Growing Your Business in 2013 Part 3

Marketing in 2013 and Social Media
I hear from many small businesses that they don’t want or don’t know how to get involved in social media.  They think it is too labor intensive, for the younger generation or expensive.  None of which are true!  Social media will soon become the new search.  Traditional advertising and marketing are becoming a thing of the past.  Who goes to the phonebook anymore to find a service provider?  Not many!  They go to their smart phone or computer and simply search online. We TIVO through commercials on TV and get irritated when our favorite shows beak to commercials every few minutes.  We want info to come to us on our terms and at our time.
Some food for thought for 2013:
  • How many of us use a service or buy a product based on a friends recommendation?
  • So how does social media affect your business?
  • What are people saying about you online?
  • Is your business being seen by your customers?
  • Are you easy to find?
  • When they find you is your website easy to navigate?
  • Is it mobile friendly (since most of us search through our cell phones).
  • Are they able to find what they are looking for quickly?
  • Are they communicating with you through the Internet?
  • Are you tracking these visits?
  • Do you know how long they spend looking through your website?  What pages are they most interested in?
  • Have you captured the visitors information somehow? (online inquiry or call to action form)
  • What are your competitors doing online?
Look at your current advertising and marketing efforts and then do a competitor analysis.  What can you do better than your competition?  Where are your potential customers?  How can you be seen by them?  What is your value proposition?  How will you convey this to your customers?

End of 2012

As we come to the end of 2012 it is a time to review our goals we set for ourselves and our businesses at the beginning of the year.  Did we hit them?  If not why?  What forces were at play?
Take the time to review what worked, what didn’t and start to create new goals for 2013.  Break down your goals into quarters and be specific on how you are going to obtain them.  Be accountable to your goals.As you are reviewing 2012 look at each goal and write down how you achieved it or why you fell short.

  • Did you overspend?
  • Did you lose accounts? Gain accounts?
  • Were you understaffed? Overstaffed?
  • Was it easy to meet your goals?
  • Did you make a profit?
  • Are you pleased with the performance of your business for 2012?
  • How would you do things differently in 2013?

Review your Business Plan for 2013.  It probably needs to be revised.

Did you give all of your employees performance reviews?  Do they know how you feel they performed in 2012?  Do they have a clear path on what you expect from them in 2013?  Do you need to revise job descriptions and task lists?  What incentives will you put in place to help them achieve the goals you are setting for 2013?  Are you allowing them to obtain additional education in order to do a better job for you? Are you encouraging them to contribute ideas to the growth and vision of the company?

Are you using current technology?  Are you creating a seamless experience for your clients?  What new technology can you implement for 2013 to benefit your clients?

What is your online reputation?  Did you maintain your social media accounts or were they stagnant for months with no new content?  Are clients engaging with you?  Are people talking about your business?  What are they saying?

Did you give back to your community?  What organizations do you support?

When was the last time you took a client out to lunch or called them just to check in?

As business owners we are accountable for the success and failure of our business.  As we near the end of the year, we hear all of this chatter about the “fiscal cliff”.  How will this effect your business?  Are you ready for what’s coming our way?

Some great resources for your review: