2019 is your year. It’s time to grow that business beyond your wildest dreams. But dreams aren’t enough to get you there. It takes hard work and implementation of tasks and projects that will bring you closer to your goals. If you’re ready to see a change in your business, there are 19 things you need to start doing. For those of you who haven’t already, resolve to:
- Start conversing. Social media needs to be social. Put an end to the broadcast messages. Make 2019 the year you start talking with your audience, not at them.
- Track data. There are tons of tools (some even free) where you can start tracking the numbers that matter to you most. Figure out your business goals and what it takes to achieve them, then put a plan in place on how you will track and analyze the data behind getting you there.
- Give away something small but unexpected. Wowing your audience is a great idea to help them remember you and think of you first. It needn’t be expensive. Give them a coupon for future use, a caligraphied card with an inspirational quote, a fortune in their bag, or even a muslin gift bag can brighten their day when it’s unexpected.
- Look for local sponsorships or ways to get involved. In order to buy from you, they need to think of you. Consider local sponsorships that can help you get in front of your ideal audience. These include PTAs, community sports teams, business collaborations, and local non-profits.
- Join a strong virtual group or Meet-up. Find a virtual group that helps you learn something new, network with people in your industry, or get in front of your ideal audience. Which type you join will depend on your goals for the year. Virtual groups also allow you to connect and grow on your schedule.
- Join the chamber. Virtual networking groups don’t take the place of chamber membership because those organizations don’t have the business clout or knowledgeable staff the chamber does. The chamber has a strong referral network and is tied into the community in a way the virtual networking groups aren’t.
- Work smarter not harder. Doing something every minute of your day doesn’t mean you’re doing the right kind of work to advance you toward your business goals for 2019. Don’t take on busy work. Prioritize your most important activities twice a day. Having said that…
- View everything as moving you closer to a goal or farther away. When you adopt this mindset, you acknowledge you only have so much time in a day and you focus your efforts on things that matter.
- Make time for that thing you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s a health check or business expansion, let 2019 be the year you finally get around to doing that thing you keep rescheduling. Turn the annoyance into an accomplishment.
- Get a business checkup. Whether you hire a coach, work with a mentor, read a successful business book, or join a Mastermind Group, getting a different opinion on your business can help you look at things in new ways. This new set of eyes may come with suggestions or advice on overcoming potential challenges in the future.
- Work on your employee culture. Nothing will derail your hard work faster than a toxic culture. Make sure managers clear the paths for those who work for them and everyone is focused on your business goal. Then, just like you do for your customers, find ways to engage and impress them with little wow moments. Everyone wants to be a part of something great. In order to help with that....
- Hire slow, fire fast. Be exacting in the kind of person who will not only be a good fit for the position but for the team as well. If you’re dealing with a toxic employee, handle it quickly for less fallout.
- Tell your story. Telling your story creates an emotional connection between your business and your audience. You want them to buy from you and that means they need to know, like, and trust you.
- Try (or learn) something new. Stagnation never benefits a business and your business won’t benefit from stagnant leadership. Try something new or learn something you’ve wanted to know more about. Then think of ways you can share that knowledge or your business can benefit from it.
- Explain what you do to a young child. When you explain your business to a kid, you have to perfect telling the story of what you do. You’ll need to make it quick (their attention span is limited), interesting (again, the attention span), and expressed in easy concepts. When you do this, you will see your business from a new angle and it may help in your elevator pitch.
- Build your list. If you’re not collecting email addresses of your customers and those interested in your business, you need to start now. Look into an email sender (there are free ones all the way up to several hundred dollars a month) that fits your business and start brainstorming a list of things your ideal audience would be interested in. This will help you stay top of mind and position you as a valuable resource for them.
- Become a thought leader. You likely know something about your business or industry that others don’t. Positioning yourself as a thought leader can help you get more exposure in areas that matter. It could also create a new revenue stream for you if you start speaking at conferences.
- Celebrate important days. Your social media content calendar requires a lot of content to keep it full. One way to get quick content is to search days of celebration for things that matter to your business. If you discover them with enough advance time, you can create fun contests around them. For instance, if you operate a restaurant you can offer a special on National Pizza Day.
- Laugh a little. Humor is contagious. Adding it into your social media can increase your shares. Adding a sense of humor to the office can improve morale. Employ it where you need a boost.
2019 is the year to finally get around to doing those things you’ve been putting off that will grow your business. Here are 19 solid ideas to get you started. What did I miss?
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.