2020: New Years Resolutions

By - Lewis
08.01.20 11:04 AM
The end of a decade! Can you believe it? Aren't we supposed to have flying cars by now? Or at least hoverboards? This year, and the past 10, have seen us through some pretty noteworthy stuff.

Let’s recall the launch of the first iPad and the inception of Instagram - yep, both happened in 2010!  There have been Royal Wedding(s), auditory surgery (looking at you, 'Gangnam Style'), and addictive apps (long live flappy birds). From the rise of AI and voice assistants to Beyonce’s twins and Tesla’s takeover, I think we can all agree - this decade has been kinda interesting. But with the end of another year, it’s time to say adieu to the 2010's and hello to our next ventures.

Letting bygones be bygones, we’re ready to drop into 2020 with a bang, starting with some goals. Forget hitting the gym more or writing a novel (although those are definitely worthwhile objectives). This year, we want you to commit to taking your business to the next level and actually reach your goal (with our help of course). 

Now is the perfect time to look ahead. Here are some ways you can resolve to grow your business in 2020.

A real life picture of me hovering into 2020

1. Build a Website 

The fact of the matter is, if you’re running a business in the 21st century, you need an online presence. Even if you have endless tasks on your business to-do list, prioritising the presence of your own web content is critical. Users (read: potential customers) need to be able to find and connect with you virtually - this is basic stuff fellow resolution-er.

Building a website to showcase your business doesn’t have to be a complicated or confusing task. And the how-to aspects of updating said website don’t have to keep you up at night.

Any business, small or large can, and should, have a website. Start with a game plan and determine your goals, then get in touch with us - we will get it sorted for you without breaking a sweat. And we will even show you how we did it (well at least the fun bits anyway) so that you can have a crack at updating it should you want to.

Want a blog that’s low maintenance (hey, we so get it - you have enough to do!)? We’ll help you keep things simple.

If you want some autonomy, but still would like a little hand-holding, you can get a simple but snazzy site up and running in a jiffy with our help. Or, you can be guided through the entire site-building process with our training services.

The choice is yours - power to you in 2020.

3. Get Serious about Email

Look. It's 2020 now, people are more savvy than they've ever been. In fact, 85% of adults think that a company’s website when viewed on a mobile device should be as good or better than its desktop website. That's quite a forward thinking view of website usage.

We've discussed this before. Your @live.co.uk or @gmail.com free email address is doing your business no favours. It looks unprofessional and you are going to be in a sticky one when you need to take on more staff who also need an email address.

Make 2020 the year you invest in a real business email system and set your business to scale freely. We will be happy to help you.

4. Try Out Some New Tools

A new year means new opportunities for trying things that are, well, new. The end of one year and the beginning of another can motivate you to run, skip, or hop out of your comfort zone and expand your range of skills and knowledge, in turn, empowering your business for growth. Start by experimenting with some new tools that help you build your business.

Here's a few 'out-there' ideas:

Looking for ways to make your business look more established? Get professional emails with G Suite and a professional phone system with RingCentral. We can get you set up today.

Looking for a way to best manage your business finances? Take a look at Zoho Books. We use it, love it and would be very keen to help you use it.

Want to build your own website? Check out Zoho Sites. It's super powerful yet still so simple, and we can help you from start to finish.

Want to boost your SEO in big ways? Easy. There are tons of tools for that and we can help you.

Want to open up your own e-shop? Let's chat Zoho Commerce, Zoho Subscriptions and Zoho Checkout. We’ll show you how.

Tying out new tools will help you become a more well-rounded and knowledgeable biz owner - an advantage that’s bound to help you build a better business in the new decade.

5. Improve Your Email Marketing

We've mentioned it many times before. We even just mentioned it, you know, about half a page up from here. Sure, it’s often overlooked if you’re not in a ‘90s Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-com, but truth be told, email can be very powerful. How powerful? 

Well, a big 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation and email is still consistently ranked as the single-most-effective tactic for meeting their awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention goals. This seemingly-archaic medium (which, FYI, was predicted to decline) is increasingly relevant for site owners looking to build customer relationships and augment sales.

