Take your Small Business Back to School Nicci Troiani Maybe it’s just me, but every fall I miss that going back to school feeling. Every year feels like a new start to do something exciting. Buying new clothes, new school supplies.. it all feels so fresh, new and promising. That sort of fresh feeling inspires and motivates new students. Many small business employees and customers get that beginning motivation as well.. but then it wears off. Not only do your employees need to stay motivated and educated, but your customers need to be reminded why they did business with you in the first place. Here are a couple of ways to give that fresh new year motivation to your employees and customers: Set Goals The beginning of the school year was always full of more resolutions than New Year’s for me. It’s a great time to try to improve upon something. In the workplace, it’s easy for workers to lose that sort of new-year feeling. Give updates to all of your employees regularly so that everyone is up to date. A little team competition (between your sales team or whole team based on performance) can keep the team motivated as well. Set goals for yourself regarding your customers. Goals like following up with current customers more often just to check in and stay top of mind (how often are you doing this now?). By just saying hi and checking in, you are doing much more than other businesses they have done business with. These friendly conversations (automated emails are a great way to start this while not spending additional time) are always great transitions to more sales opportunities as well. Your customers most likely don’t think about you or your business other than when you contact them. This way, they have a fresh, recent impression of you. Educate Part of the fun of going back to school is learning new things and becoming more knowledgeable about things than you were the year before. This applies to your employees as well as your customers. Employees should be reading industry articles in their spare time and sharing with each other. Many industries also need to educate their customers about additional products that they offer or changes in products they have already bought. By updating customers and keeping them educated, you are viewed as an industry expert and are more likely to keep your existing customers. While your unique small business may not be exactly like a school, I’m sure you can see the correlation. With the Fall season beginning, now is a great time to put some new procedures and practices in the mix.