With 2013 coming to a close and 2014 just around the corner, many small business owners are reflecting on their performance from the past year. It is a great time to acknowledge what you did well and what can be improved. This also provides a great opportunity to set new goals for 2014; drive more sales, increase your online marketing or simply build a stronger company. We wanted to get a sense of the most important things learned in 2013 and objectives for 2014, so we have compiled advice from business owners from a variety of industries. Hopefully, these tips can help you become organized for 2014. Have any other advice? Feel free to share in the comments below!
Josh Denomey – BA, CHRM Managing Consultant – ResumesCanada
In 2013 we focused on a new pricing strategy, built business relationships through referral agents, enlisted Marwick to enhance web presence and drive more meaningful traffic to the website, and leveraged the work of a business analyst to analyze the wealth of data we have accumulated since inception.
In 2014, we are going to continue working on enhancing our web presence, and start targeting the B2B market, through proactive sales engagement and new pricing models (B2B). The core business will remain unchanged, and we anticipate more growth and revenues, which will allow for additional staff and new opportunities. Overall we are going to continue to focus on client care and ensure each client’s experience is positive.
Key Takeaway: Clients are the center of any business, make sure they are taken care of and are completely satisfied with your product or service. If they are not, make sure you ask for feedback! Direct feedback is the best way to improve!
Bruce Bodine – President – Bodine Enterprises, Inc.
If you survived the Great Recession, you will no doubt continue to keep pace with growth and stability through 2014. The aftershocks will continue but there is a rumbling of success and determination in all of us.
Key Takeaway: Stay determined! Every business will go through ups and downs. Stay focused on the core components of your business and you will persevere!
Marinella Nicolosi, CH, FSLE – Owner/Founder/Educator – Golden Naturals Organic Skin Care
Every business owner, big or small, knows that ongoing consistent improvements play a big role in business growth, but what is considered as a great business?
There are many fundamental aspects to consider to building a great successful business. Profitability, public image and communication, dependability and work ethics, contribution to society, and deliver products or services that are really wanted or promised are some of these aspects.
Customers appreciate honest businesses, that offer goods or services that satisfy their needs, give excellent customer service, and are committed and care about the problem affecting their community. Businesses gain trust and respect among consumers because of their ethical practices and excellent products or services.
It is in the business owner interest to build the trust and respect among its customers and society, and satisfy market trends, if he/she wants to see his/her business grow year after year.
Key Takeaway: Don’t chase the bottom line at the failure of being socialable responsible.
Angela Evennett – Personal Real Estate Corporation Realtor – HomeLife Benchmark Realty
Social Media is, in my opinion, a vital component for all businesses to continue to grow and be strong in this day and age. It’s a great way to make yourself stand out from the crowd, promote your business and connect. Social media is all about making connections and this is what people want, no matter what the business. For me, as a Realtor, I’m constantly looking for ways to connect with people and nothing beats face to face. But when that’s not possible, social media is an avenue to lead to the face to face meeting which often results in business.
Key Takeaway: Stay engaged with your consumers. They are the most vital component of your business. Staying engaged allows you to constantly be in tune with their wants, needs and preferences. Social media is an excellent way to do this.
F.V. (Ted) Craiggs – President and CEO – Mission Ridge Group
Firstly, for any company in our sector or any sector for that matter to be successful in 2014 and future years must possess the following criteria:
- Develop a sound attainable 3, 5 and 10 year business growth plan with specific goals and objectives
- Clear understanding of markets conditions, competition, customer needs and service requirements
- Institute operational cost controls to work in conjunction with their business plan
- Eliminate or reduce company debt exposure
- Develop a strong team environment and encourage employees participate in this process which will ensure the future success of the company business plan and corporate objectives
Key Takeaway: Balance your focus on long term objectives with current priorities. Maintaining this balance is crucial to staying competitive in the current market, and also making sure your business will survive in future market conditions!
Adam Coultish & Miruna Alexandru – TMG Mortgage Experts in Vancouver – VancouverMortgages.NET
A business’ growth in 2014 will require innovation and persistence. In an industry having thousands of providers offering similar services, a growing business must stand apart. A clear focus on business basics is not only unique today, but respected; and in-turn, rewarded. Articulated goals, a commitment to communication, and strong followup, will separate any business from the masses. Believe in your services and your clients will believe in you.
Key Takeaway: Focus on the basic, core principles of your business. This will help build trust with your clients and ultimately help your business succeed in the long run.