Best Business New Year’s Resolutions Posts for 2015

Best Business New Year’s Resolution

Blog Posts for 2015

by Chantelle Kadala

best business new year resolution postsWhere did the time go? In just a blink we are a week into 2015. What?!?

If you haven’t decided what things you are going to do different this year, then you are missing the New Year’s resolution bandwagon.

Maybe that is on purpose – you’re an Original and never follow the bandwagon.  But even a Maverick like you needs to make some business decisions if you want this year to be better than the last.

Following are some the best New Year’s Resolution so far for 2015. There are some common themes like DELEGATE and MORE MARKETING. And one was such a shock to me that I had to include it (let me know if it shocks you too).

So much to do. And you can’t do them all. But DO something different in 2015.

Plan. Commit. Prepare. Execute. Make this the best year yet!

 

 

Best New Year’s Resolution Blogs of 2015

Yahoo Finance: The One New Year’s Resolution All Business Owners Should Keep

The importance of your annual marketing plan. Big business does it and so should you.

 

Forbes: Business New Year’s Resolutions Every CEO Should Make

Successful business owners (and CEO’s) focus on these impactful activities.

 

DB Squared: 10 Business Resolutions You Should Make for the New Year

No nonsense, actionable steps to a better year for your business from a top business finance site.

 

All Business Experts: 5 New Year’s Business Resolutions

If you are going to do only five things, then this list is the only one you should read.

 

Say More Services: New Year Resolutions for Your Small Business

Resolutions that make you a better small business owner. (Look at that…Already started on my marketing!)

 

Bloomberg Business Week: 6 New Year’s Resolutions You Could Actually Keep

This is an odd-ball pick but if you need someone for #3, then I can be that one friend.

 

American Express OPEN Forum: Make New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business

OPEN Forum knows business, so pay attention to these three resolutions to make big changes.

 

Pitney Bowes Blog: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners

Specifically for you small business owners! Quick read – 10 tips and done.

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Don’t forget your FREE 2015 Marketing Calendar Template!

No sign-up download in excel for your small business.

365 Special Days for Your Marketing Calendar

List of Special Days to Help You

Plan Your Content and Promotions

I have been looking all over for a resource to give small business and microbusiness owners to use with your FREE Marketing Calendar Template (click for free download).  The template includes a handful of holidays, special days, and observances but it would take some time to do an in depth search for “special” days that were relevant to your business.  This list below is so comprehensive I just had to share it!

Special days for your content and marketing calendarYes… there are A LOT of super silly days on here. But I bet there are some you can use no matter what industry you are in. For example National Drink Wine Day is so official it has its own website. It’s not too early to get ready for Feb 18th and think of all the reasons to drink… I mean promotions you can make that involve wine.

HOW TO USE THE LIST

Scan through this list and mark on your calendar the days you can use in your blogging and marketing efforts. Do an internet search for information on the “special” day and make notes on how you can incorporate them into your content marketing plan or business promotions. I know it’s a long list but the time you are going to save not having to search for this information is ten-fold the time it will take you to go through this list.

If you need any suggestions on developing content, just reach out and let me know. –Chantelle

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This was originally posted by a savvy intern named Cristina over at The DSM Group – a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations agency over in New Jersey.  Click to view their website (which is pretty impressive) or the original post.

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Marketing Calendar 2015    

Posted by Cristina on 1:27 PM on October 1, 2014

Having trouble coming up with marketing content for the upcoming year? Need a little help making a marketing calendar that fits with your company’s vision? Check out our 2015 Marketing Calendar to get a head’s up on all upcoming holidays and events.

While everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions to get back into the gym or finally quit that nasty habit, think about what you can do to improve your business. Just like any successful resolution, planning is key. Maybe offer a spring kickoff promotion or simply wish your customers a Happy Independence Day.

There are events for every day of the year, and you’re likely to find great ways to connect with your customers!

January Marketing Ideas

January 1st, Thursday: New Years Day – When to start marketing: Monday, December 1st

Ring in the New Year and roll out your brand spankin’ new marketing plan. If you’re not excited about 2015 yet, you should get excited!

