As the curtains begin to close on 2017, your business sights should be set on the road ahead; the new year. A successful plan usually begins with early preparation.

What goals were you unable to achieve? Can you implement business strategies for the same outcome in the new year? What new lessons or perceived trends can take your company to the next level?

This post provides meaningful tips for SMBs to start off on the right step come 2018.

A case for service excellence

To stay competitive, small businesses must transform themselves by leveraging the ever-changing technologies of our current landscape. It is essential, not only for competitive edge, but in contributing to the growth of the overall economy. Your business doesn’t have to be a big to make an impact in its community.

According to a survey by Small Business Administration (SBA), SMBs were responsible for 63% of net new jobs between 1993 and 2013. That said, you can set 2018 as the year your growing business breaks ground in its niche.

Things to consider;

  • Integrate your online and offline customer service

In the current business landscape, you can’t afford to exist in only one channel. Whether you run an online store or manage a brick and mortar company, your presence must be felt everywhere. Build formidable online and offline customer service experience for our clients.

Consider the UK food delivery industry, they have effectively integrated both online and offline channels to serve consumers. In 2017, it was revealed that 46% of users call the restaurant directly, while 36% place their orders online. By merging your channels together, your business can maximise the best of both worlds.

  • Experiential is the way forward

In a world where good communications influence successful business outcomes, strategies that appeal to most human senses will dominate the market. Experiential marketing communicates with our sense of touch, sight, smell, sound and even taste to create strong brand relationships.

According to Event Marketing Institute, 74% of consumers develop a positive impression about a business after a brand-driven experience or an inspirational event. Setting up more experiential campaigns should form a major part of your business’ communications in 2018.

  • Give younger staff more leadership opportunities

Millennials make up for more than 30% of retail shopping revenue alone. This percentage is significant; if you want to capture this market, you must speak directly to them. Already, millennials are filling the workforce space, and it is an opportunity for savvy businesses.

By hiring and giving millennial workers more potent roles, your business can target the market more effectively. While this applies more to specific industries like retail, travel, tech and media, their hunger and drive can also be used to dominate in other professional sectors.

Success in business means forging ahead; never taking your eyes off the price. By adding these suggestions to your business plans for the new year, you can grow and beat the competition.