April 13th, 2015 by IX Web
Operating your own online business is hard work. You and your employees have likely put a lot of time and effort into making sure your organization thrives, but even the most successful small enterprise has room for improvement.
By taking time to identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as setting goals for the future, you can dramatically change and improve the way you do business. The following are four simple practices that can help you accomplish this.
1. Get to Know Your Customers
Businesses in even the most stable industries have to deal with ever-changing customer needs and demands. Even if your customers are consistently happy with your products or services, it never hurts to put your ear to the ground and get to know them a little better. Try conducting surveys and interviews with your clients to find out what they like about your business and, most importantly, what they don’t.
Paying attention to what customers are saying about you on social media and review sites is a great way to see what consumers think about your company. Being present and in the conversation helps you develop a deeper understanding of your customer base and their wants and needs.
2. Take Care of Your Employees
Happy employees are much more productive and loyal than their less satisfied counterparts. Whether you’re a small operation or have a larger staff, taking care of employees can help increase office morale and productivity. Look to provide unique benefits, such as flexible hours and childcare solutions, and find ways to further your workers’ professional ambitions. If you’re working for yourself, chances are you rarely give yourself the time off you deserve. Though you’re the boss and working 24/7 might seem productive stepping back to take care of yourself and attend to your own needs will help you relax and take a much more balanced approach to running your business.
3. Forecast the Future
It may come across as simple advice, but one of the most important goals you can set for your small business is to plan ahead for the future, especially when it comes to selling online. Even if you have an existing plan for the next six months or year, take some time to reevaluate and refine it. Incorporate what you’ve learned from accomplishing your previous goals and set new ones for your business to meet. By measuring online sales and website data, you’re able to see what works and what didn’t, and identify areas on your site to continuously improve. Remember, goals aren’t set in stone and it’s important to always plan for change.
4. Utilize What Is Free
Running your business online comes with its own set of obstacles, as well as benefits. There are hundreds of free tools companies large and small can use to measure data, market online, and facilitate day-to-day corporate operations. A few favorites are:
- Google Analytics for measuring website metrics and data.
- Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for marketing and advertising.
- Moz Open Site Explorer for SEO insight.
- Asana for productivity.
- Google Alerts to see who is talking about you.
Utilizing these free tools will not only help grow your business but keep you on track to meet your goals of business growth.
These small improvements go a long way when it comes to ensuring the health of your small business. It may not seem like deploying a customer satisfaction survey or taking some personal time to relax will impact your company, but these quick practices have a tremendous effect.
Online small business owners can turn to IX Web Hosting for their web hosting needs. We offer a variety of flexible hosting plans with unlimited shared hosting, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server space, SSL certificates, and incredible hosting support.