1. Hire from within.
The talented hire you've been looking for could be right under your nose. Instead of outsourcing jobs to outside staff, bring certain tasks in house for your employees to take on: It offers the chance for growth and new responsibility, writes small-business expert, Rieva Lesonsky. "Learning what your employees are capable of and giving them the opportunity to use more of their skills—and develop new ones—can help both your employees and your company grow stronger and more successful." (From "Insourcing: An Unexpected Way to Solve Staffing Needs," by Rieva Lesonsky)
We live in an increasingly mobile world; most of our customers both future and existing are doing way more on their cell phones than ever before. Tailoring your email marketing strategy to this new reality is the smartest thing you can do for your business: 69 percent of mobile users delete emails that aren't optimized for mobile, according to a recent study. (From "The Key to Successful Email Marketing You May Not Know About," by Jayson DeMers)
Lowering your bounce rate—the percentage of users who just visit your homepage before exiting—is necessary if you want an engaging website that leads to sales and more customers. One way to do that is by offering visitors content they can actually use, writes OPEN Forum contributor Julie Bawden Davis. "Free stuff keeps visitors engaged and coming back for more, especially if the information you’re offering helps them improve their businesses or lives," she writes. "A willingness to show visitors what you have to offer proves your credibility and the quality of your products, which often leads to sales." (From "4 Ways to Make Your Home Page Sticky," by Julie Bawden Davis)
Speaking on panels or keynoting events is a great way to draw attention to your business. Show your audience just how deep your knowledge is during your speech, and you'll have people clamoring for your services after the standing ovation dies down. (From "How to Generate Sales Leads Through a Speaking Engagement," by John Jantsch)
One step you should take when spring cleaning your finances is preparing an accounts receivable aging table. "The goal here is to determine what percentage of your customers are taking too long to pay," Periu writes. "Once you know, you should use this information to pursue unpaid debts." (From "5 Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Business Finances," by Mike Periu)
It's common to be distracted by an employee's resume or loud proclamations of success, only to find upon closer scrutiny that person is getting nothing done. Make them accountable for the work they claim to be doing by assigning a specific task to them, says OPEN Forum contributor Bruna Martinuzzi. "Assign a project and clearly define what's expected from the rogue employee," she advises. "Set mutually agreed-upon milestones for achieving the project goals, and let him know you'll hold him accountable for what he agreed to do." (From "8 Signs Your Star Employee Is All Talk, No Work," by Bruna Martinuzzi)
Sometimes the big goals you have for your company can seem insurmountable, and can lead to little getting done. “One way to manage this challenge is to draw a clear distinction between a long-term goal—a large target at which we're aiming over time—and the smaller-scale, day-to-day experience of our pursuit of that goal,” advises Ed Batista, an executive coach and instructor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. (From "6 Ways Successful Businesspeople Stay on the Cutting Edge," by Dorie Clark)
Your business can't be all things to all people; attempts to make your brand too broad effectively dilutes your brand's strength and messaging. To determine if your brand needs to refocus, do a deep dive into your company's messaging: check out your website to search for signs of overreaching and talk to your customers directly. (From "The Fatal Mistake You Could Be Making With Your Brand," by Sujan Patel)
Cater to your potential clients need for control in your sales pitch by providing three different options for them to choose from, writes small-business expert Mike Michalowicz. "If you give them just one or two options, they feel backed into a corner, and they may decide to wait, rather than selecting from the option or two that you provide," he writes. "If you offer too many choices, though, your client may suffer from analysis paralysis." (From "6 Tricks for Writing a Sales Proposal That Wins Business," by Mike Michalowicz)
Mentors are incredibly important to a business owner's success, but they don't have to be hard-to-reach executives to be helpful for your business, Clark writes. Search for mentors in professionals who are outside your field; you'd be surprised by the insight an outsider can provide. (From "4 Unexpected People You Need on Your Mentor Team," by Dorie Clark)
Read more articles on the latest small-business news.
Photo: Getty Images