The New Year is here which means it’s time for business owners to start strategizing for how they will make 2017 more profitable and more successful than the year before it. (We’re in the thick of it with such a crazy year last year!)
Our 2017 business checklist should help.
Although organizing your plan will likely require specifics pertaining to your business and its unique needs, there are several impactful ways business owners in every industry and niche can work toward building better business operations.
Our 6-Part Business Checklist For 2017
Every business is looking for higher customer conversion rates every month in the New Year. Am I right?!
If you’re a business owner hoping for an even more successful year in 2017, try implementing each of these six tips (or using our business checklist) each month to:
- Decrease employee turn around
- Increase your customer base, and
- Provide better service to existing and future customers
1) Meetings Matter
HOW: Hold one-on-one meetings.
One-on-one meetings are a powerful way for business owners and managers to stay informed about what’s going on in their companies. By enlisting the help of your management team to hold one-on-one meetings with their respective teams at least once a month, you will be better able to identify and understand any operational issues within your business.
Holding one-on-one meetings with your employees at least once a month will also help you avoid high turnover rates and other issues within your offices as it gives employees the time and space they need to discuss any concerns they have before they become larger issues.
If you’ve yet to implement regular one-on-one meetings in your business, 2017 is the time to do it! Your managers will likely need a little guidance and motivation to get started, but once you get the ball rolling, your management team and its employees will start to enjoy the ability to meet with one another each month.
Wavelength offers up an excellent guide to one-on-one meetings if you’d like a little more information on what a successful one-on-one meeting might look like and why.
You can also use our Level 10 meeting agenda as a guide (we’ve added this as a consideration on the business checklist below!).
2) Give Employees Data, Too
HOW: Send a business report.
Reports show that a quarter of workers in the U.S. do not trust their current employers. The most likely cause of this distrust among American employees is a lack of transparency within their companies.
Although it can be difficult to be 100 percent transparent with your team at all times, it’s important to understand that your company’s stakeholders deserve to know what’s going on within your business. This is why every business owner should send a business report out to their employees at least monthly to make sure they feel informed.
Your report should outline how and why any changes will be taking place and how they might affect the work environment for your team. It should also explain how the business is doing in terms of operations and yearly goals.
Encourage team members to seek out their managers for clarification if needed and be sure that your management team is trained and ready to answer any questions that come their way.
3) Keep Up With Constant Change
HOW: Update your website.
One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is the constant evolution in web design and online marketing trends. Although your site might seem to be doing alright at the moment, chances are there are several small changes you could make to increase conversion rates and provide a better customer experience.
If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your site, start by going through this guide to ensure you’re covering the basics of building an online store that is capable of earning the business of online buyers. This could be your goal for updating your website for the first month.
For the following months, be sure to keep up on what’s going on in the online marketing sphere.
- What are leading onsite marketers and designers doing to convert more site visitors into buyers?
- How could you implement that on your site?
4) “How WE Doin?!”
HOW: Evaluate customer satisfaction.
Once you’ve built a solid customer base, keeping your loyal customers happy as your business grows can be a bit tricky. This is why all business owners should evaluate the current state of satisfaction among their consumers at least monthly.
Tapping into consumer insights on a regular basis will help you understand where and how your business can improve its customer interactions to provide the level of service necessary to acquire and retain customers.
You could try simple email surveys or even ask consumers to respond to a few questions at the end of each customer service call.
This guide also offers up more options for customer service evaluation tactics if neither of these sounds like a good fit for your needs. No matter how you choose to gather customer insights for your business, the key to success will be to evaluate these insights each month and identify where and how you can implement the important feedback your consumers are giving you.
No matter how you choose to gather customer insights for your business, the key to success will be to evaluate these insights each month and identify where and how you can implement the important feedback your consumers are giving you.
5) ABT = Always Be Testing
HOW: Try/test a new marketing tactic.
If your company has built a marketing team, it will be important to ensure this team is working to innovate its practices on a regular basis. This is why you should set a goal for your marketing team to try at least one new marketing tactic each month.
Your marketing test should be separate from the CRO updates on your site, but could still include some onsite strategies like major content pieces on the blog or tweaks to certain pages to boost their potential for ranking for target keywords.
Your team should be following the blogs and influencers necessary to discover these new ideas on their own, but a few suggestions you could provide might be the Moz blog, Rand Fishkin’s Twitter account, and the Kissmetrics blog.
And if you don’t have the time to check this off of your business checklist, you can always consider outsourcing your marketing initiatives.
6) Stay Plugged In
HOW: Engage with your industry.
An important part of establishing your company name is to engage with the industry surrounding your brand.
Although it can be easy to forget to keep up on this step, a simple solution to ensure engagement throughout the year is to schedule out events in your calendar.
- Look for conferences and meetups in your area.
- Seek out ways to engage in conversations about the product/service you provide on social media and online forums.
- If you need to travel to find opportunities to join a conversation in person at a seminar, do it!
Getting to know others within your industry not only gives you the chance to introduce your brand and its offerings but also allows you to scope out what others are doing and learn from their wins and losses.
Owning and running a successful business will never be an easy feat, but by focusing on constant improvement across the board, business owners significantly increase their chances of building the efficient and effective operations they need to make everything run as smoothly as possible.
Hopefully, these tips 2017 plus our business checklist will help you create and implement successful strategies to make 2017 your best year yet!
Have any must-do items to add to our business checklist? Weigh in and comment below!
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