In addition to the undying topic of productivity, confidence in your business is being hotly discussed as we move into 2018.
A confident business is one that knows where it’s going, and is able to deal with change positively. A business with confidence is also more likely to survive the challenges of the commercial world and thrive under pressure. The proven strategies below will help you build confidence in your business. Here’s to a year of positive business growth!
Switch Up From B2C and B2B
The B2C and B2B mindset can be limiting. Fitting your marketing into a strict category like this may not actually be helpful for your business. (I’m always reminded of an important distinction: B2B should actually be B2H ‘business to human’ — it’s definitely not an excuse to talk in convoluted jargon).
Whether you find yourself in the B2C or B2B camp, try not to impose limiting rules and boundaries on your business this year. Focus on all-round customer engagement, and don’t be afraid to try something new. By being less constrained, you might find new energy in your marketing messages.
Get Control of Your HR Processes
Every business relies first and foremost on its people.
In order to grow in confidence and size, your business needs to take control of its core HR processes including time tracking, expenses, and performance reviews. Without a scalable model, your business will fall at painful HR hurdles. By getting the basics right, you will be able to focus on fostering a more positive and supportive brand culture with high levels of employee engagement.
Make this the year that you implement solid HR policy so that you don’t waste precious time sorting things out that should have been automated a long time ago.
Start a Crowdfunding Campaign
Crowdfunding isn’t just for Silicon Valley tech startups — it’s been used to successfully fund the creation of children’s party games, bras, mugs, watches, and accounting software.
It’s a great way to engage in some low-risk testing to see how people might react to your new product or service – Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. While it may be scary to put yourself out there like that, imagine the potential positive ramifications if your idea resonated with the community…
Develop Your Leadership Skills
Every business leader needs some additional coaching or support at some point in their careers — especially when it comes to effective leadership skills. Recognize the importance of developing yourself as a leader, and the benefits your business will see from an invigorated and rejuvenated you.
You’re not the only leader in your business that needs attention though. You will thrive by surrounding yourself with leaders. Empower your staff to be great leaders in their own right to see your business truly develop in 2018.
Host a Business Event
Hosting an event is a quick and easy way to broaden your network, increase brand authority, and generally prepare your business for thought leadership. A well-curated event can lead to months and months of business uplift and confidence. Don’t shy away from taking your knowledge to the real world. Event planners can take the stress out of the job and you’ll be left with all the benefits of brand authority, thought leadership, and new connections.
Have a Team-Building Day (but don’t make it corny)
If your company event is to rent kayaks and go sailing down the river, just be sure it’s an exercise your whole team is capable of benefiting from and enjoying. An away day or team offsite can be great confidence-boosters, but only if your team genuinely gets the chance to explore their dynamics from a new angle. Just getting dressed up and told to do silly things for no reason is generally not inspiring or appreciated.
Networking is a an often neglected business asset, but one that separates the shooting stars from the guiding lights. Businesses that are known and respected ‘on the circuit’ do better than ones who disappear off the radar and become too busy to open their doors to anyone. Don’t be so busy ‘in’ your business, that you forget to peep over the parapet and engage with the business community around you.
Hire a Community Manager
Nothing inspires confidence in a business more than a thriving community of users and customers. Once you are past those initial growth stages, you may want to hire a community manager to help bring people together around your brand. A good community manager will take care of brand management elements that often get neglected during busy periods and positively boost your customer and client experience in the process.
Invest in Other Businesses
There’s nothing like a company side hustle or re-investing your profits into something meaningful to put a bit of life back into things. From buying a profit-making website to funding a local social enterprise, find an investment opportunity that makes sense for your business. Whether you use it as a training, PR, team cohesion, or financial opportunity — branching out with your business will instill confidence. There’s no doubt about it.
Open Up the Archives
It can be easy to dismiss old company legends and stories as just ‘old news’, but there are bound to be some content gems in those archives that are worth sharing. For newer clients or customers, a look back into the company’s past can build confidence.
Reflecting on the past every now and then is good— it gives you a healthy perspective on where the business is currently going.
Get Better at Financial Planning
Finances are at the heart of every healthy business, but small businesses often struggle to plan and forecast efficiently. Whether you hire a Financial Director in 2018, or just make sure you actually stick to your financial planning meetings, getting a better handle on financial data is a great thing for your business.
The more in control of your cash flow you are, the better chances your business will have of thriving, not only surviving, the year. Better cash control will also result in smarter investment and hiring decisions.
Celebrate an Unsung Hero
Have you got someone in the tech team who always manages to fix the printer with a smile? Or a small supplier who has managed to open a new site (thanks partly to your custom)?
It’s time to celebrate the unsung heroes of your business journey and bring them to the forefront in 2018. This will help create a more well-rounded public image of your business, and inspire the team to be grateful about everything they’ve achieved together.
Run a Multichannel Marketing Campaign
Truly multichannel marketing is not as common as marketing blogs may have you think… It’s often the case that in the daily crush, email, social media, content, and sales all start to operate in their own little silos.
Break those silos down once and for all by embracing an all-singing and all-dancing multichannel campaign that will knock your business socks off. Once you succeed with one multichannel campaign, you won’t go back.
Publish a Report
If you can position your business as an expert and industry publisher, you are in for a great time. Real PR-worthy stats are worth their weight in gold, and being branded an influencer can open up so many doors.
Spending time putting together an exclusive report of survey data or other industry insights is time well-spent. Give knowledge back to the business community and see your business reputation and credibility flourish.
2018 is a chance to improve upon 2017 — so make sure that you approach the coming year with zest and fire. As a business leader, you have an important role to play when it comes to inspiring your business with confidence.
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce.com, she shares tips on ecommerce and how people can hone their marketing and business skills. She is passionate about using her experience to help others run better businesses.