5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the New Year
When it comes to starting the New Year on the right foot, it’s important to identify key areas in your business that you want to focus on. We’ve compiled a list of 5 questions to ask yourself before drafting your 2017 marketing plans to ensure a successful year.

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What are your goals for 2017?
For any business to succeed it’s important to sit down and reflect on the past as well as the future by jotting down goals. Once these goals are clearly defined, the next step would be to allocate resources and responsibilities to your organization. Be realistic when it comes to thinking about the next step. Did your company have a profitable 2016? Do you have enough room in your budget to allocate funds to achieving these 2017 goals? If not, set smaller goals that you’re able to accomplish and put the expensive ones on hold until you can dedicate your resources fully.

Who is your target audience and how do you effectively reach them?
One common mistake many small businesses make is trying to appeal to the masses instead of honing in on your target audience. One tip is to review your existing client database and identify the top earners. Analyze why these clients generate the most revenue for you and try to attract similar new clients. Don’t waste your time and resources on customers that do not pay in return.

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Why are you different from your competitors? What do your competitors do better?
It’s a dog eat dog world out there and in order to stay relevant you need to be constantly evolving and generating new leads. The best place to look is your competitors. What are they doing better than you? What promotions did they run the previous year that took away from your sales? Have they made strategic partnerships that you could benefit from? Start making a habit of asking your customers how they found you and see why they chose you over your competitors to begin with!

Audit Your Processes
Take a moment to analyze every department in your company from the mailroom to the executive suites. What are the tasks that take the most time? Can some of these tasks be automated or accelerated by using different technologies? While it might seem daunting to undergo new training and invest in new software, in the long run it will save you time and money and free your employees to do what matters, bringing in revenue!

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Employee Retention
Did you have high turnover in 2016? Finding ways to keep your employees happy is one of the most underutilized tactics when it comes to employee retention. If you can keep your staff engaged and satisfied they will work that much harder for you and you’ll waste less time training new hires. At the end of the day, success is a team effort so make sure to allocate funds to teambuilding activities and perks. Your employees will thank you by sticking around longer!

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