And marketers aren’t the only ones with the hots for Email. 72% of consumers say email is their favorite method of communication with companies they do business with, and over 60% say they like to receive promotional emails every week from businesses.

So educate yourself: get smart on dodging the spam folder and providing valuable content that customers want to see enter their inboxes. Learn about the types of emails you should be sending your followers (like the increasingly prevalent email newsletter), set goals, work on building your ever-important email list, and start connecting with more of your customers in their inboxes. This is something we can even give you a hand with - just give us a holla.

6. Get Mobile-Friendly

OK, so maybe you are aware of this. But seriously, if you aren’t optimizing your site (and business generally) for use on mobile devices, you’re harming your presence.

Sixty-one percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% will jump ship and visit a competitor’s site instead. What’s more, Google rewards mobile-friendly sites with better rankings. Ron Burgundy would say, "That’s kind of a big deal". sales, conversions, traffic, search engine placement, UX, responsiveness - all riding on mobile responsiveness.

Mobile rules e-commerce: during some parts of this past year, 79% of online shopping time is being consumed on smartphones, and that number is only predicted to increase. Not only are consumers using smartphones to search (more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries) and make purchases (69% of purchases were made by mobile users on one eCommerce platform), but they’re not letting mobile devices out of their sight: 55% of smartphone users admit they get anxious when they don't have their phone on them. There's even a name for the affliction: nomophobia, or "no mobile phone phobia."

Taking these numbers into account, you can see that mobile optimization affects nearly every aspect of your business, from brand building and traffic generating to establishing relationships with customers. Google will not be friendly in its rankings to sites that aren’t optimized for mobile, which harms your traffic-building efforts. You don’t want this. This is bad.

Having a website optimised for small screens is a 'thou-shalt' that simply has to be a part of your business commandments this year if you want a more successful business. The same goes for email formatting where over 66% of emails are read on mobile devices, your emails need to look great on a customers screen or they may just choose not to read them.

Start thinking mobile by taking a responsiveness test drive, working on improving your site’s load times, redesigning your site pop-ups, and making an app - if your business needs it of course.

7. Lose some (business) weight

Even the most successful companies have areas of their operations that can be streamlined. Staff, as we all know, is the highest cost to most businesses. Nothing beats the human touch in business but you'll be surprised which workflows can be automated by technology within your business. We are talking about the tasks nobody wants to do - the follow-up emails to leads, the monthly subscription payments you manually take, the backups of your data or even the VAT filing for your business finances. These are tasks that are easily automated...so why are you paying someone to do them?

Review your vendor pricing. There is no harm in shopping around to see if you can find goods and services at better prices – assuming that the quality and delivery are comparable. You'll often find that you aren't on the best deal compared to new customers (which makes no sense to us but we digress).

Let Ostratto do the heavy lifting - our partners have seen an average of over 40% savings in 2019 on their IT services. Your interests are our interests.

8. Remember to Breath

Running a business is no small feat. To give your best to your business, you need to resolve to achieve the a proper work/life balance. It can’t be all work and no play. You (or your employees) will burn out faster than those Christmas lights you still haven’t taken down.

When approaching the new year, set realistic goals, hustle hard to stretch yourself and make things happen, and then breathe. Taking care of yourself is crucial to the success of your business. Trust us.

Set boundaries for in and out-of-office hours and honor them. Automate any tasks you can, delegate responsibilities, and then unplug. Resist the temptation to 'just check' your inbox. Be intentional about stepping away from screens and/or your desk and engage in rejuvenating activities such as exercise. Make face-to-face connections and prioritize your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Remember: It’s OK to take off your business-owner hat and just have a good time. This doesn't necessarily mean a week break in Hawaii. A proper re-calibration of your priorities and work-life habits will help you be a better business owner and the small breaks you should take will pay you back. It's an investment.

At Ostratto, we love to succeed with you. In fact, we live for it. Whether your new year goals include boosting your bottom line, hiring a team, finding new customers or clients, or learning new entrepreneurial skills, we’re here to help you make them happen in 2020 and we would be honored to be part of your business success.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and business-booming new year!

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