– Stephanie Chandler is the author of “LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business”. She is also a business advisor to Project REV – a small business marketing lab by Deluxe Corp. The views expressed here are her own. –
As the year comes to a close, now is the time to assess business performance for the previous year while you develop plans for a successful 2011. Because marketing is so essential to business growth, the following are some strategies to help you get a strong start for the new year.
1. Give your website a makeover
Like a house that needs periodic maintenance and improvements, your website should improve and change over time. Take a close look at your site and make a plan to refresh or add content, upgrade site design, or improve the experience for site visitors. Your website can be the first introduction potential customers have to your business so it’s important that it makes the right impression.
2. Commit to blogging
Blogging is one of the most powerful tools available to small businesses. It allows you to connect with your audience, attract new customers, and improve search engine rankings organically. For best results build a schedule that includes blogging at least two to three times per week. Also, share new posts with your social networks for maximum content marketing value. Most importantly, be patient as you build your audience. It takes time to build momentum with blogging, but with consistent effort the benefits will inevitably follow.
3. Hang out with smart people
If you want to get ahead, spend time with people who are excelling. Start collecting smart people in your network. Invite other business owners to lunch or form an official mastermind group so that you can brainstorm marketing ideas and business growth strategies. You might be surprised by how much you can learn from each other’s experiences and how much business growth you can achieve as a result.