It’s that time of year! Christmas gifts are on our minds and if you’re like me, I’m looking at the bottom line for the last 12 months, and wondering what I should do differently this coming year.
As a business owner, when you contemplate 2010, which seems like it’s arrived all too quickly, many things should be a priority. Here are my top 5 Things that every business owner should give their business for Christmas:
- Tools: There are a lot of deals right now in electronics and computers (and practically everything else for that matter) — take a look at the tools you use on a regular basis. Is there an upgrade that would easily allow productivity to go up this year? Make sure it’s not just a “want” but a genuine investment that will pay your business back in equity. Even increasing RAM in a computer can speed things up.
- Lists: I hope you’re collecting emails and addresses from everyone you come in contact with. If you’re not, start it now! And if you already have the lists, buy yourself a Constant Contact subscription so you can manage them better. And if you already have all that, plan your year’s worth of contact to the people on your lists. Be sure to use a custom template that develops your brand. If you don’t have a good list, consider purchasing a list from a reputable list company.
- Website: Take a good look at your website; do you like it? Are your customers using it? Does it compare better than your competition? Is the information current? Can you change the content easily? Is it “benefit” based? If you can’t answer affirmatively, hire a company like ours to create a great site — one that is an investment, will generate work, is interactive and engaging, and one that you’ll be proud of.
- Advertising: How’d you do this year getting your message out? Think about it. If you have a great product and service (one that a potential audience would want) and they don’t know about it, how will you grow your business? I find that most businesses only do an adequate job of marketing — it should be a good investment as well — measurable, so that you’re making more money from the ads than you’re paying out.
- Analytics: You need to know how you’re doing on a regular basis. Many businesses are surprised when their taxes are done in April. They have very little clue how bad (or good) things are. This Christmas, buy an easy computer program (like Quickbooks), hire a good bookkeeper or implement a plan to find out the business information every week. Or at least monthly. The same can be said about your website too. Be sure you’re checking how many people are visiting it, what pages they’re reading, and how long people spend. Let us know if you can’t do that — we have a great hosting package that has it built-in.
Wow. Now there’s a start! If you can’t give yourself these things for Christmas, consider doing them between Dec 25 and new years. It’ll make the new year a lot happier and wealthier! And most of these things are tax-write-offs. So get started on your Christmas list — it’s almost here!