Think of all the marketing opportunities this year has to bring. If you can’t think of any, you’re in luck because we’ve thought of some for you! Don’t wait for January 1st to start thinking of strategies. Getting an early start is crucial for a successful business year.

January 19th, Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – When to start marketing: Monday, January 5th

“I Have a Dream” that your business can strive to be successful this year. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought hard against racism and was a key figure of the civil rights movement.

Channel the passion that King had to bring your business the best marketing strategies you can think of. Afterward, thank him with an in-store or online display. Martin Luther King, Jr. left behind a strong legacy, and your business can too.

Other Marketing Ideas in January

January 1st, Thursday – Commitment day January 17th, Saturday – Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
January 2nd, Friday – Buffett Day January 18th, Sunday – Thesaurus Day
January 3rd, Saturday – Drinking Straw Day January 19th, Monday – Popcorn Day
January 4th, Sunday – Spaghetti Day January 20th, Tuesday – Cheese Lovers Day
January 5th, Monday – Bird Day January 21st, Wednesday – Hugging Day
January 6th, Tuesday – Cuddle Up Day January 22nd, Thursday – Celebration of Life Day
January 7th, Wednesday – Tempura Day January 23rd, Friday – Measure Your Feet Day
January 8th, Thursday – Show and Tell at Work Day January 24th, Saturday – Peanut Butter Day
January 9th, Friday – Apricot Day January 25th, Sunday – Opposite Day
January 10th, Saturday – Cut Your Energy Costs Day January 26th, Monday – Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
January 11th, Sunday – Step In a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day January 27th, Tuesday – Chocolate Cake Day
January 12th, Monday – Clean Off Your Desk Day January 28th, Wednesday – International Fun at Work Day
January 13th, Tuesday – Rubber Duckie Day January 29th, Thursday – Puzzle Day
January 14th, Wednesday – Dress Up Your Pet Day January 30th, Friday – Insane Answering Message Day
January 15th, Thursday – Hat Day January 31st, Saturday – Backward Day
January 16th, Friday – Nothing Day  

 

See the other 11 months in this easy-to-read and easy-to-print word document: Special Days Marketing Calendar 2015 or the original post.

 

FREE Marketing Calendar Template for 2015

The free download of the 2015 Marketing Calendar Template in Excel is so 4 years ago!

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Responding to Negative Online Reviews – Small Business Tips PART 4

THIS IS A 4-PART SMALL BUSINESS SERIES

How to Respond to Negative Reviews Online

Receiving a negative review on a site like Yelp or Local.com means that people who utilize your services or products are active on that site. So you need to be active as well and not ignore the issue because that bad review will be there as long as the site is there.

Take Control of Your Online Reputation
Take Control of Your Online Reputation

Almost all local review sites give the owner a space to publicly respond to reviews. Google Places, Yahoo Local, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Insider Pages, Merchant Circle, and SuperPages all allow responses and most of these will allow owners to edit and delete reviews (except for Yelp which seems to stay in litigation about this very issue) so reach out to customer service on these sites and see what exactly they can do to help you with a negative review.

Previously in “Responding to Negative Reviews Online – Small Business Tips Part 1” we spoke about the reactionary steps your business can take to combat negative reviews on local review and rating sites. Now we will address what you can do to set your business up for success and avoid negative reviews when dealing with customer review websites.

 

PART 1 – Do This and Not That

PART 2 – Composing – Number 1 – 3

PART 3 – Posting – Number 4 – 6

PART 4 – COMBATTING NEGATIVE REVIEWS ONLINE

 7.  Register or Claim Your Businesses: Take ownership of your business pages if they have already been created on sites. This allows you to have quick notification of comments as well as advertise your services ensuring your page has the correct hours, physical address, website and phone numbers. A previous blog, “Real Estate Agents Pay Attention – Yelp Tips for Gaining New Clients” has information on setting up a business for marketing success on Yelp.

