The new year doesn't mean you have to invest a lot of money to update your business. Instead, look at ways to enhance existing features and dust off some under-used ones. We are taking a cue from February and showing your business some love.
The updates also allow you to think about your feelings, from the passion that got you started to what you want to share with your customers and how you would like to move forward.
Whether store or office, this is an excellent time to make minor changes to its physical appearance. Don’t forget to first set a budget. Winter means we are limited in what we can do outside, but a snow and litter-free parking area plus clean doors/windows are a good start. Inside, improve the beverage area with new coffee/tea pots & matching mugs. Rearrange your floor plan, then add new area mats, shelving and (or) lighting.
Newsletters still reign strong as their ability to reach customers proves more successful than the overcrowded social media platforms.
Be sure your opening is short but engaging, then move on to what you want to share in the form of tips and specials. Balance the copy with imagery.
Popular newsletter services include Mail Chimp, free for up to 500 subscribers and their features are easy to use. Constant Contact is a favourite, but they have no free plan, templates are dated, and there is a lack of options for busy business owners. I have not tried it, but Mailer Lite prides itself on its simplicity and is free up to 1000 subscribers.
Nothing goes stale faster than a website; fresh copy and photographs will remedy this. Rewriting the home and about pages is particularly productive. Your customers value authenticity above everything in 2024. They want to know you and your business story.
Remove old services/products and blog posts. Make sure links and social icons go to the correct pages. Is the 'Contact Us' page accurate? Don’t forget to update your testimonials.
Photographs speak to people. Real-time pictures of your company are crucial, but stock photographs can work better to depict the seasons, special occasions, community giving/support, landscapes, and emotions.
Shutterstock.com & istockphoto.com are my two favourites. They have good filter systems, allowing you to refine your search quickly. While a bit pricey, stocksy.com has stunning photographs and videos for those extra-special marketing campaigns.
Free sites can be a slippery slope, but I have used Unsplash.com. It has a unique selection, plus they don't sell your email address or drown you with unwanted emails.
In 2024, the future of customer communication is more than just social media, but the updates we covered should all be funneled into your social accounts for fresh content.
I hope you show yourself some love this February with flowers, chocolates or whatever makes you happy!
Jill Crossland is a Business & Marketing Consultant with over twenty years of business experience. She is the owner of Jill Crossland Consulting & editor of Entrepreneurial-Life Magazine. From business strategizing to marketing plans and social media, Jill knows how to put the pieces in place for her clients.
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