The year 2013 is fast approaching and we don’t need to wait for the New Year’s Eve to come to make a plan for our business. At this moment of time, we can already take a look of what lies ahead so that we could make a plan and make better decisions. Some businesses are failing and some are flourishing. But no matter how fine our business is going, we have to admit that we need to consistently strive to achieve betterment. The following are important tips to further grow your small business in the year 2013 and beyond.
1. Content reigns again
Small businesses should never ignore Internet marketing, such as blogging, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and social media marketing. As we see it happening this 2012, online marketing success is becoming more directed to quality content. Search engines (like Google) and users of social media (like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Internet blogs) are now giving more importance to valuable content that can be useful to them.
Therefore, if you want more success for your small business in 2013, strengthen your business’ online presence by creating a website or blog with unique and useful content that will satisfy search engines and social media users.
2. Be truly social in the social media
Social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn, have been the favorite places of small business owners and marketers in promoting their businesses and brands to attract more customers. But in order to succeed in your social media marketing campaigns, you should not only create presence, but you have to consistently build a presence that connects to people and create lasting relationship.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs can create Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, and other social media accounts for free to start promoting their products and services. However, they should not just create pages and then leave them there. They should talk and connect like humans to humans. Where is your presence if you will not communicate or reply on your Facebook page when somebody will ask you about your certain product?
Hence, quality is very important in social media marketing. In other words, you rather create one active and engaging Facebook page than create multiple social networking pages which are inactive and don’t engage with customers.
3. Explore mobile marketing
The Internet has been extending not only to desktop computers, laptops, and notebooks, but also to mobile phones. By the year 2013, more and more people will have smart phones that could connect to the Internet anytime and anywhere. Thus, tapping the mobile market or audience should not be ignored.
You may try promoting your business on social networking sites that uses application for mobile devices like Foursquare which uses the location of its users using GPS (Global Positioning System). It is also important that your company website or blog become mobile-friendly so that mobile users can access it more effectively and efficiently.
4. Strengthen your reputation
In this world where information technology is fast advancing, you have to protect your reputation and integrity at all cost. Take note that with a single post on blogs, Facebook, Twitter or other top social media sites, any information about your brand could spread in an instant. Thus you’ve got to focus on your business integrity.
The best way to protect your integrity is to start from ensuring quality on your products or services. Remember that no matter how many good things you publish about your business to promote your brand online and offline, a single negative but truthful testimonial about your brand could ruin your business in an instant.
However, even if you have already ensured business quality and brand excellence, you still have to monitor what people are saying about your business. There are many free tools that you can use to monitor what people are saying about your business online. For example, you can use Google Alerts to receive email about your keyword search results for keyword mentions in Google news, webs, blogs, and videos. You may also use Topsy.com to determine retweets and other social media mentions about a certain search terms related to your business.
5. Protect your business data
With the advancement of information technology, security threats may also advance. Hence, small business owners have to strengthen their security measures to protect their website and other data online and offline. This may sound additional cost, but business owners must consider its benefits over the cost of lost and corrupted data.
Some of the important ways to protect your business and secure its data are conducting a security check or audit, using strong passwords, data encryption, creating security policies, installing effective security software, educating your employees, and creating file backups.
6. Innovate leadership
Effective leadership and management inside any business organization, whether small or big, should always be improved to accomplish its organizational goals. Thus, business owners should continue motivating their employees, providing them welfare, training them to be more competitive and productive, and building powerful teamwork inside their organization.
Remember that business innovation doesn’t only mean advancing technologies on your business, but it also mean advancing management and leadership inside your organization. Hence, if you want to achieve more business success in 2013, make sure to develop yourself to be a better leader and manager this coming year and beyond.
7. Be socially responsible
Our planet is getting older and the human kind will be more concerned about making a good change in this world we live in. Thus, make your business green, community-friendly, and socially responsible. In the future, more businesses will be audited in terms of safety and quality. And even if your small business will not be required to undergo that audit, the public eyes are becoming more vigilant these days. That is why you have to build your small business to be socially responsible to earn the trust and confidence of the people.
This cause may cost you additional time, energy, and money. But the reward of having a socially responsible business doesn’t only goes to your business – it goes to all humanity, as well as the human in you.
There are many other important things that we have to consider to prepare for the coming year or years. Some of these things are revolutionary while others may be traditional. However, it doesn’t matter if it’s modern or ancient. What matters is it’s changing your business for development.