The past year was a busy and exciting time for small businesses. Changes in marketing, finance and health coverage presented a unique set of opportunities and challenges to companies and owners in 2010. Congress approved hiring and healthcare tax incentives, while tech firms and startups introduced new marketing strategies such as mobile apps, group buying platforms and location-based social networks like foursquare.
However, 2010 is done and gone, and now is the time for small business owners to begin planning and preparing for what 2011 may have in store. While many of these trends (especially social media technologies) will continue to grow and influence companies’ bottom lines, others will pop up unexpectedly, leaving owners to wish their crystal balls weren’t so cloudy.
Photo by cedwardmoran
Luckily, there are a number of resources available to help entrepreneurs and businesses set realistic goals and stick to them. Not only will it be important for owners to make sure they keep a keen eye out for future trends, but they will also need to evaluate basic business practices, such as financial and marketing strategies, that require updates.
Below we’ve provided several links to help you and your business to have the best and most profitable year possible.
For small business owners sitting down with a pen and paper to write their 2011 goals, this article offers several tips for crafting resolutions that are not likely to be broken. Additionally, it offers a number of strategies for sticking to your goals throughout the year, including posting resolutions where everyone can see them.
- Technology tops 2011 resolutions for small business
By Deborah L. Cohen; published on Reuters.com
Cohen interviews several small business owners to discover what they are planning for the new year and found that technologies such as search engine optimization, ecommerce and social media will be No. 1 on the list in 2011. These companies, she writes, will be using these tools to compete with larger companies with bigger budgets.
As the utility of online channels for marketing and doing business are only expected to grow, one resolution owners cannot afford to leave off their New Year’s list is either launching a website or giving it a makeover. Chant offers several points for entrepreneurs to consider when it comes to what they want from their website, including choosing the appropriate size, setting targets and measuring results.
- Five Trends All Marketers Should Watch in Social Media in 2011
By Matt Rhodes; published on freshnetworks.com
Understanding how to employ social media to boost a business’ bottom line is not a tactic reserved only for marketing departments at large companies. In this article, Rhodes advises small businesses on five trends that owners should keep a close eye on, including higher social budgets, location-based marketing and the social graph.
Not all New Year’s resolutions should center on new technologies as marketing strategies. Owners should consider financial planning and other budgetary issues as well. Arora suggests owners write goals to improve their personal credit scores, keep better financial records and continue to look toward the future.