1/5/2018 5:57 AM | 0 Comments

You’ve successfully made it through the chaos of the holiday season, and for many businesses, year-end. Now that the relative calm of January has arrived, it is the perfect opportunity develop a plan for success in the new year. 

To help you out, we’ve compiled a few New Year’s Resolutions that you can follow as a small business owner. With these resources, you can prepare to hit the ground running with everything from your online footprint to cyber security to, of course, insurance coverages. Let’s dive in.

Improve your online presence 

In today’s digital world, consumers have endless options. They can do business with companies anywhere in the world thanks to the internet, so how can you break through? One way to make your business stand out is through effective use of social media.

According to AdWeek, 89% of shoppers said that appealing product photos online can sway their purchasing decision. What’s more, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media customer service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Even for B2B businesses, social media can be an essential prospecting, sales and recruitment tool. Bottom line: it’s more important than ever for small businesses to have a strong online presence in order to compete.

In the new year, make a resolution to improve your business’ website and post regularly on your social media channels (or create them if you’re not on social media already). A weekly or monthly editorial calendar will help you organize your ideas for social media posts so you can write and schedule the content when you have time, instead of when you need a post. Get more tips from the U.S. Small Business Administration on managing your social media strategy here

Protect your business with strong cyber security practices 

Cyber-crime made frequent headline news last year, and impacted a significant number of businesses and individuals. As a small business owner, it’s easy to think you would not be susceptible to these attacks, but approximately 40 percent of cyber-attacks are against organizations with fewer than 500 employees. 

Here are a few of the many ways you can help protect your business from cyber-attacks in the year to come: 

  • Train employees in cyber security principles. 
  • Install, use, and update antivirus and antispyware on all company devices. 
  • Develop a cyber risk management plan
  • Securely backup business data to an off-site location. 
  • Make sure your WiFi networks are secure. 
  • Regularly change passwords and make sure they are complex. 
  • Add an additional level of security with cyber insurance.

Create a culture of wellness 

Small business owners can feel extra pressure to always be working, and with so much business being conducted digitally, it can be understandably hard to take a break. What you may not realize is how many of your employees feel the same. Studies show that millennials, for example, work basically all the time.

While it may seem like a great thing to have such dedicated employees, there is a hidden danger behind all this screen time. Countless studies have shown that the sedentary lifestyle most office employees live due to increased dependence on technology poses a significant health hazard and increased likelihood of injury. If this doesn’t seem like something you need to worry about, consider the ramifications that more long-term medical leave, increased sick time being taken, or even workers compensation claims could have on your business.

Help you and your employees get moving by encouraging walking meetings, installing standing desks, or even moving printers to a far side of the office. Show them that work-life balance and a culture of wellness is important to your company by offering healthy, mind-clearing outings, like yoga or meditation classes. Provide healthy snacks in the office, like fruit and nuts, rather than candy and cake. Learn about, and promote, the health incentives offered in your benefits package or health plan, such as fitness club membership reimbursements. Healthy and happy employees are productive employees, so while this may seem like an unnecessary item to add to your to-do list, the long-term benefits are indisputable. 

Give back to the community  

Volunteerism creates happy employees and thriving communities. For employees, it is seen as an active way of practicing gratitude and has even been shown to promote mental wellness. At Eastern Insurance, volunteerism is at the core of our company culture and we’ve seen incredible success through the #JoinUsForGood campaign, but we’re not alone. We’re happy to see that many other companies have also recognized the value that being a good corporate citizen has on their employees, their community, their bottom line, and themselves. 

Want to make a difference in the new year? Making a resolution to give a small percentage of proceeds on one day to a local non-profit or charity can make a big difference. Or follow the #JoinUsForGood example by giving your employees time off during the workday to volunteer with their favorite nonprofit. In 2017 alone, our team served over 2,200 volunteer hours. Here are a few of the nonprofit organizations and charities we supported in 2017. 

Tell us in the comments: What is your small business New Year’s Resolution for 2018? 

If you are interested in our small business services and products, contact a member of our commercial lines team at 1-800-333-7234, or visit our website at www.easterninsurance.com/insurance-quotes/business-insurance

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