Shelley Polansky, BBB president/CEO.

Shelley Polansky, BBB president/CEO.
As New Year’s resolution season approaches, small business owners will want to look backward and forward. This will help them reassess their business visions and set new goals for 2023, all with the purpose to increase revenue, bring in new customers and scale or, at minimum, sustain their business.
Business resolutions will vary, just as they do in personal life, but there are top goals to consider that make good business sense. Goals you didn’t achieve in 2022 can be brought forward to 2023 and shouldn’t garner disappointment, since the past two years have been tumultuous on the heels of the pandemic.
Here are eight resolutions for 2023 that will help you get back on track, give your business operations a refresh and make the most of the next 12 months. Be sure the resolutions you choose are achievable and quantifiable and have deadlines with assessments in place.
Establish goals for you as a business owner and for your brand that will help you achieve a clear sense of direction. Revisit those goals every month, noting what worked and didn’t for you and your staff. See where you’re making progress, what processes were time consuming and ineffective, and where costs and spending were too high. Check for any other adjustments that need to be made to better streamline your operations.
As part of your goal-setting, you likely wrote a business plan as one of the first steps of starting a business. Be sure to revisit and update the plan to help you keep organized and on track toward achieving your vision. The plan can be used to grow your business and show its value when you’re seeking an investor, business loan or new partner. As you evaluate the plan, be sure to update the latest financials, competitor research and marketing plan.
The marketing plan, a component of the business plan, needs an update every year to see what marketing strategies were successful, such as blogs, articles, press releases, promotions, and online and in-store sales, and which ones should be adjusted. Identify how much was budgeted for marketing and actually was spent, which channels had the best results and how much in sales were generated. Cut anything that didn’t work and add in new strategies to fill in the gap, as long as marketing dollars are available.
Most businesses already have a website, but make sure to keep yours updated with your latest business news and stories, add some blog posts, if that’s slipped, and give prominent placing to calls to action. Review your social media presence to see where you’re getting the most traction, comments and feedback. Check to see if your social media posts are on a schedule and, if not, implement one. Consider adding a blog if you don’t already have one to improve SEO and drive engagement and sales – websites also are a great SEO tool to help customers or clients find you via search engines.
Don’t wait for the holidays to promote and market your business, but make it a regular push all year long. Come up with a monthly promotion, using holiday and daily calendars to prompt ideas, since there is a day for most things, from coffee to pie. This helps keep your business in the minds of your target customers, especially if you associate a sale or promotion with a particular day or event.
Be sure to personalize the entire buyer journey by offering products and services based on your customers’ purchasing behaviors. Give complementary items and send discounts on a regular basis, so they’re motivated to return to get the deal, but often they’ll purchase even more.
Avoid communicating “at” your customers, but involve them in making their shopping experiences more personal. Ask for their feedback if you aren’t already doing so through surveys and feedback forms, and respond to any of their reviews, emails and direct calls. Be sure to address any customer service missteps and outline ways to better avoid or handle them in the future.
Establish a positive work culture by being more open to and encouraging feedback from your staff, responding to any needs, issues or changes they’d like to see. If possible, add to their benefits package and treat them with office lunches or health and wellness options. Let them know they’re appreciated and that their career development matters, encouraging them to move up in the company or take training or classes. When the staff is happy and motivated, they are more productive and loyal and will add to your business’s long-term success.
Employees often like to be part of a workplace culture that gives back to and shows gratitude for the broader community. Be sure to appreciate the community for supporting your business during the pandemic and since then. Donate time and money, take up an important issue or provide resources to help those in need, further showing your appreciation. This lets your staff and customers know you’re not solely focused on the company’s bottom line with goals solely financially driven. Inspire staff to volunteer, such as by incentivizing them with work hours donated to their favorite charity.
Engage in authentic interactions with your customers and clients to build trust, and operate your business witvh transparency. Invite customers to interact with you online or through social media. Encourage open communications with your staff, so they know you care and want to do what’s best for them.
By taking these and other steps through a purpose-driven mindset, you are addressing what’s most important to your customers and staff. You’re leveraging their values and demonstrating you care about them and the community. You’re showing you want to make a larger impact beyond the final sale and aim to do better every year.
As a result, your entry in 2023 and beyond will be more fruitful and productive.
Shelley Polansky is president/CEO of BBB Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
Shelley Polansky is president/CEO of BBB Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming.

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