It’s hard to believe we are quickly approaching the end of another year. Like most business owners, at Gallop Web Services we like to review how things have been going and then create new goals for the new year. When discussing their own business goals with our web and marketing clients, we are often asked for advice on software and marketing strategies. Of course, cost effective business management is an important consideration in all things, too. As you review your own business goals for next year, here are a few suggestions:
Organize your business.
Write up a business plan and refer to it often.
It helps to keep you on the straight and narrow with your business goals if you refer to a business plan. You can update the plan as needed, but generally your original reason for starting your business as outlined should remain constant and clear.
Use a bookkeeper, if possible.
It will free you up to do what you do best and make your life easier if someone else manages the financials. Whether or not you do the bookkeeping yourself, we highly recommend QuickBooks invoicing software to send invoices and accept payment online. Quickbooks invoicing is easy to use and you may find (as we did) that your customers will pay more promptly. Another plus is digital online payment bypasses the need for paper (i.e., sending invoices and receiving checks by mail), which reduces expenses and is kinder to the environment.
Hire a student to do general tasks.
This may sound like an odd things to suggest, but the right high school or college student can be a valuable part-time employee and save you some money. Young people have excellent computer skills, get excited about working for more than minimum wage, and are willing to work for less than you would have to pay an adult. We’ve hired students to do data entry for us and they have shown themselves to be eager and very capable at the tasks we set before them. Contact your local high school to discuss a co-op working arrangement with their business-oriented students. It wouldn’t hurt to ask.
Work on your online marketing.
Get a new website (or refresh an old one).
If you don’t already have a website, you should plan for one in the new year. Start off on the right foot with online visibility for your business. We have the tools you need, too. Our JumpStart package offers a complete, mobile responsive starter website and full business listing with Google. We consult with you and build a website that includes: web hosting with a secure SSL (free the first year if you sign up now!); a 5-page website with content management system, banner, social media integration, basic SEO; a branded Google local business listing; and 1-hour consultation to train you on how to use the tools we provide for a successful online business presence. #StarterWebsite
Focus on your marketing — a lot.
Having a website is an important first step. As mentioned above, JumpStart includes the set up of a Google business listing. Beyond that we also create some real power house business listings that will publicize your business online. We also recommend email marketing. MailChimp offers free email marketing for up to 500 email addresses. It’s a great way to communicate with your current and potential clients.
Utilize social media.
Yeah… we know it’s time consuming, but it is worth the effort to engage your audience and publicize your services and products through the various social media sites. There are so many resources to choose from and we can help you sort out what would work best for you.
Be ready for the beginning of the new year. Review your goals and get organized. Contact us for JumpStart today and we’ll have your new or revised website and business listing up and running in 1-2 weeks.