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Small Business Experts Reveal 15 Ways to Plan for Success in 2013

We've curated a coast to coast line-up of industry leaders to reveal the top 15 ways – including 6 bonus tips - you can plan for success in...

Amy Jo Martin, CEO and Founder of Digital Royalty (Tweet this!)

7. Educate your employees on social media.

Social media isn’t just for your customer service or marketing team. It impacts every aspect of your business – from sales to human resources. It can shape and impact management decisions, legal communications, and your brand’s reputation. Every employee represents your brand in some way. Therefore, educating them on the importance of social media and how to properly use it only serves to better your business.

8. Humanize your social media marketing efforts.

Let some of your most influential company leaders interact on your social media networks. Everyone in your company has a personal brand and a story to tell. Remember: your customers don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it. Social media is the perfect platform to show your customers the face behind the brand they love.

9. Think locally with your social media efforts.

Part of the “magic” of social media is that it allows us to bridge virtual communications with our physical world. Focus on ways to localize and customize social media messages with your product or service to drive more geo-targeted online and foot traffic.

 

Chris Myers, CEO and Co-Founder of BodeTree (Tweet this!)

10. Invest in yourself.

Running a business can be all-consuming. Take time to revisit the reasons that drove you to start your company in the first place. Make a point to highlight everyday achievements. Find opportunities to reward yourself for everything you have accomplished.

This can be as simple as leaving the office a few hours early or finally scheduling that dream vacation you’ve been talking about for years. As a leader, everyone is taking cues from you. Now is the time to become the engaged, productive and enthusiastic contributor that you know you can be.

11. Invest in your team.

Build loyalty from your most important asset, your team. Find ways to invest in your employees and cultivate their talents. This doesn’t necessarily mean monetary rewards. Take interest in things that inspire them. Find ways for your team to grow alongside the company.

Research indicates that recognition and personal engagement play a much greater role than money when it comes to determining an employee’s happiness with their employer. Now is your time to become the boss that they couldn’t imagine leaving.

12. Invest intelligently.

Think strategically about how you spend cash and other resources in your business. Allocate funds and energy to activities that will really differentiate your product and/or service.

Simultaneously, don’t hesitate to pull back spending and energy from non-essential items. This may sound like heresy, but now is the time to fire those customers that drain you, your team and are preventing you from moving forward. Re-evaluate all aspects of your business including customer experience, processes and your people.  It will become very clear what matters – and what doesn’t.

 

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