In a day and age where the business world seems even more competitive, how would you describe your ability to manage your small business?
With 2013 off and running, hopefully you have already set aside goals to better manage your company over the next 12 months. If so, where do things like social media, checking your online reputation, and cozying up more to technology figure into the mix
According to research from the Harvard Business Review Analytics Services, nearly 80 percent of the 2,100 business surveyed stated they are either using or intend to utilize social media channels moving forward
That being said, only a mere 12 percent of those companies believe that they are properly using them. Lastly, a large percentage of businesses indicate they are still taking their time to seriously focus in on social media. Some two-thirds of users noted not having any formalized social media strategy, with only 7 percent having integrated social media into their overall marketing plans.
So, where should some of your business management focus be this year? Keep an eye on:
* Social media – First and foremost, get more social with the public. Given the fact that more consumers are using social platforms to shop for and buy goods and services, you need to be there awaiting their visits. If you have company Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest pages, how active are you on them? Do you share, tweet, post and pin regularly, or are you one of those business owners who does it just because the competition does? Make sure you have a sound strategy going forward over these next 12 months to put yourself above and beyond the competition;
* Online reputation – One of the biggest obstacles to running a successful small business can be if your online reputation is called into question. Instead of focusing in on your customers, growing your business and keeping your employees productive and happy, a bad online reputation can have you scrambling to put out fires. How you get a bad online rap can occur in a number of ways, including if a customer or employee has written something bad about you online in a review or blog, spoken negatively about you or your business in an online forum, or posted a YouTube video or other imagery that casts you and/or your company in a bad light. One of the reasons you should periodically monitor your name and that of your company is just this, avoiding a bad online persona. Google your name and the company’s name from time to time to make sure the news is good
* Technology – Lastly, what emphasis will you be placing on technology during these next 12 months? From mobile payments to videos and podcasts touting your business, be prepared to give everything a try if you are not already doing so. As more and more of your customers want their goods and services purchased and delivered yesterday and not today, you need to stay up to speed on consumer demands. While having a company blog is great and all, have you dabbled in videos and podcasts? These can be great tools to educate and inform the buying public as to what you offer. If you do not have the time or expertise to do such materials in-house, consider outsourcing the work to professionals who can make your company stand out from the rest.
With a new year oftentimes come resolutions. What will be your business resolutions for 2013?