The New Year is just around the corner. Now is the time to prepare your business for the year ahead.
We know you’re focused on the holiday shopping season and the company holiday party. However, if you don’t start preparing now, you will be likely to miss your competitive advantage.
Here are a few guidelines to help you plan for business success in 2019!
Business Review and Research
As you’re working through your budget planning and end-of-year-close out, take time to truly evaluate this past year:
- Competitive Analysis: Complete a competitive analysis so you fully understand where your competition is in comparison to your business.
- Review Sales: Review your sales and see what products and services sold most and create strategies to build on that momentum.
- Review Marketing: Review your marketing and email campaigns and take note of what performed well (high click-through and engagement rates and email open rates).
- Market Trends: Research what trends the industry has identified for the coming year and brainstorm on how you can incorporate them into your brand.
- Customer Service: Survey your customers to see what they would like and review your customer service reports for where they reported issues with this past year.
- Review Your 2018 Goals: Take a look back at the goals you set for 2018 and evaluate how you did on them. How many did you achieve? What can you learn from both your successes and failures?
Business Strategy for 2019
Now that you have all the facts at your disposal, it’s time to start creating your strategy. Let’s focus on a few key categories:
- Customer Support: This is one of the most overlooked, and easily winnable opportunities in most businesses. Responsive, helpful and honest customer support can boost loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Using tools like ChatBots and Facebook messenger, companies can create immediate answers to the most common questions — giving customers instant gratification. When customers feel important, they’ll tell their friends and remain loyal to your brand.
- Digital Presence: Technology changes constantly. You want your brand to appear as being on trend and your website is a great place for that. If you haven’t updated your website in more than two years, then it’s time for a website refresh.
To maximize your digital presence, your website should be mobile-friendly and built with responsive design. It should also contain components to organically grow your email marketing lists, house content that includes video, and be visually uncluttered. If you’re looking to ramp up your online marketing game, then make sure your website is doing its part.
- Online Marketing: There’s no mistake that marketing via social media is now a must. According to a recent survey from DMA, social media spend is expected to increase by 18-percent within the next five years. How much will you ramp up your efforts to compete?
Define goals for your marketing strategy to incorporate more social media engagement, including videos on YouTube and stories on SnapChat; grow your email lists organically and create targeted campaigns for your segmented email list; and strive to share your company’s personality through your various social activities.
Consumers want to work with a brand they feel they connect with, so being less formal and more playful and honest, allows the consumer to build a relationship with you for the long-haul.
While there’s no doubt that your overall plan will be much more detailed and cover even more areas, creating a solid strategy around these three key categories will give your business the jump on your competition and help you rock 2019 from day one!
At SBOS Web Solutions, we know how to make brands look good and get noticed. If you need assistance with a website redesign, video creation, or even to outsource your social media marketing efforts, contact us and let us help you make a splash in 2019!