5 small business resolutions to make 2018 great

January 2, 2018

So many New Year’s resolutions seek to address perceived flaws. According to one poll, some of the most common commitments (which are regularly broken) include exercising more, losing weight, eating healthy, and drinking less alcohol. It’s no wonder these resolutions are broken: they focus on the negative—on individual insecurities—rather than starting the year on a positive note.

This year, think big, be bold, and get inspired! We see each new year as a chance to start fresh, get motivated, and bring greatness to your (already great) business. Try a few of these new years resolutions to start 2018 off on the right foot.

Protect your customers.

2017 was the year of hacker attacks, and small businesses were among the biggest targets. Unfortunately, cyber criminals targeted small businesses six out of 10 times. These attacks are largely successful, and result in 60% of merchants having to shut down their businesses within six months of a security attack.

The good news? There’s a way to protect yourself—and your customers. Clover Security Plus gives you end-to-end encryption and tokenization technology to protect your customer’s data. A built-in PCI compliance wizard helps you adhere to the latest security standards and gives you a security score to help you benchmark your data security and risk reduction. Another way to be more secure? Upgrade to Clover’s EMV reader. If a business doesn’t have an EMV-compliant POS, they are automatically liable for any fraudulent transactions when they accept payment from an EMV chip card. Make sure your hardware is equipped to take payment cards with the new security features and protect your customers.

Make your customers your #1 fans.

Of course, mom will always be your number one fan. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a small contingent of loyalists this year? Make 2018 the year of deepening customer relationships—and thus customer loyalty. Depending on your industry, increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase your profits by 25% to 95%. There are a few simple ways to turn first-timers into lifetime fans. Start a loyalty program to bring your most valuable customers in more frequently. Take advantage of the high-volume holiday foot traffic to start recruiting new brand evangelists. Use your social media channels to give your best customers a shout-out—and make it easy for them to do the same in return. If you’re looking for an easy way to put these ideas into action, try Clover Customer Engagement. This suite of free tools gives you data points to help you get to know your customers better, increase sales, and grow your business.

Up your HR game.

If we take nothing away from 2017, it should be the importance of strong HR practices. Even small businesses need to be accountable to treating their employees right, and luckily, there are some easy tools to keep your staff happy. Start by implementing proper HR policies since, as one survey found, “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels, compensation/pay, benefits and job security” has a direct impact on morale. HR doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor: try an app like Gusto. Gusto is an easy way to automatically file taxes, and has expert customer support. It’s ideal for businesses with under 100 employees.

Spruce up your online store.

This year, having an online store stopped being optional and became mission critical. More people shop online than in-store, meaning you’re missing out on a huge revenue opportunity by staying exclusively in brick-and-mortar storefronts. An easy, achievable New Year’s resolution that can give you big bang for your buck is to give your ecommerce site a quick refresh. Don’t miss out on a great way to draw new customers into your store, sell beyond your immediate location, and provide a convenient service for your best customers. Try Clover Online for custom-design templates that make it easy to have a professional-looking presence for your virtual customers.

Become a marketing master.

Last, but certainly not least: make 2018 the year you master your marketing plan. Turbocharge your social media presence with these eight social media hacks. Entice your loyal customers to share your content with easy incentives—Social Branding, an app available in the Clover App Market, can help build up a social media following by promoting your channels right on your receipts. Already a pro at social media? Use Clover Online Listings to ensure your business is accurately represented in a network of over 70 maps, apps, search engines, social networks and directories.

Still looking for a little inspiration? Look no further than your most trustworthy staff and/or customers. These are the people who can give you the most on-point suggestions for improving your business. Resolutions work best when they come from a place of true introspection and desire to do things better. Honor their suggestions by thinking critically about how you can bring more success on every level of your business this year!

Clover is sold by our trusted partners including CloverYou’ll also find Clover at leading US Banks, such as Bank of America PNC and Wells FargoMore than 3,000 other First Data partners also sell Clover solutions in the US.

[image: Happy New Year! by Timo Newton-Syms on flickr]