Personal New Year’s resolutions usually make us grumpy because they involve some level of habit-forming or restriction, like “Run more, eat less.” But what if, both personally and professionally, we turn the concept on its head this year? At least for our businesses, let’s make New Year’s resolutions that are less about structure and more about building more fun into the business while making more profit. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Remember what you LOVE about your business and do more of that!
Did you get into this business because you love the product, but you find yourself bogged down in search engine marketing? Well, stop it! I mean, don’t stop SEM, but delegate that to someone who geeks out on it. Focus your attention on presenting the product attractively, blogging about it, picking new images or finding even cooler inventory. Do what you love and get help for what takes you four times longer than it might take another person.
Make All Holidays Count!
I know, I know. You are exhausted by the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays already. But everyone loves a party—and a deal. Consider what your profits might look like if you put half the effort you put into the month of December into Mother’s Day, Fourth of July or Valentine’s Day. Marketers have known for eons that they need to ride the wave of news stories and public attention on all holidays. How can you make a really fun & creative play regarding at least two more holidays in the year? Choose ones that make the most sense to your business, find an angle, and make it fun!
Experiment with Shipping Costs.
You probably already offer free shipping at some level. Studies show that shopping carts get abandoned at alarming rates when someone thinks they are getting a steal of a deal on a product, but then get hit with shipping and taxes costs at the end. So, perhaps experimentally, when running one of the seasonal fun promotions you decide to do from the suggestion above, you can experiment with free or very low-cost shipping at different price points.
Be Human in Every Customer Interaction.
What have you done for your customers lately, besides sell an awesome product? Do you have a customer support line? What are your response times to questions via email or online, even on Twitter? Every piece of content you share with your customers should have the same amount of time paid to it, whether it’s your cart abandonment pop-up or your order thank you e-mail. Does your site’s level of “friendliness” meet your personal standards? How can you inject personality and fun into everyday interactions so that your customers think you are not only a business but a bunch of people that they trust and would like to have a coffee with?
Give Your Imagery and Website a Facelift.
Image is everything, as they say. People notice when you give your website a refresh, or if you haven’t updated product shots in years. You probably have some old pictures that are getting a little (virtually) dusty. Be sure to set up your winning inventory for some new glamour shots both in and out of the box and in a real-life context. Consider how you would want to showcase these products seasonally as well and try to consolidate costs by having a pro do everything at one time.
Simultaneously, step back and examine your website for usability and beauty. What do your analytics say about where and when people are dropping off your site? Make a few tweaks and see if anything changes.
If it has been even three years since you created your site, it can be looking a little outdated as well. Does this mean you need to invest in a brand new site? No. But having a great web designer help you take a look and determine a few gradual changes that can help your business shine in 2015 is certainly worth your investment.
All these resolutions can build your business. They also offer an opportunity for fun, creativity, and playing up your personality; no lifestyle changes required! Go forth, conquer 2015, and have a blast!
Onward and Upwards!