We are about to enter the year 2020 – a brand new decade is starting. This is a great time right now, to start planning a few business goals for the year ahead. Here are seven actionable ideas that you may want to consider.
Focus on having happier employees
There are plenty of different studies out there that prove that happier employees are more productive. So what does a leader do to encourage their team to be happier?
Mental health matters. It all starts with their own mental health. Do they take time in their lives for meditation, or do other regular things that help them to reduce stress?
If your team are satisfied with the work they do, they are genuinely happier people. You can improve employee satisfaction simply by being an active listener to their concerns and feedback.
Encourage your people to take up a physical activity. It needn’t be heavy team sports – even something as simple as taking 20 minute walks every day has huge health benefits. Perhaps go on a team walk first thing in the morning?
Look at automation options
When we talk about automation, I don’t mean buy 100 robots to replace your team. Whilst there are plenty of valid concerns about automation replacing humans, it can be used ethically and with a good balance as well.
There are lots of various software packages coming to the market that automate various business processes, saving you valuable time and effort. Tools like Zapier allow you to connect two or more software tools together, to improve your processes. For example, there is literally 1,500 apps that connect to Gmail. Amazing!
Focus on cash flow
It is often cash flow, not profits, which can kill a business. You have to always be aware of your bank balance and look for ways to avoid any cash crunch. Without that balance of money coming in and money going out, your finances can run dry and you’ll be in real danger.
Look at offering customers a discount if they pay in advance or pay early. Find ways to extend supplier terms so you have longer to pay. Look for the smallest and largest cost savings – they can quickly add up within a business, and make quite a difference.
Review your website
There is a large focus on social media at the moment, and that makes sense, however don’t ignore your own website.
A website is often the first place your prospect will go, to find out more about your business. Look at ways to improve your website speed and overhaul your website content. These all help your website users to find what they need and fast. We have short attention spans – so don’t frustrate potential customers!
Start or improve your blog
Many businesses are now enjoying the benefits of having a blog. Setting up a blog doesn’t need to cost a fortune, and business blogging can bring huge rewards if done effectively. There are many case studies and stories out there about businesses who have grown to millions of blog readers thanks to putting some effort in on their blogging.
Look at your competitors – how many of them have a blog? You can start writing today, by making a list of common questions that prospective customers ask, and then write an article on each as a lengthy answer.
Hone your sales skills
Selling is an art, and not everyone is great at it. Be honest with yourself; do you feel you could learn more sales skills? It’s likely you could.
There are lots of great books and podcasts out there about selling, in a way that isn’t sleazy or deceptive. Look at methods like solution selling, which is more about helping the customer rather than selling to her.
Learn other digital marketing tactics
No matter what stage your business growth, digital marketing is forever changing. What was effective in 2018 will likely not be effective in 2020. The industry is constantly evolving, with new social media platforms, new methods of marketing and the like.
You should schedule time every week to read the latest digital marketing tactics, to keep abreast of your competitors and eventually dominate your industry.
Now that 2020 is almost here, spend some time now to plan for the year ahead. Consider the above goals that are proven to improve your business. Those seven goals again, are;
- Focus on happier employees
- Automate what processes you can
- Focus on cash flow
- Review your website
- Start or improve your blog
- Hone your sales skills
- Learn other digital marketing tactics
Here’s wishing you all the best in business for the new year!
Lauren Clarke is an Australian freelance blogger, who writes about Australian software, small business marketing, human resources and general business for a number of blogs. Outside of writing, she enjoys trying out new red wines, and going to live theatre.