If someone goes to the Local.com, Merchant Circle, or Insider Pages websites in your city, looking for what your business provides, do you pop up in the listing? Even with no reviews, this is free advertising for your business. Additionally many of these sites let you offer coupons or purchase sponsored placement where your business pops up first no matter your ranking in customer satisfaction.

8. Review Other Pages: There is a real good chance there is at least one other company out there that is providing the same services and products that you provide (even if yours are infinitely better). Search for these companies the same way a customer would search for your type of business on a review site. Make note of what customers feel your competitors are doing right and doing wrong. Try implementing winning components into your products or services. And also study how your business is set up to avoid the mistakes that other business have made.

9. Avoid Complaints: This no-brainer isn’t the number one tactic to combatting negative reviews but it should be. Know the experience your prospects and customers are getting from your employees at every stage of your businesses sales cycle. Do you have an employee handbook that details your businesses expectations and guidelines? Can you provide your managers, customer service agents and client-facing employees with written instructions and scripts to utilize when dealing with dissatisfied customers directly?

Customer Service Management is just one part of Reputation Management but it is the part business owners have the most control over.  Use online and in-store reviews to find areas of improvement and areas of celebration in your customer service.

10. Consider Getting Help: There are many Reputation Management solutions out there and they range in price and services, and sometimes you just want to call in the experts.  Search for a company that analyzes your current reputation and develops a plan to improve it.  They should also monitor where your name shows up online, and use SEO, positive reviews and other marketing tactics to improve your ranking in search engines.  I’ve seen plans from $100 a month to $1500 a month so you really can find a plan to fit your budget when considering the money saved by freeing your time from monitoring your online reputation and the avoid loss of revenue from a bad online reputation.

What else would you like to know about Reputation Management? Leave a comment.

Responding to Negative Online Reviews – Small Business Tips PART 3

THIS IS A 4-PART SMALL BUSINESS SERIES

How to Respond to Negative Reviews Online

Post Your Response to Negative Reviews Quickly.
Post Your Response to Negative Reviews Quickly.

You receive a bad review online for your business and you are mad, worried and/or want to die. Now that it is there, process all that and move your emotions to the side.

First, write a response like we spoke about in Responding to Negative Online Reviews PART 2 – COMPOSING YOUR RESPONSE.

Don’t spend a lot of time perfecting witty comebacks or snarky comments. Your focused and prospect-winning written response is concise, clear and professional and needs to be online as soon as possible. Now go and confidently post your response.

PART 1 – Do This and Not That  click to read

PART 2 – Composing – Number 1 – 3 click to read

PART 3 – POSTING YOUR RESPONSE

4.  Edit the Response & Post: Take out all the redundant or repeated words, long-winded excuses, and unnecessarily detailed descriptions to make sure your response is as short and concise as possible. No one wants, nor is willing to read a 500+ word response on how you are right and the customer is wrong.

Take one last time proofreading the response by reading it out loud. Your response needs to stay brief, focused and centered on reassuring future customers, not fighting with the one person who felt so strongly they left a negative review (which means they will probably never be your customer again).

5. Post and Monitor: Follow the website instructions and correctly post your response as soon as you are able after receiving a negative review. Check the review website frequently over the next few weeks to see if the negative reviewer has made further comments.

You may notice that a lot of times a negative review will prompt other actual customers to post their own reviews stating the difference in their experience to the negative experience posted. You must monitor and respond to those comments as well.

6. Ask for Review Update:  If you have had personal contact with the bad reviewer outside of the initial review to resolve their problem encourage them to update their review. If they do not, be sure to update yours with a short note as to what you were able to do.

Almost all local review sites give the owner a space to publicly respond to reviews. Google Places, Yahoo Local, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Insider Pages, Merchant Circle, and SuperPages all allow responses and most of these will allow owners to edit and delete reviews (except for Yelp which seems to stay in litigation about this very issue) so reach out to customer service on these sites and see what exactly they can do to help you with a negative review.

 

END OF PART 3

In PART 4 we address ways you can COMBAT negative reviews online.

 

How have you responded to a negative review? Let us know in the comments.