The new year is a time of review and introspection coupled with making new promises for the future. We are often filled with a sense of control over our destiny and a desire to begin again. If you’re feeling the same, here are a few ways you can capitalize on the new year’s momentum by embracing the habits of successful people:
This year has been a little more difficult to figure out new year’s resolutions. Part of that is because we’re all still reeling from the “lessons” we learned in 2020. Even the best prepared businesses lacked preparation for a global pandemic. Still, the new year is a great time to reexamine what you’ve been doing and how it can get better. Here are a few ideas:
Maybe you read this title and thought: I don’t have time to read that. I’m too stressed! If you are, take a moment and read this anyway. If you can cut down on your stress levels not only are you less likely to get ill this holiday season, you’ll enjoy it more.
Come on. It will only take 3 minutes. Think of it as an investment in your business.
Stress is almost inevitable during the holiday. And businesses that do large sales during this time will either be stressed because they’re doing a great amount or they’ll worry because they’re not doing enough. Don’t run yourself down and risk injury or sickness. If you’re sick or exhausted, you’ll only be more stressed. Try these tips for reducing stress instead.
Use Easy Tech
Even if you’re not an early adopter, there’s plenty of easy, free or low-cost tech, that can help simplify your life. For instance, you need to be scheduling most of your social media and blog posts. You can use auto-responders to set expectations of when you will get back to someone with a question. You can even use If This Than That (IFTTT) to combine “if, then” actions for your desired results like making sure your home is toasty warm by the time you get there or that every post to Twitter gets added to your Facebook group.
Cover Your Bases
As much as tech can be a way to streamline your tasks it can also prove frustrating. That’s why for some activities it’s best to have a backup plan. With the exception of your website, never rely totally on one site, social media platform, or app to do everything for you. Create some redundancies and back-ups, at least with your data. The person who came up with the old saying about putting all of your eggs in one basket probably understood very clearly the dangers of not backing up important info and activity history.
Have Goals for the Holiday Season
Every business should have goals for the holiday season. But just as important are listing the tasks or small measurables that will help you achieve the goals. Many businesses simply state what they want to earn during the holidays, but then they fail to assess what it will take each day to get there. That leaves them wondering until the end whether they will make it or not.
Instead, break down your goals into daily, achievable tasks. You’ll know very quickly if you’re not where you should be. Plus, you’ll know if you’re falling behind while you still have time to do something about it.
Take Time for Yourself
It’s hard to think about taking time off at the holidays, especially if it’s your busy season. If you can’t spare a few days, try to take a few hours. If that’s not possible, use the time you do have at home (no matter how minimal) to carve out moments to regroup. Do something you find pleasurable during that time and practice enjoying it. Don’t be thinking about everything at your business that must be done. Take a few deep breaths and concentrate on them. Enjoy the Christmas lights. Take a walk. Whatever activity you choose, be there; not at the business.
If you need to, hire extra help for the holidays. Your chamber of commerce has a good idea of those in your community looking for work. Let them know you need help and they can put you in touch with those people who can assist you and your business.
Most people research online before they purchase. That could take the form of looking up prices, options, or educating themselves on the product or service they’re in the market for. Many buyers also use a business website to verify hours, availability, make reservations, etc. During the holiday season people are busier than ever and it’s common to check things out online before getting in a car. If your website isn’t easy to navigate, with important information front and center, you may be missing out on a host of customers. Here’s how you can ensure it’s in good shape.
10 Things You Should Do Right Now for a Better Business Website
Most of the changes below are things you can implement quickly but you should also make sure that your website is user friendly, loads quickly, and looks great on mobile. If it doesn’t meet those requirements, work on those basics first.
Make sure you have the following things clearly accessible on your website:
From Thanksgiving to Christmas there’s a battle that occurs for consumer dollars. The big guy against the little guy, the brick-and-mortar versus the online retailer, everyone is looking for a bigger piece of the pie. It’s time to start thinking about your holiday marketing.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, chances are you're doing some sort of decorating for the holidays. Even if you don't celebrate, it's likely your customers do so in order to spread the holiday cheer you get festive.
The same should be true of your website. While you don't need to decorate per se, you do need to prepare for holiday traffic. Even if what you do or sell has nothing to do with Christmas, people often turn to the internet or online solutions during the holiday season. Plus, if you run a business that helps people prepare for the holidays, even if just peripherally, you want to make sure your website is ready. Here's how you can go about doing that:
By now you’ve likely seen the statistics that shopping small/local keeps roughly $68 out of every $100 in our community, whereas shopping at a national chain means about $43 remains here. Why is that important and what does it mean to you and your family? A lot more than you may think.
