Every business involves setting business goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Setting SMART goals is important for a business to assess its performance, make necessary changes and enhance its growth. Read on to discover useful tips on goal setting for the year ahead.
#1 Invest in social media marketing
In this digital age where people are looking for instant gratification, businesses are looking at ways to achieve instant communication and a meaningful conversation with their customers and prospects. For a small business to survive, it has become absolutely necessary to engage via a multi-channel approach. Social media marketing is one way of increasing brand reach and customer loyalty to grow your business effectively. This involves:
- Selecting the right platform (from Facebook to Instagram) depending on the nature of your business and the preference of your target audience.
- Setting goals specific to each platform and following through with a clear strategic plan. For instance:
#2 Focus on improving employee engagement
Ever walked out of a store feeling excited about your shopping even when you have gone above your budget? This is probably because of a positive customer experience that was enhanced by your interactions with an eager and helpful salesperson. Remember that happy employees result in delighted customers. Some of the ways in which you can invest in your employees are:
- Offering on-the-job training and development programs.
- Running a staff member of the month program.
- Giving away financial incentives and investing in team building activities to keep motivation levels steadily rising.
In short, looking after your employees and caring about them genuinely can help you build a loyal team that in turn cares about the growth and reputation of your business.
#3 Think and plan a long-term goal
For a small business to stand the test of time, it is important to set goals that go beyond the first few years. According to a survey, 72 per cent of small business owners do not have a formal business plan. Having a strategic five-year or ten-year plan is crucial for a business to increase its income and profitability, resulting in business growth. You can even use free and reliable business planning templates available online to give yourself a head start.
#4 Have a customer loyalty program in place
Many businesses have successfully used loyalty programs that have resulted in improved customer retention. You can do this, too. Free goodies, discounted vouchers, prezzy cards or a refer-a-friend scheme are some ways that businesses use to encourage repeat purchases.
#5 Invest in new technology
From software upgrades to buying new equipment, business needs may change with time. Investing in new technology, updated software or better equipment can help your employees perform better by spending less time in front of a screen and more time building relationships with existing as well as potential customers. Small businesses can rely on loans or grants that will help them run their business efficiently without disturbing the cash flow. Needless to say, these grants can play an integral part in helping you maintain and expand your market share by increasing your financial bandwidth.