2017 is coming to a close and businesses are gearing up for what is to come in the new year. A new year means a clean slate and a chance for new opportunities. As a small business, you're probably reflecting on the successes of the past year and thinking about what you’d like to change as you move forward. We highlight four ways you can make 2018 your best year yet.
1. Evaluate your brand:
What do you want consumers to say about you (to themselves or to their friends) after their next visit to your business? Your brand defines how consumers perceive you, so you want to make sure it is still relevant to your business goals in the new year. Are your strategies still the same as they were in 2017? Do you still want to convey the same message about what your business is and what you offer to customers? The term “brand” doesn’t only include your logo design and color scheme, but how you tell your business’ unique story. With the increasingly influential presence of technology, it is key to make sure your brand is consistent across all channels and mediums. And first impressions matter! With a new year just beginning, you’re sure to want to attract even more customers than the year before. First impressions are incredibly important to develop loyalty; 48% of consumers report that they are more likely to become loyal to a brand during the first purchase or experience. If you start the new year with a consistent brand message and feel, your business will be more likely to gain trust from consumers.
2. See the significance in being social:
In today’s world, where millennials and Generation Z have the most purchasing power, you simply need to keep up with their fast-paced, tech driven demands. Do you have a strong social media presence? Are you interacting with your client base online and on different social platforms? 62% of millennials saying that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. A consumer may reach out to you via direct message on Twitter to ask a question about a daily menu special, and you'll want to be able to respond in a timely and helpful manner. You may even want to post a survey to Facebook to find out what new services clients want to see at your salon. Knowing that their opinion matters will show consumers that your business goes the extra mile. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to gain loyalty from this generation. After all, they’ll be spending an estimated $3.39 trillion by 2018. Putting in the extra effort to build your brand presence online and on social channels can significantly help your business not only be recognized, but be trusted for years to come.
3. Stay on top of trends:
Consumers are fueled by trends and are often looking for the latest and greatest products and services. Being knowledgeable about what currently attracts crowds can come in handy for brand acknowledgement. As a restaurant owner, do you have a new recipe that has the potential to receive recognition from bloggers? It’s no secret that food videos are viral on social media and inspire people to visit restaurants just to try that buzzworthy dish. I’ll admit, I’ve driven far out of my way just to visit a pizza place I discovered on Instagram. As a salon, are you prepared to keep up with the latest in nail trends? 2017 gave way to geometric patterns and metallic polish, but 2018 spring trends predict a more natural and pastel approach. Having what your clients are looking before they walk through your door is sure to impress.
4. Keep it current:
A new calendar year is the perfect time to reevaluate your products or services. Have you thought about making changes to your menu? Are you running any holiday specials that you didn’t last year? You want to make sure that you’re clearly communicating your current offerings both in-house and online. If a returning customer comes in for their favorite burger that you removed from your menu, but is still showing as available online, they’ll probably be extremely disappointed. Utilize the power of technology to make your job as an owner easier and the customer experience better. With 3.74 billion internet users in the world, your online presence matters. You want to be easily searchable and accurate. Start the new year off right by having the correct business listings and information available to consumers. Keeping up with consumer demands and the trends of the times is key when entering into a new calendar year.
With 2018 quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to evaluate your business and prepare for a successful year ahead. Utilize these tips to make sure you have a competitive edge moving forward. To get more content like this, subscribe to our blog!