Your Business To-Do List for 2012

This post by jennott

Posted in Advertising, Business Conditions, Employees, Marketing, Technology
By: Jennifer Ott, MBA Student, University of Nevada, Reno

Depending on the industry, the beginning of a new year can be incredibly busy or the slowest time of the year. Wherever the start of a new year finds your business, January marks a good time to begin thinking of baseline business strategies. Here are six things that should be reviewed in order to keep your business running smoothly and moving ahead of the competition.

  1. Update your website.
    Begin by updating photos. Many businesses use the same photos and graphics for the About Us section or Products/Services section. With new images, viewers realize your website is active. Additionally, add to any blogs or newsletters and revise menus, staffing, or other items. These revisions immediately give your website an inexpensive facelift.
  2. Review pricing.
    Costs on shipping, fuel surcharges, supplies, utilities and other day-to-day items can slowly creep up during the year. Review all costs to make sure that pricing is maintained to produce a comfortable profit margin.
  3. Mystery shop your own business.
    Have a friend do an internet search for your business, call in to ask a question or schedule an appointment, and visit your location. Ask your friend to give a detailed account of your business so that you can determine how to improve customer service. This is important to get an honest view point that a customer might not be able to give you.
  4. Evaluate employee compensation.
    Every business person knows that great employees are hard to find. Keep employees loyal by evaluating compensation in your industry and being competitive in wages and benefits. It is widely written that employee turnover is one of the most expensive costs of business. Avoid these costs by keeping the talent in-house.
  5. Re-visit your competition.
    When starting your company, visiting competition was a main activity. Although there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, keeping track of the competition is a key ingredient to success. Knowing what bargains key players in the industry are offering, and what events they are participating in, are important to keeping pace. Anticipating growth opportunities that your competitors are pursuing are important to keeping ahead of the game.
  6. Get one new thing.
    Strive to add one new item to your business this year. This new item could be a big new client, an addition to your product line or service offering, or a new location or outlet for your services or goods. Adding one new thing to your business stimulates growth by creating fresh interest in your business and increases your client list.

Whether you are updating your web presence or evaluating yourself or your competition, this information is useful in growing a business. Each of these to-do items increases knowledge of the industry and gives a head-start to the new year.

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