Another year is drawing to a close and as we wind down and prepare for the season’s festivities, it’s a great time to start making plans for what you want your business to achieve in 2019.
It may be time to let go of the old and finally embrace the new. Here are five ways to help kick start your new year... and your business.
1. Get up to speed with Social Media
Whether you like it or not and whether you use it or not, social media isn’t going away. If you don’t take the time to start utilising this global online freight train of a marketing tool for your business, you’ll be left behind.
Young entrepreneurs are social media savvy and are overtaking (and taking over) slower-to-act established businesses. It’s time to catch up!
Even if you’re managing to pop up the odd post, or have a social media savvy team member who takes on the task, it may be worth investing in some help. A social media marketing professional can assess how your business is (or isn’t) performing and create a strategy to bring you up to speed while seriously cutting down on your advertising costs. Some will even coach you or your in-house team member.
As part of your social media strategy also consider stepping into the world of Facebook Live. Yes, live video! Scary thought? Don’t worry, there are plenty of online tutorials, but the key is to keep it real. You may not think your business lends itself to Facebook live. It does! EVERY business is popping on to share information, tips and ideas and the audiences are lapping it up.
2. Outsource what you can
Before you argue that you don’t want to employ a company in another country to take over your customer service area, have a think about what outsourcing really means. By definition, outsourcing is the contracting out of jobs, tasks, operations or processes to an external workforce for a defined period of time.
Small to medium enterprises already outsource things such as accounting, legals, printing catering etc. The outsourced third party is employed to complete the task without any interruption to the business operations.
The question to ask is “What are we currently doing that could be done more efficiently and at a reduced cost if we hired someone else to do it?” IT services, marketing, HR, payroll, mailing, delivery are just a few of the areas of your business that could benefit from outsourcing.
The need may arise if your business expands at a rapid rate with internal staff unable to support that growth. You may be implementing a new process. Instead of investing time, money and resources to train and maintain internal staff, the work can be outsourced to a professional team either in-house or externally. You might also benefit from outsourcing during seasonal or promotional periods where a temporary team can step in.
3. Get your team on board
If you’re not using an online task management board such as Trello, Asana or Monday you may be missing out on some huge benefits. Increased productivity and team engagement, streamlined processed and less meetings are all great reasons to get ‘on board!’
You and your team can easily create, manage and share online boards, lists and calendars, even timelines. It’s a great way to cut down on communication time and keep your team on track... all at a glance.
4. Meet without leaving the office
Much as you might love a coffee catch-up with a colleague or potential client - and an excuse to leave the office - there are times when a video call will do the trick and prove way more productive.
Online platforms such as Zoom, BlueJeans or GoToMeeting offer an easy and reliable way to run video and audio conferencing, have a business chat and host live webinars. You can choose to record sessions, collaborate on projects, and share one another's screens. It makes meetings, presentations, interviews and tutorials much easier than trying to juggle a cup of coffee on your lap at a café while using an unsecured public Wi-Fi.
Video conferencing offers the convenience of never having to leave your office, allowing teams, colleagues and clients to log in from their desktop or even their phone. Just b.y.o. coffee!
5. Set aside that time to work ‘on’ your business
Ok, so this is an ‘oldie’ but it’s such a ‘goodie’ that it’s worth taking it into the New Year with you. The end of the year is a time for reflection, a time for goal-setting and planning. Remember to plan some time in there to work ‘on’ your business.
Easier said than done? Block out time in your calendar and here’s the key - stick to it! It’s important to step back and gain some real perspective – to look at your business from the outside in – see where you are, where you’re going and map out how to get there.
Here’s another great idea. Start implementing what you’ve already learnt. There will always be more webinars, more conferences and more online tutorials. Have you implemented those mind-blowing ideas you jotted down at the last event? With the wealth of knowledge available today, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
It may be the perfect time for consolidation and implementation. After all, actions speak louder than words and there will never be a shortage of words. It’s in applying all you have learned where growth truly happens.
For more digital essential tips, download Bartercard’s FREE Digital Essentials eBook
Let Bartercard help grow your business in 2019
Bartercard is the world's largest cashless business networking platform. It is designed specifically to expand your business and your profits. As a member you have access to an online marketplace where you can barter your products and services with other companies both nationally and internationally. We connect you with potential customers specifically looking for your product or service. We help expand your business using cash-less trading, to keep more cash in your business. That’s got to be a great thing at any time of the year!