Get ahead now with these top 15 business tips for 2018.
1. Review your goals and set new ones
Why it’s worth it: Those with a solid plan and a set of goals have a clear focus on what they’re aiming for and how well they’re doing. Without goals, you’ll have nothing to measure your progress against.
Our top tip: We recently published a step by step guide on how to write a business plan. (Pay attention to step 9 to learn more about setting SMART goals).
2. Focus on your personal development
Why it’s worth it: Make the most of any downtime you have in December and brush up on your skills. Working on your personal development now will set you up for success in 2018.
Our founder Carly set aside a good chunk of time in 2017 to advance her own skills. Currently enrolled on the Digital Mums course, she’s learning how to plan, develop and manage effective multi-platform social media campaigns, as well as a whole range of other related skills.
Our Top Tip: Google Digital Garage provides free tutorials that can help you to advance your digital knowledge and skills. Learn more about online marketing, website management, social media and more, all at your own pace.
3. Conduct a social media audit
Why it’s worth it: Presenting a professional and consistent image across social media is crucial if you want to win the trust and loyalty of your followers and potential clients.
Our top tips: Are your contact details and bios up to date? Do your images, names and ‘@’ handles match across different platforms? Are your image sizes appropriate?
How are your posts looking and what’s performing well? Are you posting the right sort of content on each platform? (Our marketing guide for new businesses covers this last point in more detail).
4. Update your LinkedIn profile
Why it’s worth it: When it’s used in the right way, LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool for marketing yourself and your services.
Our top tips: Update your experience and achievements, add any new skills you’ve learned, attach portfolio pieces and/or case studies (if relevant), review your headline and summary, personalise your URL, update your profile photo, look for relevant new connections and send short, personalised messages with your requests.
5. Start scheduling your social media posts
Why it’s worth it: It costs nothing, and it’ll save you heaps of time. Schedule some of your content in advance and then focus on driving meaningful interactions day to day.
Our top tip: In our list of 12 essential productivity tools we introduced you to Buffer, the social media scheduling tool that anyone can use. Try it out in time for 2018.
6. Create a video for Facebook and/or LinkedIn
Why it’s worth it: Did you know there are 100m hours of video viewed each day on Facebook? And that video will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020? LinkedIn has also jumped on the video trend by recently introducing native video.
When it comes to business tips for 2018, this is one of the most crucial. If you don’t try your hand at video soon, you may get left behind.
Our top tip: No one likes the sound of their own voice and many of us are camera shy, but it does get easier with practice. If it’s really not for you, consider outsourcing it to a professional.
(Pssstt! You can watch our founder Carly’s first ever video below).
7. Develop and email marketing strategy
Why it’s worth it: In the UK, every one pound spent on email marketing has an ROI of 38 pounds.
Our top tip: MailChimp is our go-to email marketing automation tool. Start collecting emails via your website and social media profiles, then develop a regular newsletter or an email marketing campaign that will add value to your subscribers and ultimately drive sales.
8. Source new testimonials
Why it’s worth it: Positive testimonials and reviews inspire trust. In fact, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
Our top tip: Spend some time ahead of 2018 gathering testimonials from your clients and customers. As soon as you get them, update your website and add them to your social media schedule. Include images and videos for a bigger impact.
9. Set up Google Analytics
Why it’s worth it: Measuring your website traffic will give you a good insight into how well your marketing efforts are working.
Our top tip: Ideally, you should be reviewing your analytics monthly. But spend some time at the end of the year assessing how you did during 2017 and use the results to help you set new goals.
Admin and accounts
10. Get appy
Why it’s worth it: What list of business tips for 2018 would be complete without app recommendations?
There’s an endless supply of apps and tools out there, many of them free. Find the ones that work for your business and you’ll be making your life a whole lot easier.
Our top tip: Take a look at our list of 12 essential productivity tools. It includes free apps to help with project management, accounts, social media and more.
11. Set up or organise your CRM
Why it’s worth it: Keeping an up to date, accurate record of leads can help to streamline your sales process and align your team’s efforts.
Our top tip: Just getting started with a CRM? Capsule is a free, easy-to-use tool with a good range of features.
12. Have a digital declutter
Why it’s worth it: 324 unread emails, a cluttered digital filing system, documents, graphics, passwords and ideas all over the place? No one can produce their best work when they’re overwhelmed with admin.
Our top tip: Sort out your inbox and your digital filing system, then let these 12 essential productivity tools help you get ahead of the game.
13. Have an office declutter
Why it’s worth it: Tidy desk: tidy mind.
Our top tip: Now is the perfect time to have that big sort out you’ve been putting off for months. Get your workspace organised now and you’ll be raring to go in the new year.
14. Submit your tax return
Why it’s worth it: It’ll need doing at some point, right? Whilst you’re tackling all this admin work, now might be the best time.
Our top tip: If you’re handling your accounts yourself and you’re interested in improving your process, try the Wave app. It allows you to create and track invoices, link to your UK bank account and scan in or email receipts for easy expense tracking.
Relax and recharge
15. Take time off
Why it’s worth it: We’ve saved the best until last.
Take some time away from your work at this time of the year to relax and recharge. You deserve a rest and your family deserves your full attention.
Our top tip: Unplug completely for at least a few days. Turn off notifications, set an auto-responder, disable emails on your phone, and pre-warn clients that you won’t be available.
Did we miss anything?
We’d love to hear your favourite business tips for 2018. Whether you’re focusing on doing more now to get ahead, or you’re taking a step back to reassess and plan, let us know in the comments.
Need help getting ahead for 2018? Our team of virtual assistants offers a wide range of services.