The New Year, for a lot of us, is a time that we get to enjoy something of a fresh start. January can often feel like a blank slate, and many individuals like to use this feeling of potential as a springboard for getting themselves truly motivated and making some legitimate life changes. Whether you’re running a business whose performance you’d like to see increase, or are just someone who wants to live life a little bit better, the beginning of January is a great time to start seriously working on making some improvements. When you’re running a business, there can be a lot that goes into making everything happen, and figuring out how to make everything work more efficiently can be tough. We’ll talk about five ideas that can get you started down the road to some serious improvements in the upcoming year.
1. Invest in Content Marketing. If you didn’t notice, 2012 was the year that everyone realized how valuable content marketing is. People on the Internet do not want to be advertised to anymore. They want to know that they can trust in what you have to say, and that you are willing to share and/or curate information that is useful to them. It’s widely accepted that most consumers have to get three pieces of free content before they’re willing to actually make a purchase.
2. Restructure Your Workday a Little. As we learn more and more about the ways in which human beings get their best work done, we’re learning that the typical eight-hour workday might not be the most efficient way of getting things accomplished. Try a strategy like interspersing 15-minute stretch breaks between hour-and-a-half long work blocks to give your employees a little productivity booster.
3. Make Efforts Towards Sustainability. The environment is a serious point of concern these days, and when your company makes efforts towards preserving it, everybody looks better as a result. Start using environmentally-friendly materials, and make sure you’re practicing sustainability at every turn. Not only does this boost morale within the office, but it reflects well upon you as a business owner.
4. Listen More than You Talk. Transparency is the new norm when it comes to business, especially if you’re marketing your business online in a significant way (which you probably are, or should be). Almost every consumer — via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or some other social network — has something of a direct line to the companies they value most. Make sure you’re listening to what people have to say so that you can let the customers most important to you inform the decisions that you make.
5. Go Mobile. One doesn’t have to be a graduate of Pepperdine’s online MBA program to know that mobile business is the way of the future. If your business hasn’t figured out a way to make itself accessible to customers via smartphones or tablets, you should make this one of the top items on your list of things to do in 2013.