1. Get into the cloud
“I regularly back up our data,” you say. Do you? I say that to people, too, but “regularly” means “when I remember.”
I should know: I lost over a week of work and dozens of files when a hard drive crashed and my backup was anything but complete. The next day I spent a few hours organising and moving all my files to the cloud. Now my backups are automatic. And I can access those files on the go.
Sound simple? It is. The dumbest thing I did last year was to not move my data to the cloud… until it was too late.
Taking advantage of cloud services can help streamline your process and protect your data.
Learn more about Telstra's Cloud Services.Find Out MoreTaking advantage of cloud services can help streamline your process and protect your data.
2. Broaden your sales channels
Whatever ways you currently sell your products or services, it’s possible you’re missing an opportunity to broaden your reach.
Take me again: I self-published a collection of my columns and set up an online storefront through Gumroad, a digital fulfillment site. I sold some books. Great.
Then my wife asked why I wasn’t selling a Kindle version on Amazon. Good question.
So I did. I sold a lot more books.
Then she asked about other sites, about selling a print version… and every time I took the time to set up a new distribution channel, I sold more books.
Take a look at how you currently sell. If you don’t have a website (and 44 per cent of SMEs don’t), setting one up is easy. Maybe you can create an affiliate program. Maybe you can partner with the right distributor. Maybe you can turn a product into a suite of services.
Expanding your sales channels digitally is easy – and the broader your reach, the greater your chances of increasing your revenue next year.
3. Build real, mutually beneficial connections
You have the tools: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter… but are you actually using them?
Resolve to spend 10 minutes a day making connections. Pick a person to connect with – then maintain that connection.
Or go old school and send an email recognising someone’s achievement or success. Or go really old school and call a vendor to compliment the service they provide, or call a customer to thank them for their business.
Just make sure that 10 minutes is focused on giving, not receiving. The only way to build a genuine connection is to give without expectation of return: people care about you after they know you care about them.
4. Create a simple, automated dashboard
Every business has a few key metrics that drive success. Maybe yours are sales related: number of inbound leads generated, number of sales calls booked, conversion rate, cost of customer acquisition, etc. Or maybe yours are operations related: productivity, quality, work-in-progress, or on-time delivery.
You know your business. You know what matters. But do your employees know how your business is doing where what matters is concerned?
Maybe not. Spend a little time creating a simple dashboard that tracks overall performance. It doesn’t have to be complicated or sophisticated – you can create one in Excel – and then make sure everyone can see that dashboard in real time.
Ultimately you are what you measure. People instinctively adjust their behaviors based on the way they’re evaluated. Let your team know what is truly important and show them how they’re doing and they will work hard to give you exactly what you want.