The start of a new year is a great time to get motivated and make changes to your everyday life- which is why so many people make personal resolutions this time of year.  This new year, consider making some business resolutions. Around this time of year, there are many articles put out predicting trends in business and marketing for the upcoming year, so it’s a great time to do some research and anticipate what should change with your small business for 2014.

At Hatchbuck, we communicate with small business owners everyday and it seems like there are a lot of common resolutions for their marketing efforts. Here are some things that we hear our customer base wanting to improve on:

 

1. Create content consistently

Creating content on a consistent basis amps you up for a great, planned out content marketing strategy. Many small business owners get overwhelmed at the thought of content creation (check out an article on content creation here), or have trouble doing it consistently.

Keep in mind that you are an expert at your business and writing about things you know should come easily. Create a content calendar and make deadlines for when you want specific content to be done and then just stick to it. Whether it’s easiest for you to spend 10 minutes a day or a few hours in one sitting, find what works to you and stick to it.

2. Follow up with prospects better

It is the norm for a small business owner to only follow up with leads that are ready to buy right now. Many times, all leads who aren’t quite ready, get tossed aside, not followed up with and probably end up buying from a competitor eventually. Prevent this by putting your “cold” leads onto drip email marketing campaigns with triggers to remind you to follow up with the lead.

Sending your prospects interesting, educational information about your industry, you are making them more knowledgeable about the buying process without being a pushy salesperson. Then, when they have indicated more interest, you can follow up with them, saving yourself a ton of time.

3.  Stay in touch with customers

A huge advantage that small business has over the big guys is to have a personal relationship with your customer base. As you grow and spend your time focusing on sales, it gets harder and harder to stay in touch. Hatchbuckers have found that using a system that allows sending mass emails that look personal and schedule “check-in” emails can solve this issue.

Some ways to stay personal are to send friendly holiday greetings. With an email marketing system, you can send to your whole database at once, but still look like you’re sending it personally. You can create it when you have time and schedule it for later.

Additionally, you can create drip marketing campaigns for your customers, just to check in and make sure they’re happy.

We have found a ton of tips and predictions for marketers and small business owners for the upcoming year. Here is a recent blog with some articles we liked: http://www.hatchbuck.com/blog/best-small-business-2014-marketing-sales-trends/