It is the end of the year and as a small business owner, you are overwhelmed. You need to wrap up Q4 numbers, handle higher holiday sales (sometimes with less staff!), and somehow make sure customer service doesn’t get put on the back burner. You don’t have time to worry about 2017 yet, right? Wrong.
A goal without a plan is just a wish, as they say. To succeed in 2017, a well-developed marketing plan in-hand ahead of the new year is a must. What are your goals? Who do you want to reach? What’s the story that you want your brand to tell your customers next year? What is your top priority for the first quarter? These are all questions you need to be able to answer.
Before you get overwhelmed, take a deep breath. We’re here to make sure you know what matters most in the new year. If you haven’t tackled the following tasks yet, it is time to make them a priority.
With more and more people heading to the internet to do research before opening their wallets you NEED to have an easy to use, informative website. Nearly all your advertising and marketing efforts are connected to your website, which is why it is so vital. Here is what you need to focus on, if you haven’t already.
- Get Mobile Ready – Now: Google announced this past year that they would start penalizing sites that are not easy to access on mobile. As more and more people ditch the lap tops for mobile devices, this is only going to become more important. Make sure your site is mobile responsive and easy to use.
- Look at Traffic Analytics Regularly – If you are investing resources into your website, don’t you want to make sure your investment is making a difference. Set a quarterly task to dive into your analytics reports so you can see what is working and what isn’t.
- Test Usability – Do you have broken links on your site? Does your contact form work? Did you forget to update a plugin, leaving you venerable to hacking? Take the time to check your website’s UX and backend once a month. Look for updates, notifications, and any red flags that something is not working properly. Then get it fixed!
Build Better Relationships with Your Customers
People buy from other people, not brands. That is why the relationships you build with your customers matter so much. Take the time to create a stronger relationship and you will find your business is more successful and more satisfying.
Contact More than Just to Send an Invoice
Money matters, but so do relationships. If the only time a customer ever hears from you is when they get that automated billing email, you are missing a huge opportunity. Take the time to contact them for other reasons – to wish them a happy new year, to recognize their birthday, or to send them a personalized recommendation.
Get Your Contacts Organized
It is time to organize your contact database (or get one, if you still think Outlook counts). Taking the time to create and organize your contacts in to a database is labor intensive in the beginning, but the benefits are overwhelmingly positive. Plus, once it is in place, building a process makes it simple to maintain.
In the first quarter, set aside a time to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) assessment. Above all, don’t forget about that T. Taking the time to analyze possible threats to your business means you can plan a response in advance. What would you do if your supplier suddenly raises prices considerably? What if you lost a long-time employee? Get plans in place so you can be prepared.
Stop Wasting Money on Advertising
This is not to say you shouldn’t advertise – just make sure you know what that money is going towards and what difference it is making. Take the time to make sure all your marketing dollars are being tracked – both online and in real life. As a small business owner, you need to know your resources are being leveraged correctly.
Getting ready for marketing in 2017 doesn’t have to be overwhelming! If you need help determining what your priorities should be or how to track where your marketing dollars will do the most good, we can help! Contact Kazmania today to learn more.