As a business owner, you likely have many goals for 2019. You may want to refresh your brand by updating your logo, messaging, and colors. Or you may want to try a new digital marketing strategy. You may even want to use illustrations, animations, and other visuals to tell your story.

Whatever your goals are it’s important that you start planning for 2019 now. If you need help kicking off your 2019 business planning, we can help. Learn from our CEO, Jeff Lachina, small business tips that will help you achieve success this year.

Set attainable business goals

Nothing wrong with setting big, hairy audacious goals but back them up with a change in your behavior toward them. The road to that big goal is paved with small changes that add up every day. Attach a number to the annual goal and then work backward. Set quarterly targets based on this goal, and then decide on your key daily actions to meet those goals. For example, let’s assume that landing 5 new clients in 2019 is your annual target. If you attend 8 local events each month where you meet 1 new person each time, over the course of the year, you’re likely to meet 100 new people. If your story resonates with 10% of those folks, you just might hit your annual goal. Sound difficult? Well, it is. Make no mistake. Success doesn’t find you. As Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”

Be flexible

Keep your ears open to new ideas. A throwaway line in a conversation could give you the insight to start a new service or change your product offering in way you never expected. Recently, a sales rep of ours was talking to a potential client who was not currently interested in what we were offering. Near the end of the call, she mentioned in passing that if there was a state-specific product in her market instead of the more generic national one that we were touting, she would buy it in a heartbeat. Like a spore on the wind, the idea found fertile ground as we debriefed after the call. We couldn’t believe no one had thought of it before. We dug in, and three months later the potential client had become a statewide advocate for our new state-specific product.

Listen to your customers

To listen you must spark a conversation. Ask your clients what they aren’t getting from their other vendors or suppliers. They will tell you. Once you understand the buying journey from start to finish and where others aren’t meeting your clients’ expectations, you can hold a mirror up to your own process. If you’ve got what they aren’t getting, ride it home to the finish line. Show them you care about their pain by giving them what they want rather than what you’re selling. You might have to modify your service offer or just present it in a new light.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

Sometimes you need sandbox space to make changes. After examining search patterns for your industry, you might discover that what your clients are buying from you is only a small part of their overall purchasing pattern. Challenge your staff to stretch into new ways of creating your product or revising it in a way that appeals to a. To see whether it might hold up in another niche, run the idea through its paces as a mock project. Critique it. Revise it. Simply it. Introduce it to new customers. Promote it.

Network, network; and network some more

Networking is all about working outside your comfort zone. Just like attending those 8 local events every month, calling your colleagues to just discuss your own pain points can help you both find solutions to common dilemmas. Obviously, participating in discussions on LinkedIn goes a long way to building your credibility in an industry. Don’t worry so much about being profound. Try being encouraging instead with something other than clicking Like.

Take your business to the next level

We hope you found our 2019 small business tips helpful. Keep in mind; our suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. You should implement strategies that will help your business achieve its goals. If you have questions or need help with design, marketing, or branding give us a call. We are a full-service agency that can take your brand to the next level. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!