Time for a New Year’s Business Tune-Up
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It’s that time of the year again—time to roll up your sleeves and commit to your New Year’s Resolutions. Only this year, why not cut yourself some slack on those personal resolutions that tend to get tossed before spring arrives? Instead, what about your professional resolutions—what can you resolve to do so that your business succeeds in the coming year? Here are a dozen ways to start 2019 with a clean slate and positive trajectory:
#1: Dig into Your Analytics
Before closing the books on 2018, why not learn from it? Dig into your Google Analytics and see how your website performed. What drove the most traffic? What pages engaged your audience the most or the least? What percentage of your visits came from a mobile device? Understanding your trends can help you improve your performance in 2019. And if nothing else, having a simple dashboard of metrics can keep your boss or your Board off your back! Check out these dashboards for inspiration.
#2: Know Your Competition
And as long as you are looking backwards, why not dig deeper and take a look at your business and your competition? A tried and true SWOT analysis can give you that big picture map of what you have to work with…and against. What are the strengths you want to turn into opportunities for 2019? Could you go deeper and conduct a competitive audit to better inform your threats? Odds are your competitive landscape may have changed over the last year. Here’s to making 2019 the year you leap-frog that competition with something truly innovative!
#3: Understand Your Audience
Perhaps one of your biggest opportunity areas in 2019 lies within a certain target segment, where you hope to grow your business. But what do you really know about them? If your website is charged with acting as your number one sales tool, how does it stack up against that target’s needs? You could conduct primary research with this prospective audience to optimally understand how your product or service could engage them on your website.
#4: Secure Your Website
Speaking of your website, here’s a quick and easy one for you: Make sure your SSL certificate is up to date. Search engines will ding you if your site is not secure.
#5: Get GDPR Compliant
While you are at it, does your site need to be GDPR compliant? The short answer is “yes” if you are taking information from individuals outside of the US. If you want the longer answer, here’s a primer on the subject. We’re happy to help you become compliant or secure.
#6: Install WordPress Updates
Now that you are on a roll and battening down your hatches… if your site is a WordPress site, you should make sure you’ve upgraded to PHP 7.2, as earlier versions will not be supported in 2019. While we’re on the subject, you may have read about the massive update to WordPress 5.0, aka “Gutenberg”. This update has been rolled out, but there are still bugs in the software. We’re waiting for a new release before we upgrade the sites we manage.
#7: Get New Business Cards
In 2019, you may resolve to make that magic “one new contact” each week. And if you do, what will you hand to them? Is your current business card the best reflection of your business? You may not be looking to make the dramatic impact of some of these award-winning (or losing!) cards, but there’s nothing like a new set of cards to put a little spring in your step.
#8: Improve Your Pitch
And if you get the chance to step on into a new business prospect’s office, how will you present your products and services? Is your elevator speech tight? Does your PowerPoint presentation cleanly explain your offering or inspire action in your audience? The start of the new year is a perfect time to revisit your pitch deck. If you are looking for a place to start, you might also check out our blog post on PowerPoint.
#9: Update Your Branding
After your great meeting, your prospective clients will absolutely check you out on all your social channels. First things first, is your branding consistent across all of your digital touch points? Stepping up from there, are you actively and appropriately posting and responding? And most importantly, do you have an umbrella social strategy that guides your efforts in these channels? We’d be happy to connect you with some experts in this field.
#10: Create an Explainer Video
A great question to ask yourself heading into 2019: could my product or service be better explained in a video? So many service offerings today are complex and/or innovative. The confluence of technology and speed of information leave many audiences begging for “explainer videos.” Not only is video content great for SEO, it’s also incredibly engaging and leveragable across channels. Here’s one of our all-time favorites.
#11: Start an Email Campaign
One great place to use video is within an email campaign. Consider utilizing this type of communication to attract your captive audience and drive them toward your site. Nearly 60% of executives agree that they’d choose to watch a video rather than read text.
#12: Get Your Team United
New Year’s Resolutions are about looking inward. Professionally speaking, we also suggest you look inside your company. Maybe you’re making a large shift toward a new market. Maybe you’re merging departments or even with another company. Or maybe 2019 is the year to re-articulate your services. Every employee is a touchpoint of your product or service. How can you better communicate what your brand has to offer so that your employees not only embrace the notion, but are also your brand’s best stewards? A couple of our longstanding partners work in this space. We’d be happy to connect you, should you need an employee communications strategy to ensure success in 2019.
Best of Luck in 2019!
There you have it, twelve relatively simple ideas that could improve small things from site performance, to critically important measures like client conversion. Which of these will make it onto your priority list? If you are feeling emboldened, or maybe even overwhelmed, we’d be happy to help you get off to a great start in 2019.