We’ve come a long way, baby.
That’s the underlying message from small-business owners about 2013, according to a new Manta survey.
The poll shows some 72% of SMB leaders characterized the past 12 months as a period in which their companies flourished. The grimmest days of a recession-bound marketplace may be behind us, after all.
Good news, if it’s the case, but that doesn’t mean these SMB owners are resting on their laurels. Instead, the plan for the year to come seems to be growth, to push even harder. Let’s look at where small businesses say they are headed next, and break out some of the tips that can help them — and you — achieve a similarly successful 2014.
Working for the Best: SMBs on This Year’s Goals
Marketing is the word for the new year, according to the Manta poll. Small-business owners — 40% of them — said that finding new ways to promote their company would be the priority between now and December.
Other resolutions included:
- 21% said improving customer service and bringing in new clients topped the list
- 14% plan to launch new products, or upgrade and enhance the goods and services they currently provide
- 9% said that increased networking was a primary goal
- 5% intend to delegate more responsibility to employees
What does this all mean? For one thing, online resources will likely play an even more prominent role.
“With almost half of small-business owners focusing on amplifying marketing and promotions, we can expect to see more [of them] leveraging techniques that capitalize on their online and offline networks and digital content and distribution strategies,” said Kristy Campbell, director of marketing and communications at Manta.”
How to Get There: Tips for Achieving in 2014
Whatever your goals may be, your business is more likely to prosper if you apply your energy and resources to them in fresh and smart ways.
Start with the following points. Each is geared to help your company write this year’s success stories, no matter what your resolutions may be.
- Align your personal and professional vision: This year, establish a vision for your business that is aligned with your personal vision. Your personal health and professional health impact each other, so it is important to maintain both. One way is by complementary goal setting.
- Create your own advisory board: Business owners don’t need to have all the answers. Consider developing a small-business advisory board. This can be in a more traditional format with knowledgeable experts, or you can create your own virtual boardroom through online forums, Google Hangouts and other Internet-fueled meet-ups.
- Give and grow: Giving back to those in your network–whether they are employees, other small-business owners or loyal customers–will help you to grow your own network and business. Exchanging advice, developing strong internal teams and enhancing your relationship with clients are all important parts of making your business thrive.
Goals set. Strategies in place. May 2014 be a year in which business is better than ever. Because, right now, for SMB owners, the numbers suggest that the future is looking bright.