January is a different month for different businesses. For some it’s reenergizing, as employees and customers get back to work after the holidays. For others it’s a slow time that follows the holiday spending season. Either way, it is a good time to look at your company from different angles and perhaps make some changes or improvements.
Here is a checklist to help you think about what you can do to set up the New Year to grow your business even more.
Make your financial systems all bright and shiny. Take a look at your accounting processes and applications. Is there room for improvement? With tax season upon us, this is a good time to polish up this part of your business. As one part of your accounting process, you can manage your Verizon account via our app. More info>>
Assess your technology risk. If you have hardware or software problems, do you have a reliable solution to get them fixed? The more you use computers to do business, the more you need 24/7 technology support. Verizon Tech Support Pro can provide IT support to help keep everything running smoothly. More info>>
Verify that your internet is working for you. It is so easy to ramp up the use of the internet in the course of doing business. There are so many excellent tools, applications and devices that can help streamline operations and accelerate growth, but you can end up with a sluggish internet if you don’t have enough bandwidth to take on your great new tools. If your network is running noticeably slower than it used to after you’ve added new devices and applications, or you need to grow your business, you may need to get more bandwidth and faster speed for your online activities. We can help make sure you have the internet you need. More info>>
Optimize your online marketing. The way you market on the internet will depend on the type of business you own and the market you serve, but all businesses must be pursuing effective digital marketing. Review your online marketing tactics and make improvements where needed. Revamp the website, ramp up social media participation, rethink your email marketing strategy, and look at all the other places where your company shows up in cyberspace. Then decide what needs to be done to get to the next level, and make it happen.
Commit to continuous learning. There are so many things to learn and master as a small business owner. It can be hard to keep up with what you need to know and to find new ideas, approaches and strategies. The free Verizon Small Business Webinar series is designed to bring relevant experts and information to the screen nearest you, so that you can keep learning about leading edge business practices. Don’t know where to start? Take a look at the webinar archives for some guidance. More info>>
Spend January setting things up for more productivity, and the rest of 2017 promises to be a year of more growth.
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Business growth starts with goals—learn how to set better, more achievable goals to help launch your new year. Successful small businesses turn each new year into a fresh start by setting smart goals. While everyone is promising to follow personal New Year's resolutions, you should also be outlining the goal(s) you want to achieve for your business during the coming year. Consider these tips for setting better (more achievable) goals: Brainstorm Better Goals • Grab a huge whiteboard or chalkboard and spend time writing out all the ideas, dreams, wants, and needs that you have for your small business. • Talk to your customers, and add their feedback to your brainstorming. Specifically, ask them what their needs are, and come up with better ways to serve them. • Ask your employees to contribute, too. What ideas do they have for new opportunities or problem solving? • Also, think about how technology can help your business. What new products and services are your suppliers and service providers offering that can help you get more customers, provide better service and increase efficiency? This article is one of many developed especially for Verizon’s small business customers, offering helpful insights for business growth. For more goals setting tips (how to choose and refine your goals) click here (or visit http://vz.to/1CPrJ8k).
The Export-Import Bank of the United States unveiled its Global Access initiative this week to help 5,000 small businesses with up to $6 billion in loans to increase exports. And while the Small Business Act of 2010 has helped community banks and others lower their lending costs to small business, there are more trends to be watching for in 2011.
Tech trends include a number of areas that small businesses need to watch – social media, operating systems and online marketing among them. And, of course, marketing trends for the year ahead remind small businesses everywhere of the opportunities that abound when a focused plan is in play.
But if you are just taking that first step or thinking about starting a small business, you might want to consider these 11 for 2011 businesses you can start in your pajamas.
It’s the beginning of the year and you’ve got 12 months, so start now and take advantage of the expanding small business landscape!
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It’s Friday! A new year will soon begin, so come up with a plan to change things up. That can mean a plan to increase sales by 10 % or a blueprint for the changes you’d like to make in your business. No matter what’s in store for your business in 2011, below are some good reads to get inspired, to get motivated or to bring you some new ideas you can infuse into your business.
Kudos to this duo and their catering business which started up in 2008 – they heavily use social media technology to promote their services. So, those in the hospitality business, do you tweet your menu? If not, why not?
If you haven’t done a SWOT analysis on your business, it’s time to do one. Focus on your strengths.
And speaking of change, New York Times profile this ‘control freak’ and how she found a way to expand her tutoring business.
We’ve all seen lists of things and here’s a list of 10 quick tips to improve your small business.
That’s it this time. Happy reading!
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The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a number of initiatives in play now for small business, including some additional funding for loans. This week, SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns – a former Verizon executive – discussed and answered questions here about the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act, as well as opportunities available under the Recovery and Affordable Care Acts.
Since loans and lines of credit are often key to small business success, you might want to check out iBank which matches extensive sources of funds with your company's data and requirements, reducing your search time and helping you find funding sources you might not normally discover.
According to this report, small business lending increased markedly in August. Possibly for entrepreneurs it’s a good time to come out and test the waters – the heavy retail season is upon us. More on this next week.
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Recently I spent some time with one of our daughter’s college sorority sisters’ father – we were helping both of our young adult children move from two different places to two more different places. But that’s a story for another day.
The father and his brother own a laminate woods product company that they started nearly 30 years ago and the last two years have been tough – to put it mildly. He explained that he still has to make trips to Japan, China, Singapore and Europe to keep up his relationships with suppliers so that when the market comes back, they'll still have a business.
Small business is taking it on the shins – not that large companies aren’t, too, but small business attitudes appear to reflect my fellow father’s approach – they’ll do whatever they have to and ride out the downturn. More than 8 in 10 small businesses are concerned about a double-dip recession but 3 out of 4 are prepared to ride out a downturn according to this report.
In the meantime, working smarter while you wait appears to be the most apt way to approach the business front. Entrepreneurs are retooling and refining their business propositions.
While you may be going through soul-searching on how to keep your front door open, be sure to look at all the free resource options out there including a small business tech tool kit and, if you’re considering new service from Verizon, look at the free one-year Verizon Websites powered by Intuit that can help you build inviting websites quickly with domain names, email and tens of thousands of images along with free Web Listings to help you get found easily on search engines when you purchase one of our Solutions bundles with no term contract required..
Staying in business, growing your business and achieving personal and financial success are your goal, so get some support – after all incentives, free tools and opportunity are just like having money in the bank!
There's always something happening in the world and the online world has become more of our waking hours which means - as always - that small business needs to be alert to the latest trends and tips for you. This week, there are a number of good posts included here with one focused on Facebook's announcement of its geo-location option - Facebook Places. With more than 500 million Facebook users and still growing, this may be one you'll want to take a closer look at for listing your business.
- Considering a new business? Inc. offers ten tips to think about before you launch a company.
- Are you good at bookkeeping? Have you thought about making this into a business? About.com’s Alyssa Gregory provides some fantastic tips to take your skill and help out other small business owners.
- At some point, everyone must stand in front of others and give a speech or presentation. Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch offers a few tips to weave into your speaking arsenal.
- As you probably know, running an efficient small business requires proper training for your employees. AOL Small Business’ Geoff Williams outlines five steps to write an employee handbook.
- We’ve talked a lot about how to use social media for your small business. Entrepreneur’s Mikal Belicove discusses this week’s Facebook Places announcement and what it means for your business.