CHICAGO — With the New Year just around the corner, this is the time to set your plans for taking advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves in 2015. Here are the remaining steps you can take right now to make 2015 your best year ever:
TAKE ACTION ON POOR PERFORMERS
Retaining valuable employees should be high on your priority list for 2015. However, failing to take action on an unproductive or disruptive employee can be a costly mistake.
Keeping a problem worker around to create more trouble makes a bad situation worse. That’s not fair to you or to your other employees.
A single problem employee in a business with dozens of employees can represent a serious threat to productivity and profits; in a tiny operation, it can be deadly.
Failing to terminate a problem employee can result in added stress on other employees who may have to take on more work, and dissension among those who can’t understand why the employee is being kept.
In short, once you identify a disruptive or unproductive employee, it’s best to face up to the unpleasant task of terminating the relationship; postponing it can only lead to a more serious problem later on.
PUT MORE TRUST IN YOUR PEOPLE
No one knows the intricacies of a particular job better than the person who is doing that job every day. Most employees are anxious to make a positive contribution in their workplace, so establishing an atmosphere that encourages employees to offer suggestions for improvements is a worthwhile goal for 2015.
If you don’t already have one, consider installing a suggestion box for employee use. Even better, put a program in place that will reward employees who make usable suggestions with cash or other means of recognition.
Perhaps most important, take advantage of every opportunity to say thank you.
RATCHET UP YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Where does a prospect go to find basic information about your store? Up to now, you’re probably relying mostly on conventional media to satisfy this need, including an expensive ad in the Yellow Pages or industry directories.
Realistically, these platforms don’t work as well as they used to. More and more, today’s customer goes to the Internet to find an address, phone number or other important information about a business.
You may already have a website for this purpose. However, social media can be used not only to complement your website, but to help build a dedicated and loyal customer base by reaching many more prospects than a website alone.
And social media doesn’t cost anything except the time of you or a staff member. Even more important, social media helps to build permanent relationships and loyalty through two-way contact with prospects and customers.
Traditional marketing provides one-way contacts with your customers and prospects. Social media provides a means for having a dialogue—a much more effective and profitable marketing technique.
With a dozen or more social media platforms now up and running, getting started may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but one or more of the big three (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) is all you need to start putting social media to work for your business.
Facebook, with more than 800 million active users, is arguably most important of all social media platforms, and getting started on Facebook couldn’t be easier. Just log onto www.facebook.com and follow the directions to open your free account.
Whatever platform you choose, ratcheting up your presence in social media should be on your priority list for 2015.
Missed Part 1 of this story? You can read it now HERE.