Business Services Blog
Taking time to evaluate the last year of your business is a great way to determine what you want to continue or change in the coming year. Take an afternoon to ask yourself these questions:
- What worked last year? What didn’t work last year? What do I want to do differently?
- What do I want my business to look like this time next year?
- What 3 things need to happen in order to get there?
Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific – be specific, not vague
- Measurable – try to quantify your goal so you know without a doubt if you accomplished it.
- Actionable – every goal should begin with an action verb describing how you will execute your goal
- Realistic – make sure it is something that will require dedication to achieve, but not over the top
- Time bound - make sure you set a deadline. This makes it a true goal.
Goals can be related to your business, personal, physical, emotional, or relational – whatever it is that will help you become a better version of you. 2014 can come and go or with SMART goals, you can make it a productive and dynamic year!
The holidays are a great opportunity to take a little time off, but social media requires constant attention to maintain visibility. If you haven’t discovered Hootsuite yet, you will want to! This social media management tool can free you up for other things in your business or personal life and keep you from having to be a slave to social media marketing. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts to be visible later in the day or week so you can forget about it knowing you won’t lose visibility while you take some holiday time with your loved ones.
If you want to learn more or need assistance with getting Hootsuite set up, schedule an appointment with Shannon or Julie to learn how. We meet with business owners all the time and it’s a tool we know you will use repeatedly in 2014!
Sometimes it's hard to know what to get your employees or clients during the holidays and not break the bank. Whether you're the procrastinating type, realized there were a few extra gifts your left off the list, or need to just let someone know you appreciate them - there are lots of ways to squeeze in that last minute gift. You don't need to spend a lot to let someone know you appreciate them. Here are a few ideas:
Send a personalized tiny letter
iTunes gift certificates
Amazon gift cards
Starbucks gift card -- via twitter! tweet-a-coffee
Business card holder
Business books from the 2013 Best Sellers list
If you're still stumped - even a heartfelt note of appreciation would be received with gratitude. After all, in this holiday season, gift giving is all about the gesture of thoughtfulness and the token of appreciation.
The purpose of using social media as a marketing tool for your business is to stay visible. To stay fresh on your customers minds. To be a friendly and reliable presence. But when you want to take some time off, how do you maintain your visibility? Our Business Bytes for December focuses on the social media management tool, Hootsuite. Learn how you can take time off during the holidays without letting your visibility lag using this scheduling tool for blog posts, Twitter, Facebook and holiday wishes.
Monday 12/9 7:00 - 8:00 pm Register
Tuesday 12/10 10:00 - 11:00am Register
As you anticipate the Thanksgiving weekend, you might be looking forward to the feasting, family time, and turkey-induced napping – or anticipating the frenzy of holiday shopping either by staying home or hitting the streets. If you are heading out over the weekend, we hope you’ll consider shopping small and local as encouraged by the “Small Business Saturday” movement.
In 2010, American Express introduced the idea of Small Business Saturday. The idea was to encourage shoppers to spend a part of their holiday shopping budget in brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local. These businesses are the heart and soul of our communities.
Six reasons to shop local this weekend:
- It’s economical - Shopping in your community saves gas
- It supports a family – many small business are independently owned and need our business to stay in business
- Shopping local puts money back into your own community
- It’s cozy and old fashioned holiday goodness to shop local.
- Many small businesses will offer special discounts specifically for Small Business Saturday
- Your local small business owner is often able to provide a more personalized shopping experience.
Shop local this weekend and Happy Thanksgiving from the Business Services staff at AHML!
The Business Book Club was a great success last week. The room at Armand's was packed out with participants willing to chat about how their businesses could implement the boutique business model described in Worth Every Penny, by Sarah Petty.
- Learning to set boundaries with your business.
- Developing a niche.
- Making your business unique by drawing on your own strengths and unique life experiences.
- Charging what your worth so you can have the time to delight your ideal client.
Everyone who read the book was glad they did, a few even passed it along to other business owners in their lives as a recommended read.
Our next Business Book Discussion we will be reading 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, by Jeffery Gitomer. We'll be meeting on February 19th @ Armand's Pizzeria again. Plan to join us after the holidays!
If you missed this month's Business Bytes program on balancing the work-from-home lifestyle, feel free to glean some tips from the presentation slides shared here.
In next month's Business Bytes, Shannon will be presenting on how to use Hootsuite as a scheduling tool for all of your social media marketing. This is a great tool that will free you up to do other things on your to-do list throughout the week (and take some well deserve time off over the holidays!).
Do you work from home and wonder where all the time went? Business owners and telecommuters have unique challenges when managing the work-from-home lifestyle. Come gain some practical tips on how to manage your time, increase productivity and protect yourself from burnout or the opposite, lack of productive work. Lots of resources will be shared from someone who is teaching from past experience with these challenges - and wishes she had known some of these tips back then.
Monday, November 11 7-8 pm Register
Tuesday, November 12 10-11 am Register
Learn4Life is one of our most recent additions to the collection of databases here at AHML. It provides in-depth, instructor led, 6 week courses including several business related courses! The opportunities for lifelong learning are wide ranging and so practical! What normally would cost about $90 for someone registering for these courses outside of the library are available to you with the use of your library card for free! It's an incredible value. This includes local businesses with a business library card.
We specifically wanted to draw attention to a brand new course titled Social Media for Business. As you progress through the course, you'll master a simple process for making social media work for you. You'll learn about the five most popular social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+—and study secrets for using them to promote your business, how to manage the social media so it doesn't take over your time, and out to measure the success of your efforts.
This database is reserved specifically for library cardholders. Check it out!
Did you miss our Business Bytes this week? Here are all of the slides from the presentation. We talked a lot about practical ways you can be proactive, intentional, and prepared in your marketing - not just during the holidays, but for the whole year!
Please feel free to contact Julie or Shannon if you're interested in getting more personalized information on how to be intentional in your marketing efforts using social media, basic planning calendars, and other resources.