How Small Business Spending Makes a Big Difference in Our Community
Where Do the Dollars Go?
While it’s difficult to track the exact path of a dollar spent locally versus one spent at a chain, you can imagine it looks something like this:
That image is an example of what’s called “indirect impact.” Indirect impact is felt when a local business owner or employee spends the money they make locally but it’s not the only kind of impact that can be felt by spending local.
Johnny Goes to Band Camp
When your son or daughter has a school expense like a club trip, sporting event, yearbook expense, camp, or graduation program, do you email Elon Musk to fund it? No. You ask your local pizza parlor or favorite small business owner. They get their name listed as a sponsor and your child is one step closer to their goal.
Small Nonprofits Win
Along the same lines of sponsors, when it comes to local nonprofits and raising money for local causes or even natural disasters, it’s the local businesses that come through. They understand the importance of helping neighbors. Yes, large companies give hundreds of thousands of dollars to large nonprofits. We’re not discounting that. But local charities and nonprofits are often not on their funding radars. Chains are doing their part donating to the United Way and national groups like the American Cancer Society. Local charities often rely on local support.
We Enjoy a Better Quality of Life
According to studies compiled by the Institute of Self Reliance, “the more locally owned businesses per capita that a community has, the better off that place is on many of the other indicators of community health. The larger the share of transactions in our economy—buying, producing, investing—that involve a locally owned business, the more thriving, equitable, and resilient our economy and community can be.”
Local Vendors and People Win
During COVID and immediately after reopening, there were supply chain issues (we’re still feeling them in some industries). Many of those issues were due to lack of transportation or lack of labor in the transportation industry. That caused many businesses to look for local options to meet their needs.
When local businesses pay for things they need to do business (like inventory, utilities, equipment and pay to employees) locally, that has a direct impact on the local economy.
Chains and local businesses pay a salary to local employees so they both have a direct impact on the local economy. However, a chain is limited in where it can get its inventory, equipment, and other items from. These costs are probably paid to, or dictated by, corporate. A small business owner makes those decisions themselves and can choose to keep some of those purchases local as well.
Jobs Are Plentiful
In times when jobs are needed most—in high unemployment—local businesses are there. According to the article “The Contribution of Large and Small Employers to Job Creation in Times of High and Low Unemployment,” which appeared in the American Economic Review, “…in times of high unemployment, small businesses both retain and create more jobs than large firms do.”
Where you spend your money is an investment in the growth and prosperity of our area. You’re either investing for maximized returns on your holiday dollars by spending local or you’re not. We hope it’s the former.
If you own a business you probably spend a lot of time thinking of different ways you can sell your product or service. Maybe you’ve investigated neuro-marketing or tried one of these sales approaches. A hard, persuasive sell is getting more difficult these days, isn’t it?
Relationships are becoming incredibly important to brands, especially with social media. So is content marketing. Everyone wants infotainment. They long for information that is engaging and solid, not too long, not too short. Consumers are like Goldilocks nowadays.
But there’s so much noise out there. How do you get heard and give them what they want?
Whether you’re producing an article, copy, videos, or podcasts, here are a few simple concepts to keep in mind as you create your content. These approaches are used by copywriters everywhere because they work.
Whether your team works from home or in an office, whether you are a business of one or one hundred and one, taking care and making time for wellness is becoming increasingly important. Stress levels because of what’s going on in the world around us are increasing. You may not even be aware of the outside stress someone is under.
Making sure you create an atmosphere where wellness is stressed and made a priority is critical to successful performance. Stressed out employees make more mistakes and have difficulty making good decisions.
If you’re like me—and almost everyone else in this country—the end of the year is a time to look back and assess. I enjoy the nostalgia and reminiscing that occurs at this time of year, but it can also be a time of dread. It’s a time to realize you either hit the mark or you didn’t. And if you did, you may be apprehensive about being able to do it again in the new year.
So, we make resolutions.
We tell ourselves we’re going to do X differently this year. And most of us fall short of X because we forget about it, or we fall back into old routines because they are easy and we know how they work.
But this year, if you’re going to take on a resolution, we have some tips for you. The goal is to make resolutions more intuitive and doable. Here are a couple of ways to do that.