This week, AlphaGraphics is celebrating National Small Business Week! Small business owners and operators around the country are celebrating their accomplishments and thinking about ways they can optimize their operations for the year ahead.
Small businesses are experiencing a period of unprecedented challenges as well as unforeseen opportunity. The continued rise of e-commerce, alongside monumental shifts to the nation’s tax code, are changing the way that small business owners plan the coming year.
Regardless of the industry, it’s important to ensure you’re continually streamlining and improving your business. In celebration of National Small Business Week, here are a few simple tips every small business should take to heart as they seek to flourish:
- Invest in a marketing plan: If you haven’t already, make this the year you get serious about marketing. If you’re not developing a consistent, serious brand for your company, regardless of its size or current pace of growth, you will regret it. You should be working with a marketing professional to grow your audience and retain your existing customer and client base. At the end of the day, your marketing plan should include a clear set of objectives, a solid budget and an actionable list of next-steps.
- Learn from competitors: This one can be tricky but is essential. Pay close attention to the moves your competitors are making and learn from their mistakes and successes. For instance, if your closest competitor tries to enter a new market and fails, work to glean as many lessons from their mistakes as you possibly can. You can use both their errors and achievements to your advantage.
- Optimize your website: Mobile technology, search engine algorithms, and consumer internet habits are consistently changing. With the rapid-fire pace of technological shifts, you may be wondering why you should even bother trying to keep your website up-to-date. The answer is simple: when executed correctly, websites disseminate your brand messaging and drive revenue. Consult with a website professional to learn what tweaks you can use to optimize your site for 2018.
- Purchase collateral: Physical collateral—like banners, business cards, store signs and more—carry much more weight than you might expect in today’s digital age. Maintaining a strong branded atmosphere in your company’s physical locations can help drive customer and client retention and improve employee morale. When making your marketing plan, be sure to room in your budget for investments in branded collateral.
- Get out and about: Whether you operate primarily online or maintain a storefront, it’s important to get out and participate in your local community as much as possible. You may consider renting a booth at a local festival or music event, or even just setting up a small display on the sidewalk outside your establishment. Whatever you do, you should use your physical surroundings to your advantage. Tap your community for partnerships, clients, customers, and connections.
AlphaGraphics North Liberty is proud to support our small business partners every step of the way. Our network of franchises is comprised of small business owners just like yourself. If you’re looking for expert marketing, and printing services, reach out to us today by phone at 319-626-3700 or visit our website!