Even if you subscribe to the statistic that a full 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, there’s no better time than the beginning of a new year to re-evaluate the way you do business. These types of periodic checkups can help eliminate inefficiencies that may have been “baked into” your business over the years and give you some goals to strive for in the coming weeks and months. Read on for five things you can do today to set your business up for a prosperous and successful 2019.
Learn When to use technology and when to step away
From scheduling an impromptu grocery delivery to syncing your daily schedule to an electronic family-wide calendar, today’s technology innovations make multitasking easier than ever. By using technology to automate the more routine aspects of your business (like appointment scheduling, “tickler” reminders, or billing), you’ll be able to free up your own time and your employees’ time for more value-added tasks.
But there are some things that technology just can’t replicate or replace. Recognizing when a human touch is needed (and, of course, providing that touch to your clients or customers) can be the key to ensuring that your adoption of certain technologies to streamline your business won’t leave clients out in the cold. For example, a law office may deploy an online intake form for prospective clients to briefly explain their legal issues, saving time and helping “pre-screen” cases; but in most situations, this online form will need to be followed up by an in-person meeting to get down to the nitty-gritty details.
don’t forget about your loyal customers
Over the past decade or two, some businesses seem to have stepped back from the customer satisfaction model, apparently believing that attracting new customers is better (and more profitable) than retaining current ones. But this simply isn’t the case and making the effort to maintain a relationship with current customers can increase repeat business and improve referrals.
This doesn’t have to be time- or labor-intensive; something as seemingly simple as a quarterly e-newsletter can keep your business’s name in the front of customers’ minds, help highlight recent accomplishments, and put the spotlight on any new products or services you offer.
take advantage of the gig economy
With unemployment rates still hovering at or near their record lows, it can be tough for businesses to attract and retain high-quality workers. But the gig economy is alive and well, and there are many tasks for which you may not actually need a dedicated employee. Consider “farming out” some of these tasks to independent contractors for a flat rate to lower your overhead costs and ensure that the job will get done.
reconsider your approach to teleworking
Employers who have long been resistant to teleworking or work-from-home arrangements may want to rethink this approach. While the phrase “working from home” may lead you to envision pajama-clad employees who are more focused on throwing in a load of laundry than responding to emails, research shows that teleworking employees are actually more productive and enjoy more job satisfaction than those who are tied to a physical office.
If your employees are already able to take advantage of work-from-home options (and you have no plans to change this), you might consider streamlining your overhead by shifting to a “hot-desking” arrangement or even moving to a co-op office that rents out space to various businesses.
Owning a business is a 24/7 job, and anything you can do to take a few items off your plate (while maintaining customer satisfaction) will go a long way toward helping you optimize your company in 2019. If you are looking for help navigating finances, Klein Hall offers business advisory, fraud, tax, and audit services. Get in touch today to learn more!