New Year’s resolutions are usually reserved for personal goals — from losing weight to saving money.
But it’s also possible to apply these “betterment” principles to the business world. Every organization has room for improvement. Making your operations more productive, cost-effective and enjoyable can help you generate higher profits.
This is especially true if you get buy-in from the entire team. Soliciting feedback from employees helps to boost engagement. This increases the likelihood of everyone truly committing to whatever New Year’s resolutions you ultimately choose.
Below are six brainstorming ideas to help get the creative juices flowing as you draft the most important resolutions for your business in 2019.
1. Go paperless
If you haven’t already done so, 2019 is the perfect year to make your organization paperless.
The ecological benefits of this decision are obvious. Using less paper is simply better for the environment. Going paperless also means using less ink, transportation and fuel — all of which carry carbon footprints.
However, there’s also a financial cost to using paper:
- You’ve got to buy equipment such as fax machines, printers and file cabinets. All of these must be stored, maintained and repaired.
- You must spend money on materials such as paper, ink cartridges, envelopes and postage.
- Managing paper consumes a lot of time since every document must be retrieved and stored by hand.
Unfortunately, many of these costs are hidden, which makes it hard to understand their true impact. Something as simple as a paper check might end up costing you (the recipient) nearly $20 once you factor in all of the steps needed to receive, deposit and process that payment.
Paperless alternatives, such as electronic invoicing, are not only better for the environment, they’re also better for your company’s bottom line.
2. Focus on experiences
Consumers increasingly prefer experiencing things over owning them.
That’s why a company, such as Uber, is so successful. It’s simply more practical for users to “rent” vehicles on a short-term basis instead of buying a car outright.
Thus, your team should explore ways to add more experiential components to everything you sell — even if you’re in the business of selling cars.
For example, you could:
- Offer free tutorials on how to use some of the cooler features that most users never notice
- Host DIY workshops for those who want to fix their cars without relying on auto mechanics
Remember that in 2019 and beyond, the most valuable commodity your customers have is their attention, not their wallets. So, it’s more important than ever that you think about their needs and wants.
3. Start a loyalty program
Want 2019 to be your most profitable year ever?
If you’re like most businesses, you’re probably tempted to focus on customer acquisition. As long as you can find a constant stream of new users, sales are guaranteed.
That’s true. But the real money is in customer retention:
- Existing users are much easier to convert.
- They consistently outspend newer users.
Therefore, your goal for 2019 should be to get customers to return as often as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a loyalty program. In fact, we’ve written a blog post to help you get up and running as quickly as possible.
4. Treat your team better
Customers may be the bread and butter of your organization, but employees are the lifeblood. Any business plans you draft for 2019 should include ways to make your team happier.
Salary increases always work, but there are less expensive ways to put a smile on everyone’s face.
For example, telecommuting and flextime have been shown to boost employee satisfaction. Far from being costly, both of these strategies can actually save your company money and boost your team’s productivity.
These business planning ideas are just scratching the surface. For more suggestions, be sure to check out our post about National Fun at Work Day.
5. Become a productivity machine
According to an exhaustive survey of 2,000 office workers, the average employee wastes 15 hours a week doing nonessential tasks (such as checking Facebook). Some estimates paint an even bleaker picture, stating the average employee works only two hours and 53 minutes during a typical eight-hour workday.
The point is your organization may be wasting a ton of potential. Worse still, you’re paying for the privilege (in the form of employee salaries) of wasted potential.
You could install Facebook blockers and implement any number of draconian rules to keep your team in line, but that won’t make anyone happy.
Need a better approach? We’ve published a killer list of productivity hacks for business owners, so you should definitely start there if you’re looking for inspiration.
6. Monitor fraud
We want to end this list of resolutions for businesses with a topic that most companies overlook completely: fraud.
- There’s the direct monetary cost if you, as a merchant, must cover any losses out of pocket.
- There’s the time spent going back and forth with payment processors, banks and customers as you try to sort out the problem.
- There’s the potential for litigation, which carries its own set of costs in the form of legal fees, settlements and time wasted.
Last but not least, fraud diminishes the confidence that users have in your store. Think about all the lost business incurred by Target and Home Depot after their high-profile data breaches.
So, if you’re going to commit to a single New Year’s resolution, make 2019 the year when you get serious about preventing fraud from affecting your payment environment entirely.
This means choosing a PCI-compliant payment processor that takes data security seriously. You should also consider using more advanced fraud prevention tools such as:
- EMV credit card machines
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Hosted payment pages
- Credit card tokenization
- Point-to-point encryption (P2PE)
To learn more about protecting your business, schedule a free consultation with our merchant services team today.
Happy New Year from all of us at BluePay!