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New Year's resolutions for your business

While you may or may not be succeeding with your personal New Year's resolutions, a new year provides an opportunity and impetus for change in your business too. From your digital marketing strategy to better employee and customer engagement, we examine a few goals you could set your sights on in 2019.

Have a chat with your employees about their career goals for the year

Whether or not you conduct annual performance reviews with your staff, having a clearer understanding of what your biggest asset – your people – want to achieve in their professional lives can be mutually beneficial. If you can align your company’s goals with those of your employees, there’s motivation from both sides to reach your targets faster.

You may have an intern who’d like to upskill themselves for a career in marketing and could become your social media or SEO champion, an aspiring accountant who could help you streamline your cashflow better, a worker who’d like to learn about the principles of Lean or Six Sigma… but you won’t know until you have an honest face-to-face with them. Make it clear you are welcome to ideas and input throughout the year too.

Get your IT and business departments talking to each other

Too often, the employees in your IT department are the folks you call only when something goes wrong. But in a tech-dominated world where innovation can really catapult your business to a whole new level, it’s foolish not to make better use of this valuable asset. Make sure your IT department is actively involved in what’s going on in the business, so they can get a clearer understanding of where your key challenges and bottlenecks are. Armed with this knowledge, they’ll be able to come up with tech-based solutions that could free up a huge amount of time and money for real value-adding activities. If your business isn’t quite not large enough to have its own IT department yet, make sure you're partnering with an IT company that’s willing to immerse themselves in the culture of your business and really get to know how you operate.

Focus on improving your digital marketing strategies

The world of digital marketing changes rapidly, and if you haven’t revisited your online strategies in a while, now is the time to do so. Focus on the following key areas for 2019:

  • Quality content that brings in organic traffic

When it comes to the kind of content rewarded by search engines, quality trumps quantity more and more. Instead of a low-quality blog post three times a week, focus all your energy on creating an in-depth piece that genuinely adds lasting value for your website visitors. If you can include original media like a short video, images, infographics or audio content, even better. Updating old content so that it continues to add value is another great way to get more use out of your existing efforts.

  • Get more creative with your social media

If you didn’t manage to rack up the kind of interaction you want with your customers over social media in 2018, it might be time to shake things up a little. You might want to try injecting a little more humor, using different media types, or even experimenting with different platforms like Instagram or even Snapchat. Having a calendar and schedule in place so you remember to post regularly without appearing ‘spammy’ can also be a great initiative.

  • Make sure you're mobile-friendly

If you do one thing for your digital marketing efforts this year, making sure your website is mobile-friendly should be it.

Align with a cause

Your Millennial and Gen Z customers have a big thing in common – they prefer to purchase products and services that give back, support a worthy cause, or have a reputation for ethical and sustainable practices. And they're happy to pay more for those that do.

Whether it’s assisting a local charity, school or animal shelter, making your next teambuilding event a volunteer project or even better, allowing your customers to get in on the action through supporting your products, it’s a great way to drive up customer engagement and build your brand reputation. Even if they aren’t in the market for your services at the time, many younger customers will try and do their bit by sharing your message on social media and helping to spread the word – and who doesn’t welcome free advertising?

Be more adaptable

No matter what field you're in, being innovative and standing out from the crowd is always good for business. In 2019, keep your eyes and your mind open to new opportunities – whether it’s a new technology that can help you streamline your business processes, an improved version of your best-selling product, or a way of offering better customer support. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way!

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