A new year will be upon us soon, and after the boost of the holiday season, some small businesses may experience a shortage in their growth and profits.  No matter how the previous year went, small business owners should start 2014 off on a good note both personally and financially.

It’s often difficult to prescribe methods of saving money and increasing a businesses’ growth for everyone, but here’s a list of a few tips that should help out in the upcoming financial year.

Go green

While going green certainly is not a new strategy, it’s a very useful idea for multiple aspects of small businesses.  Aside from the public image and social responsibility benefits of being environmentally conscious, it can help to save money in the long run.  Short-term costs may be higher, which include initial investments into green aspects of business.  A study conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund and Frost & Sullivan, however, concluded that 42% of 500 energy efficient businesses reported increased sales over one or two years.  The same number reported that their sales stayed the same.  Being green also keeps you competitive with other businesses that have the same target market.

Set attainable goals

A New Year brings resolutions.  Resolutions, often personal, set goals to be achieved in the upcoming year.  Personal resolutions set goals that are attainable, such as staying healthy and going to the gym, or learning a craft.  Resolutions and goals for businesses should be attainable as well.  Achieving these attainable goals can breed success and a sense of accomplishment for you and your employees.  Accomplished businesses often enjoy healthy growth and success.

Engage social media

Again, this isn’t a new idea, but it’s still continuing to be more and more important to businesses looking to expand their marketing.  In previous years, social media was an add-on to other, more traditional, marketing strategies.  This upcoming year will be highlighted by an increased use of social media as a primary tool for advertising.  Entrepreneur.com predicts social media in 2014 to increase its focus on a variety of content, and an increase in fandom.  Small business owners should focus a significant portion of their marketing to new social media platforms that embrace these ideas so as to reach a new customer base in innovative ways.

Know your niche, and cater to them

Knowing who you are and who your market is can be essential to small businesses both now and in the New Year.  People take notice when you notice them, so engage your customers in any way possible.  Whether through social media or through email or mail campaigns, keep in touch with your customers and let them know about your product or service.  Ask your customers to share their experience with your business and recommend it, if they want.  Your value as a business relies on your customers, who directly affect your growth and profit.

All in all, 2014 is looking to be a profitable year for many.  The economy is almost back on track, business is growing, and things are looking up.

This guest post was written by Flynn Zaiger. As a business professional in the New Orleans area, he’s taken a particular interest in finding the most business friendly of the Metairie Banks and the New Orleans Banks. The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of any financial institution or bank. This article is intended to provide those reading it with information about matters of current interest.  It should not be construed as legal or financial advice concerning a specific topic and should not be acted upon without contacting the appropriate professionals.

179 thoughts on “Tips for Small Businesses in the New Year”
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