information you put on the page appears when someone searches Google for your business. This information includes all the essential things visitors need to know, including ratings, reviews, addresses, and phone numbers. All of the information is completely customizable. You can even post pictures and updates.
2. Create a Website
The reality is that you should have created a website years ago. If you don’t already have one, then now is the time to make one. A website gives people a singular online point for your business. One of the first things people do when looking for products and services is search Google. Having a website gives Google a place to send people when they do. With so many people around the world connected to the internet, you literally can’t afford not to have a business website. The right small business website design goes a long way to improving your bottom line.
3. Make Use of Social Media
There are plenty of benefits of social media marketing. One of the key benefits is that it costs nothing to create an account and make posts. You can use paid advertising to spread the word better. However, the right person can use social media to develop high-quality backlinks and post excellent social media post ideas without spending a lot of extra money.
Not sure where to begin? We have articles on using social media, Instagram, and Facebook.
4. Optimize Your SEO
It’s not enough to have a website; you also need to take steps to boost your SEO. SEO refers to “search engine optimization.” There are several ways to improve your website’s SEO performance, such as taking steps to create high-quality backlinks, improve search engine ranking, and optimize small business website design. The better your SEO, the higher your website appears in search engine results pages. This is why SEO is an integral part of new year business planning. You want to appear as close to the top of the results as possible. You want to be in the top five, at the very least. According to Moz, the first page of Google receives 71% of clicks and has even been reported as high as 92% in recent years. When was the last time you opened the second page of search results?
Looking for some specific SEO tips you can implement yourself? Download our free SEO guide or check out our tips here.
5. Paid Advertising
Many small businesses shy away from paid advertising. They think it isn’t affordable for them and want to put their money towards “better” things. The reality is that there’s plenty of variation in paid ad prices. If you were to ask, “how much do Google Ads cost?” the answer would be “less than expected”.
One of the benefits of paid search advertising is that you only pay when people click on your ad. People will only click on a search ad if they are likely to follow through and make a purchase. Paid advertising has a high conversion rate and gives you a significant temporary boost while you work on SEO and generating organic traffic and leads. Please don’t think you can’t afford paid advertising.
6. Employ Email Marketing
There’s a reason that email marketing has remained constant since it was invented – it still works and still gets results. You’ll have to put in some work to find the best cold email approach – or work with an agency that already knows it – but the benefits are worth it. Cold emails are less intrusive than cold calls, so people respond to them better. Are some people going to delete the email without reading it? Yes, of course. However, the number of people who do read and respond to the email makes it all worth it. Keep in mind that there is a difference between cold emails and spam. Ensure that you don’t cross that line and become a nuisance.
7. Implement Print Marketing
People say that print is dead, but we don’t believe that. It isn’t nearly as dead as people would have you believe. There are still many benefits to print advertising. One of the key benefits of having an ad placed in a newspaper or magazine is that people can’t use an adblocker like they can with online ads. Print advertising guarantees that the general public will see your message. Connect to a specialty magazine for better rates and to put your ad in front of people who are likely to respond to it.
Another tactic to consider is every door diret mail. Think of it like the cold calling of physical mail. You can select a mail route by demographic and send a promotional post card to every door, without having a list of addresses prior. Every door direct mail is also effective. In fact, two-thirds of direct mail is looked at and over 40% of consumers have made a purchase in the last three months because of a piece of direct mail they received.
8. Network to Local Groups
Every business person understands the importance of networking. For a small business, particularly a local business, networking with local groups is critical to success. Are there any groups in the area you can work with as part of a mutual partnership? Perhaps you could sponsor events put on by those groups or have them represent you somehow. The people around you will always be your most loyal customers – and the easiest to reach – so keep them in mind as you put together a new year business plan.
9. Showcase Testimonials
What’s one of the first things you when looking for products and services? It is likely checking the reviews. People want to know the kind of experience they can expect to get. They look to reviews and testimonials from others. In fact, 72% say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more. Be sure to showcase testimonials on your website. Let visitors know what your satisfied, loyal customers have to say about you. Seeing praise for your products and services puts them at ease and encourages them to trust you as others have.
10. Get Smarter
They say you should always work smarter, not harder. Your employees aren’t the only ones that benefit from learning more. If you have some quiet time this new year, then it’s time to pick up a book and get reading. Read industry magazines, books, blogs, and other resources you can find. Get to grips with all the latest trends in the industry. Learn everything you can to create the ultimate new year new business plan. Let 2021 be the year you learn more. Of course, this also extends to employees. Don’t neglect employee training this year. Get everyone up to speed and ensure everyone has all the tools and information they need to perform their best.
New Year Business Plan
We all make new year’s resolutions around this time of year. Don’t neglect your business goals as you work towards personal ones. Set some new goals for your business, such as investing in advertising and social media. Spend some time learning more about the industry and work on becoming an influencer. “New year, new me?” More like “New year, new business plan.”