2011 had its share of ups and downs for small businesses. With every business there is a plan for the success of that business. Goals are developed and measured to determine effectiveness. With a new year comes new opportunities and new ways of looking at things for 2012. Being a part of the small business world requires a new way of thinking and there are some things to keep in mind:
- 2012 is an era of technology. Today more people access the internet via their cellphones and tablets. Be sure that your website, emails and other online marketing efforts are geared towards this mobile movement. There's nothing worse then someone wanting to look at your site and finding out that it does not have a mobile application and so they can't view it. So be sure your site is mobile ready.
- Reach out to your local community. People like to purchase from a local business if they can over an out of town business so cater to this market. Be sure you are easily found in the local directories like Google places and Yahoo maps. The easier you are to find; the more business you can obtain from your local community.
- Make sure you have a website. It seems like a simple task but you'd be surprised at how many small business don't actually have a website. If you're one of them then you are missing out on a whole new audience that you can't reach through traditional marketing efforts. A website is one of those business “must haves”.
- Consider incorporating or forming an LLC. By incorporating or forming an LLC you are protecting your personal assets from any business liabilities, lawsuits and debt collections. You don't want your personal assets being affected by a bad business decision.
- Business is about networking and while we are in the online era you still have to have those face-to-face moments. So seek these opportunities out whether it is a conference or workshop or a small business luncheon. There are plenty of opportunities all around so keep your eyes open.
- Support other small businesses. It's that “you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours” mentality when it comes to small businesses. You're competing with the big boys so support one another by using each others services when possible. It brings in revenue and forms a network.
- Take care of yourself because when running a small business the burden falls on you. So you have to look and feel your best so that you can put your best foot forward.
2012 can be a year of positive changes when it comes to your small business. Each small step brings you closer to being more successful and making the connections you need to remain in business.