Though many people make New Year’s resolutions, 4 out of 5 of us will break them. However, small business owners have a resolution that they can't afford to let go of: growing their business. “With economic pressures likely to continue in 2012, it will be more important than ever for small business to find creative ways to grow sales and keep a close eye on cash flow,” Fred Graziano, head of Government and Small banking for TD Bank, tells Marketwatch. So if your resolution is to grow your money tree, here are a few tips for making 2012 a fiscal success:
Communication. Lots of it.It is essential to involve your team in the growth process; encourage them to participate in planning for the business. Facilitating an open dialogue and allowing everyone to be involved in the planning process will produce greater results. To create an atmosphere conducive to open participation, schedule weekly staff meetings that include business planning as one of the main topics of discussion. If you have a small office or work from home, rent a conference room.
If your staff members are in various locations, host a virtual meeting. With video conferencing, conference calls, group web chats and more, it is easier than ever to keep all team members in the loop.
Constantly promote your business.If you want to attract new clientele, promotion must be a top priority. Promotion can easily slip down on your to-do list during the day to day tasks that are more pressing and time sensitive. It is important to remember, however, that no new customers equals no new business. Make it a goal of 2012 to hire a marketing expert or create a marketing plan on your own and follow through. If you go the DIY route, be sure to create a timeline for projects and campaigns, assign due dates, and delegate responsibilities to applicable team members. Most importantly, ensure that results are tracked in order to measure the success of each component of your plan.
Combine learning and networking into one activity.Learning something new and adding to your skill gives your business new dimensions. If you choose to learn in a group setting, you just might meet your next big customers or recruit a talented employee. Joining a business organization or networking group is a fantastic way to go about doing this. Look into your local meetup groups and learn, network, and promote all at the same time!
When all is said and done, take some time to celebrate your accomplishments with your team! Following through with your objectives is hard work that deserves to be rewarded. Organize a meeting devoted to reflecting on and recording your successes. This exercise helps you recognize how far you've come and what you are capable of, and can also serve as a powerful motivation tool for future endeavors. After reviewing your accomplishments, establish new goals for the year ahead and make a commitment to see them through.