It’s hard to believe 2010 is drawing to a close. As we take stock of the past year and gear up for a new one, the mood here at Informatix is one of gratefulness. We’re grateful for the opportunity to do what we love every day, for the loyal clients who have enlisted our marketing and design services year in and year out, for the kind referrals from satisfied customers, and for the new clients with whom we’re building promising relationships.
Like all businesses, you’re most likely doing some reflecting as well: not only on taxes and finances, but also on what you did right in 2010 and which areas can be improved for 2011. Every company is unique, but there are some common threads, concerns, and opportunities that unite us:
Year-end Checklist for Small Businesses
- Express your appreciation for clients and customers. Just as we’re thanking you, you’re likely doing the same for the people you serve. Consider sending a holiday card with a special offer or voucher, a product sample, or a small token gift. Don’t make it too sales-oriented—put the focus on THEM: specifically, your gratitude for their loyalty and your pledge to continue to deliver the excellence they deserve.
- Review and update your business goals. Remember that business plan you created what seems like a lifetime ago? Now is the time to revisit it and compare it against where you are today. Your goals have most certainly changed since then, as they should. Make note of where you have excelled and why, and what strides you want to take in 2011. A business plan is a living, growing entity…tweaking it is a sign of growth and dynamism. Be as specific—and realistic—as possible when outlining goals.
- Revitalize your brand. You don’t need to completely redefine yourself, but the New Year is a great time to refresh your website, newsletter, and other marketing materials. Even subtle changes can pique customers’ interest, spurring them to look closer and find out what else is new. Take a fresh look at your target market and make sure your messaging is tailored to it.
- Tie up loose ends. Are any contacts waiting to hear back from you? Do you have any half-finished projects or unanswered invitations in the wings? End of year is a great time to close the circle on any unfinished business so you can start fresh in January.
- Assess affiliations. If you belong to any business organizations, networks, or clubs, ask yourself whether they are adding value to your business or just draining you of money and time. Don’t hesitate to explore new affiliations that may provide more benefits. That said, if your existing relationships are working, be sure to nurture them.
- Market smarter. Take a close look at your existing marketing systems and find ways to make them reach farther, resonate longer, and work harder. The New Year is an excellent time to implement new strategies, such as process automation, live chat, or SMS marketing. Examine your processes with a fine-toothed comb, challenging yourself and your team to find ways to make them more efficient. The ultimate goal is to get as much exposure as possible while investing the least amount of time and resources.
- Vow to learn. The success of any business is dependent on the personal development of those who run it. Make 2011 a learning year—grow your knowledge through targeted training, conferences and seminars, brainstorming, and other opportunities for growth.
Your Partner in Transition
As we head into a promising new year, we’re optimistic that it will bring a healthier economy, smart technology advancements, and exciting new marketing strategies. Whether you’ve been a client for years or have just received this message from a friend, it would be a privilege and a pleasure to serve as your partner in success throughout 2011.
As always, contact us if you have any needs or questions regarding any of our services: