17 Ways to Take Your Business to the Next Level in 2017

1. Set a goal. Dream big, but tie your goals to specific amounts, deliverables, and timelines.

2. Make a plan. It has often been said that a goal without a plan is just a wish. You can always adjust your plan as the year progresses, but starting with a plan gives you the answer to the all-important question for any business owner: “What’s the best use of my time and energy right now?”

3. Prioritize. Your plan probably has too many elements in it. Scale back to increase the chances for success. You can always add more things to your plate later in the year.

4. Upgrade your profile picture. That outdated (or worse, amateur) photo is not cutting it – no matter how great you look. And yes, no matter how close you crop it, we can all see the shoulder of the person next to you. A professional photo shoot is easy, fun, and more affordable than you think.

5. Refresh – or create – your business’s logo. The great thing about the logo creation process is that it helps you define the core of your business. Not only its products, services, and target market, but its essential identity. The next great thing is, no matter how long you’ve been in business, a refreshed logo can breathe new life into your enterprise.

6. Boost your credibility. Now is the time to gather testimonials or ROI data from your customers. Knowing that other people had a positive experience with your product or service makes potential customers more likely to buy from you. And your best customers will sing your praises far more directly – and more effectively – than you can.

7. Add a video to your site. Videos are fun and engaging. Plus, adding a video to your company’s website increases the chance of a front-page Google ranking by 53 times.

8. Build your email list with a winning incentive. Whether you’re an Internet-focused company or not, having the email addresses of people who would like to hear from you is like having gold. Entice them to sign up for your email list by creating and offering a high-value tip sheet, how-to guide, or other valuable content.

9. Show off your expertise. Whether you choose to add (or recommit to) a blog on your website, publish guest posts in other venues, or create thought leadership pieces like white papers, demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about is always a great sales pitch.

10. Advertise your value with video. You and your team are your company’s most important asset. Short videos focused on your team members and their stories can drive up customer interest in your company’s products and services.

11. Update your website’s design. How long has it been since you gave your site a new look? Not only do older sites look dated and out of step with current digital design trends, they are not likely to be optimized for use on mobile devices. That means your old site is costing you money.

12. Make social content consistent with your brand. In 2017, everyone is using social. But are you using it as well as you could? Make sure your social presence reinforces – not dilutes – your brand. 

13. Build your funnel. Your marketing efforts should be part of an integrated, well-defined sales funnel. 

14. Update your website’s content. Many small businesses start by bootstrapping everything possible, and that most often includes the words on your website. It’s time to trade in amateur work for polished, marketing-focused copy tailored to your audience. Make this the year you get it done.

15. Consider a recurring revenue model. One-time purchases are nice, but ongoing payments over time are nicer. How can you add or modify your current model to accommodate recurring payments or subscriptions?

16. Go narrow to win big. Specialization is one of 2017’s biggest buzzwords, and for good reason. Narrowing your company’s focus to a specific target market allows you to tailor your messaging, pricing, and promotions for maximum effect.

17. Don’t go it alone. No business owner is good at everything. Focus on what you do best, and build relationships with small business-focused professionals, from accountants to creatives. It’s one of the best investments you can make.

CoCreate Studios is a team of creative pros dedicated to helping businesses own their stories in 2017. Check out our money-saving packages, or give us a shout. We’d love to meet you.