5 Business Tips to Start the Year Off Right

It’s 2020—time to make some New Year’s resolutions for the growth of your business. Whether your business is new or established, large or small, these five business tips are proven to boost revenue, build your brand, and make you stand out from the competition. 

#1. Make Purchases That Can be Written Off Come Tax Season

A new tax year means new opportunities to grow your business with tools that are tax-deductible. Advertising tools and subscriptions, equipment rentals, software, and professional development and training courses are all tax deductible. Other business expenses that are often overlooked are consultant fees, taxis and Uber fares, costs related to trade shows and business seminars, office cleaning services, banking feed, internet hosting services, and website design costs.

#2. Consider a Cloud-Based System to Save Money, Time, and Storage Space

In the last several years, many businesses have switched from a traditional in-house data center (with servers and other equipment on site) to a cloud-based system (with data stored in the cloud and accessed via the internet). In fact, the latest statistics reveal that 80% of businesses will switch to a cloud-based model by 2025. So why is this a switch to seriously consider? 

The benefits of a cloud-based system include more data storage space and zero need for on-site, physical storage of servers and other expensive, heavy equipment. Businesses also save money by eliminating the need for an on-site IT department, as well as saving both money and time on troubleshooting when problems arise. Security risks are significantly lower, and automatic software updates make for a more reliable system overall.

#3. Increase Traffic with Enticing Window Displays

According to market research, window displays are responsible for an estimated 24% of in-store purchases. But not all displays are created equal. Dynamic digital signs with bold, colorful graphics that catch the eye are the clear winner when it comes to attracting passersby. And unlike paper signs, digital displays don’t fade in the sun or become invisible at night—you get 24/7 advertising by using TVs as your window displays.

#4. Clean Up (and Show Off!) Your Business Instagram, Online and In Store

Like many small businesses, you probably have an active Instagram account but don’t have the time or manpower to devote to it. But with more than 1 billion users and 83% of them using the platform to learn about products and services, Instagram is a marketing tool not to be ignored. 

Make 2020 the year you get your Instagram in order! The latest Instagram marketing trends include sharing videos on IGTV and showing authentic, behind-the-scenes photos and videos rather than carefully curated content. Studies also show that users respond to longer captions, with a suggested caption length of 65-70 words. Instagram trends that are still proven effective include shoppable Instagram posts, where people can click and buy your products, and using Stories to create limited-time content.

But your Instagram reach isn’t limited to your customers’ phones: you can use your feed to create jaw-dropping digital displays at your business. In-store digital signage is a great way to display images and videos from your Instagram feed to create brand consistency and keeps customers entertained and informed, both online and off. High-res images and videos are even more effective on big screens where customers can enjoy them while waiting in line, shopping, or dining. You can even share your customers favorite moments, building trust in your brand and creating an inclusive customer experience. 

#5. Improve Shopping Experience with Creative In-Store Ambiance

For brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants, creating a positive in-store experience for your customers is key. How your business looks, sounds, feels—and even smells—has an influence on whether customers enter, how long they stay, and how much they spend. In fact, one customer survey found that 41% of shoppers placed store ambiance before a store’s location and staff helpfulness in terms of importance.

How do you create ambiance that attracts, and ultimately sells to customers? Focus on engaging as many of the five senses as you can, simultaneously. One way to do this is with in-store digital signage. A study showed that 68% of customers were influenced to purchase by a store’s digital signs. Stunning on-screen visuals can be used throughout your business as wayfinding tools, informational content that explains your products and services in greater detail, and promotional and seasonal marketing materials. 

Background music is also an important tool for your ambiance arsenal. In fact, your customers don’t even have to be actively listening to your in-store music to have it affect their purchasing behavior. Creating custom playlists for your retail store or restaurant will add to creating an all-encompassing positive atmosphere for your customers. 

Start Your Year Off Right to Grow Your Business in 2020

There’s something to be said for the saying “Start as you mean to go on.” While you can make business changes at any time of year, a new year gives you a nice clean slate from which to measure your growth. And whether you’re a family-owned café or a multimillion-dollar corporation, it’s never too late to try new ways to expand your business.

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