As Riverside continues to experience more optimism in the local economy, and in the spirit and tradition of the New Year, it’s a good time to make resolutions for your business or future business. Below are five recommendations that every company or entrepreneur could benefit from implementing in 2013.
- Out with the Old, In with the New: De-cluttering your business can be just as satisfying and rewarding as cleaning out that one particular kitchen drawer. Think about processes that consume a lot of your resources, but don’t provide much in return, and be strategic about either streamlining or eliminating them altogether. Focus on what is working, or what could work if you had more time to commit.
- Buy Local: Riverside has an extremely diverse economy; chances are that most of your vendors are located just minutes from your delivery door. Building relationships and doing business with other companies in Riverside is likely to not only save you time and money, but it strengthens the entire economy – a win-win for everyone.
- Get Creative: Yes, the past few years have been a challenge for most companies, but aren’t we all tired of working in maintenance or recovery mode? Use the energy of a new start and put your thinking team together to come up with at least one new idea, process, product or venture for your business to implement in 2013.
- Go Viral: While we don’t recommend you spend more time updating your Facebook page than updating your books, if you still haven’t used social media as a way to promote your business and grow your customer base, 2013 is the time. Invest in at least one new touch point – whether Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or wherever it is that your customers virtually hang out – and drive new traffic to your front door or website (see #5).
- Refresh Your Website: This isn’t meant to imply that you have to spend thousands of dollars on a new look, but making sure the on-line information that current or potential customers and clients have access to is up-to-date and accurate is critical. Web searches have all but eliminated the need for the monstrous yellow book – if people can’t find you on-line, chances are they won’t find you at all. This also includes verifying your company information is current on popular search sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, Yahoo, etc. (Tip: Do a quick search for your business category, e.g. “shoe store in Riverside, CA”, and see what sites pop up first; you’ll want to make sure your company is in the mix.)
Although there are many other Resolutions that one could add to this list, the point is to determine what improvements could most benefit your business, and stick to at least one or two of them until complete, then move to the next goal(s). If you are struggling to determine where your business needs help most, there are many agencies in Riverside ready to assist. Click here for a list of local resources, or contact the Office of Economic Development.