hand-895588_1280The new year has started, and like always, you’re working your hardest to make your business grow and thrive in 2016. You’ve become an expert at doing things the old way, and truth be told, some of those techniques are still viable options. Others, however, might not be a good fit this time around. If you’re looking for a solid, dependable way to grow your business in the new year, consider the tips below.

Tip # 1:  Socialize within your industry

If you’re surprised that rubbing elbows with your possible competitors can lead to new business opportunities, you shouldn’t be. While the idea of being fiercely competitive is still out there, more and more business-savvy people are realizing that one business can’t do it all. Sometimes it’s better to partner up on projects with others in your network and cooperate to bring the client exactly what they need. Another way that networking within your industry can help is through learning more about the market. Seeing what other businesses can’t or won’t offer is a fantastic way to find avenues of growth for your own company.

Tip # 2:  Get rid of the dead weight

This tip might sound a bit harsh, but there is a great deal of truth to it. Everyone has those people in their lives that do nothing but mooch off your energy, time and hard work. While everyone should have a chance to make it in the business world, some people demand entirely too many. Think of it this way — if you’re drowning, and you have heavy weights tied to you, wouldn’t you untie them and swim to the surface?

Tip # 3:  Listen

This simple word becomes a very powerful tip when you sit down and think about it. We always say that we listen to the customer, but do we really? Also, there are other things and people that we should listen to as well — our employees, our co-workers, heck, even our competitors. Taking the time to truly listen to the world around you provides you with more insight, more ideas for strategy and sometimes an early jump on what will become the latest trend.

Tip # 4:  Reconsider your marketing

There is a great deal of advice out there about marketing. Most of the options presented are pretty viable, too. But is what’s right for Acme Painting right for your company? Maybe not. If you want to grow your business, you have to be able to sustain it over the long term. Take the time to tailor your marketing strategy to your strengths, your audience and your business. This makes your marketing that much more effective, and memorable.

Tip # 5: Keep up to date with your technology

While I do believe that it’s unnecessary to invest time and money into every new gadget or gizmo that comes to your direction, it does pay to keep up to date on new technology. By understanding what is available, you can decide what is best for your business and what you envision for the future. Don’t be afraid of the latest thing, but don’t worship it either. Consider each new thing that comes out, and consider whether or not it can save you time, energy and money, or  can boost morale. If it can do any of those things for you on a consistent basis, it is worth considering.

Tip # 6:  Don’t be afraid to encourage the sale

I’m not sure why, but so many business owners seem hesitant to encourage the sale or acceptance of the proposal.  While being pushy is never a good option, being enthusiastic and encouraging a potential client to take a chance on you is a great one. Be friendly and polite, but don’t be afraid of reaching out to a hesitant potential new client and giving them a helping hand to your doorstep.