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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wise Business Investments for 2012

It's a New Year which means it is time to rethink and possibly even spruce up your business plans. Maybe you've wanted to update your Website with a new look, or hire a Social Media expert to get your brand's name out there. What better time to make investments that benefit your business than now? Here are some ideas for you and your business in 2012:

Don't Ignore Social Media
Social Media is a wise investment, however small businesses are often overwhelmed by Social Media and don't realize its full potential. An All Twitter study revealed that two-thirds of small businesses won't be making additional investments in their Social Media marketing in 2012. Some of the reasons this large percentage of businesses don't want to up their Social Media game include, "Don't have the staff," "Too many sites to manage," and "Don't know where to start".

Social Media can be overwhelming especially to business owners who didn't grow up with Websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Just because these services are unfamiliar, doesn't mean they're unnecessary. If you don't have the time to manage your brand's social presence yourself, consider investing in hiring somebody who understands Social Media and can work to get your business out there in the social world. Social Media has many uses for businesses including fast and easy communication with clients, brand awareness, and can be used as a customer service tool. Social Media sites are free to sign up for, so the only investment is the time it will take someone to organize and maintain your brand's Social Media marketing.

Importance of Employee Education
Benjamin Franklin said, "An investment in education always pays the highest returns," which is very true. In hard economic times, employee education funding can be the first thing to get cut, but employees are often a company's greatest asset. Education improves productivity so try to ensure your employees are staying current with in-house training, conferences and teaching each other.

In-house training involves bringing a trainer to your location to deliver a customized training program for a group of employees. This is often the most economical solution when an organization has a large number of employees who need to learn new skills.
Conferences are a great way for your employees to learn new information and get innovative ideas for your business. Take advantage of sending a few employees to conferences relating to your business and ask them to give a small presentation with the information they learned when they get back. This way the employees that attended the conference will be experts and able to both inform and assist co-workers with the knowledge gained at the conference.

Give Your Website a Makeover
Have you thoroughly looked over your business' Website lately? Have you clicked through every page and read every word? Most likely not, so now is the time to do so. Sometimes businesses will create their Website and then leave it at that, only updating the “News” page once in a while. If you can't remember the last time you updated your website, the New Year is a great time to do so.

Make sure your Website is simple, which means eliminate confusing sidebars and an abundance of messy widgets. Also, if your site hasn't changed in years, give it a new look. Play with the fonts, colors, and graphics to reflect your company's current direction. Finally, make sure your company's information, such as email address and hours, are easy to find and read. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer that when they can't find information they're searching for. If you're happy with your site's design and overall look, focus on the content of your site. Write a new article or create a tips page to provide your customers with new information.

Want to know what not to do for your Website? Check out this InstantShift article for the top 10 web design habits you should avoid.

From employee education to Website makeovers, and beyond, there are many different investment possibilities for your business this year. What you invest in depends on what you want to your business to accomplish, so be sure you define your business' goals and objectives before moving forward with any new initiatives.

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posted by Tiger Leasing @ 11:07 AM

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