As the year winds down and there’s a natural break in your work flow to plan for next year, consider where you’d like to see your small business in 2013. Whether you’d like to better connect with your clients, expand to more employees or just revamp your office space, here are a few goals to get you started.
Begin 2013 with a fresh start by organizing your office. Clean off your desk, set up a filing system for all of your lose documents and enter those networking business cards into your data base. Purge your inbox and computer hard drive of emails and documents that are no longer needed. Make the process of organization easy and convenient so all of your hard work won’t be pointless in a week. By doing this you’ll feel in control and be better able to handle your work as the new year rolls on.
No matter your business, clients need to be able to contact you. This year, improve your customer relationship management system. Consider your client base and what ways you can better stay in touch. A growing number of customers are preferring online help to telephone customer service. Whether using live chat software from LivePerson or social media, expand your customer service and give your clients more options to reach you.
According to Alex Knapp on Forbes.com, research from customer service company Genesys found that more than half of consumer-facing Fortune 500 companies are “socially shy.” In other words, more than 50 percent of these companies aren’t listing their Twitter handle or a link to their Facebook pages on the contact pages of their website. Twenty-seven percent of them don’t provide social media links anywhere on their website. Don’t follow suit! Improve your website and pay regular attention to your social profiles. Consumer behavior is changing and companies need to adapt – as a small business, make this a priority and potential customers will flock to you.
Whether you have five employees or 50, make recycling a part of your office atmosphere. Start a committee and delegate the responsibilities to a recycling coordinator. Decide which materials your company uses most that could be recycled, such as paper or soda cans. After setting up bins, establishing guidelines and promoting the program through education, monitor it closely to see the results. An office recycling initiative isn’t just a good way to go green – it can also save your business money by encouraging employees to reduce office waste.
Many businesses are considering the BYOD model – a system where employees use their own mobile devices and other hardware at work. This practice potentially lowers costs and can improve employee productivity and satisfaction. It’s a trend that is on the rise, and with all of its benefits small businesses are inevitably interested. But, before adopting this model, consider the risks. Privacy laws, responsibilities and liabilities change when employees are using their personal devices for work.