Finish 2015 Strong! Five Important Business Tips

- - Adam Kidan, Business

As a approach the last several months of the year, it is a good time to reflect on where you are business wise and what you have accomplished. Have you reached your goals for the year? If not, what steps are you taking to to ensure you reach these goals by the end of the year?

I stumbled upon this article, that offers up some great tips for business success and I think they offer up some valuable lessons for those looking to meet and exceed the goals they have outlined for their business. Here are five tips from industry leading experts on how to make 2015 as successful as possible.

1. Treat customers like guests in your home

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“While there will always be customers who have decreased attention, are in a hurry, or appear to be frazzled, you want to still aim to deliver strong customer care despite customer scenarios. One way to do this is to treat customers as if they are guests in your home.” – Kirt Manecke, customer service expert and author of the book “Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service”

By treating customers with amazing customer service you are positioning yourself to turn these people into repeat customers. Also, a customer who is treated well by a company will be more likely to recommend the business to a friend or family member.

2. Belong to at least three professional organizations

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“I always suggest to business owners that they belong to at least three professional associations. First, you should belong to your local Chamber of Commerce or downtown business association. That is where you business is and where your employees often live. Moreover, you should belong to your specific industry trade association. And last, you should belong to a statewide association because most legislation happens at state level, and you need eyes and ears looking out for you business. In most cases, a retail association will fill that role.” – Curtis Picard, Executive Director of the Retail Association of Maine

Professional organizations are an amazing place to network and grow partnerships within the community. Not to mention, you can learn a great deal from other business owners in the area as well. Joining professional organizations truly is a great way to help you better manage and grow your business.

3. Participate in e-commerce

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“The future of e-commerce belongs to small businesses. This is the biggest opportunity for retailers since farmer’s markets began hundreds of years ago. People often believe setting up an online store is expensive and difficult, but this is not the case.” – Harley Finkelstein, Chief Platform Officer at Shopify.com

Opening an online store will open you up to markets that you were previously unable to reach or maybe did not even think would be interested in your product. In today’s modern world, more people are choosing to make purchases in the comfort of their own home, so it is important to be able to cater to these individuals as well. If your business is not based on retail, consider building a website to inform potential customers about your service and market to them online as well.

4. Introduce commerce and charity

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“Research shows that 83 percent of customers want to buy products that benefit a cause. Combining your business with a charity of your choice is a great way to gain consumer attention while increasing sales.” – Dan McCabe, Director of SixDegrees.org

If you can own your business and give back to the community or a group in need, that is truly a remarkable feat. Consider partnering with a local organization, not only will you giving a helping hand to those who really need it but you will build a better relationship with the community as a whole.

5. Embrace the cloud

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“The cloud is here to stay and Windows is dead. Over the next three to five years, the cloud will really come of age for small businesses, and Windows-based POS (point of sale) and other operations will disappear. Retailers and small businesses must think about upgrading their technology – with cloud being the obvious choice.” – Jason Richelson, founder and CEO of ShopKeep POS

Cloud technology is not only affordable (or free), with options such as Google Drive, but it also gives you the flexibility to access your work documents from anywhere at anytime. The cloud also makes collaboration between coworkers extremely easy helping to boost productivity.

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Adam Kidan