Every business (big or small) should reevaluate their business at the start of the New Year. Just as people think about their resolutions, businesses should consider some as well. Since we work primarily with small business, we thought we would put together a list of five new year’s resolutions for small businesses. Be sure to keep these 5 resolutions  in mind as you plan 2018.

#1. Reflect on Mistakes

Before you can move forward with making any changes to your business or business goals, it’s best if you reflect on the mistakes that were made by your business. Whether these mistakes were made by you, employees, or other staff, you really should spend time thinking about what happened and what your role was. This is the difference between a weak and a strong business. A weak business will fail if the employers never think about how they can avoid the mistakes that were previously made. Of course those who don’t take this step are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Having made a lot of repeated mistakes ourselves, we know that this first resolution can be difficult but ultimately it is a necessary resolution to begin a better year.

#2. Upgrade your Technology

This can be costly for a small business, however if you can afford it, it can help attract more business. For restaurants, this could mean joining the number of online (or app based) delivery services to stay relevant and to also be found for those customers who are users of Eat24, Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates, etc! If you’re a small business that is using computers and software, you should consider getting newer versions, particularly if your employees are complaining about the speed of their programs or if their computers are constantly crashing. You really need to take a good look of the technology in your business (like POS systems) and consider an upgrade where possible.

#3. Learn Something New

Although we advise that you learn from your mistakes, that’s not necessarily learning something new. Often times business owners get stuck on one path of conducting their business. As a business owner you can learn something new about your industry and see if it’s applicable to your business goals. Maybe there are new ways to do the same thing you’ve been doing for 30 years. Maybe valued employees will have a fresh perspective on the path that your business takes. Listening to trusted employees can teach you a few new tricks. Learning something new can move your business forward.

#4. Use Social Media

There are plenty of social media platforms out there, between Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, even Yelp which is not considered traditional social media but is extremely social. You have to consider what industry your business is, the branding and voice you want to use while posting, and whether or not posting is useful for you. We don’t advise on posting for every platform, as each platform is different and one may not make sense for your business. For example, Instagram is wildly helpful for the food and beverage industry. Whereas Twitter may not be that useful for your small business since that is considered a platform that is used more for informational purposes. Meanwhile Instagram is great for the food and beverage industry because it is visual. People love seeing great images of food and drinks. Instagram users also love tagging the establishment they are in. Being tagged in someone’s photos is a great way to show even more pictures of your space or your products, from the perspective of a consumer.
Facebook is useful because many use this platform to check in and to post reviews, which adds visibility to your business. For Yelp, it’s one of the most popular platforms consumers use to review establishments. Remember that with Yelp you want to make sure to regularly check and respond to reviews. Negative reviews can really impact a business, responding to them can help show that, one you care about their concerns or complaints and that you also want to help. When Yelp users scroll through the reviews and see that you attempted to offer a solution, it gives you more credibility. Keep in mind that sometimes users will also remove their negative review if you do attempt to make the situation better.

#5. Strategize

Now that you’ve thought about your mistakes, you’re doing a possible upgrade to your technology, you’re learning something, and you’re using social media to your advantage, your last step is to come up with a strategy for the year that can help achieve your business goals. Whether you’re looking to attract a certain amount of new customers or you’re looking to generate more leads per quarter, you have to evaluate where you currently are and where you want to be. Our intent was to shed some light on the importance of new year’s resolutions for small businesses in 2018.

Ready to take your business to the next level? Schedule a consultation and discover why working with us might by the 6th resolution you want to make this year. Feel free to fill out our contact form or call us (310) 405-7598. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see some of our work and receive other useful tips like this article.

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Amazon, Target, and other major retailers are obvious places to shop for holiday gifts! However if you look into your local Los Angeles community you’ll see plenty of places where you can find affordable gifts, while also supporting your local business economy. From restaurants, to local retailers, even local brands that sell items online, you can easily find and support plenty of businesses in the Los Angeles area. Since we work primarily with local LA businesses doing their Digital Marketing and Social Media we understand how much local businesses need their community to help keep them thriving. We’ve decided to come up with a list of hot spots throughout Los Angeles area where you can pick up great gifts for your loved ones.

Paint

Do you have a DIY’er that loves to create projects with paint materials? Faux Masters is the best place to pick a range of great products from Colorants & Pigments to Metallics, Glazes and more! Faux Masters’ paint products can help transform ordinary items, like desks, mirrors, and doors and turn them into unique pieces of art or furniture. Located at 22941 Savi Ranch Pkwy Yorba Linda, CA 92887, you can stop by or order your gifts online!

Mexican Cuisine

With three locations to choose from (Santa Monica, Westchester, Culver City) Benny’s Tacos is the perfect place for the Mexican cuisine lover! Get them a gift card and they can enjoy Benny’s delicious food as much as they want! Choose from their delicious menu of favorites like Breakfast items (served all day) such as Chilaquiles, Huevos Rancheros, Steak N’ Egg Burrito, and more! Or you can try fan-favorites burritos like California, Fish, or Shrimp.

Simple Apparel & Camping Supplies

Head on over to Venice Boulevard at 10341 if you’re looking for adorable apparel that is comfortable. Get an easy shopping experience at The Surplus Store! Whether your loved one is in the military or simply loves the memorabilia, you can buy military pins, clothing, and other types of memorabilia. Know someone who loves to go on hikes or likes to camp? They’ve got plenty of durable hiking and camping supplies that can last for many experiences. Stop by The Surplus Store and stock up!

Jewelry

Westwood Jewelers located at 2318 Westwood Blvd, can sparkle up the lives of anyone looking for classy jewelry. Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, Rings, Watches and even Custom Made Jewelry can be discovered at Westwood Jewelers. For Custom Made Jewelry you simply bring in an image or start from scratch. When the design process is finalized they can provide 3D Imaging so you can what it will look like.

Fitness

With the New Year around the corner tons of people consider fitness their biggest goal for the following year. Well at Vert Fitness & Sports Therapy you can gift Personal Training for just $29 an hour! And that’s not all…you can even call to set up a Free Trial Workout. Give the gift of weight loss and strength training today! There are even two locations to choose from, their Santa Monica location and Reseda (in San Fernando Valley).

Custom Cabinetry

If your loved one has been thinking about sprucing up their kitchen or bathroom, you can offer them an affordable solution… Mix-it Modern! Get their “custom doors from the California shores.” They use high quality materials, like 18 colors of truly painted MDF panel and hardwood doors, as well as Supermatte, Smooth or Textured Melamine, and more! They will even do Custom Color Matching if you can provide them a sample of swatch of an item (like denim, boots, or any other miscellaneous item).

Women’s Activewear

Body Love Athletica has been around for a few years now and not only can you find the Women’s brand in a few exclusive boutiques around Los Angeles, but you can also shop online. Their form-fitting tops and bottoms go great with casual clothes or can be dressed up for a California chic look. Their website even has a $40 and under section, so you’re guaranteed to squeeze in a few great gifts!

From paint and Mexican food, to apparel, accessories, and custom cabinetry, we’re certain that you will find something on this list to give away as a gift this holiday season! And from Promotion LA…have a Happy Holiday Season and a very Special New Year’s!

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Managing projects can be difficult, depending on your work load, the details of the project, and the people that are working with you on the project. Having dealt with smaller and large scale projects we’ve put together a list of some helpful tips that you’ll be able to use for your next project.

Set Realistic Expectations

Setting realistic expectations for us as a Digital Marketing Agency means making sure we can deliver on a project with a client. For us we specialize in web development and online marketing, so before a client even signs a contract with us, we have to do a little digging to find out if we can meet the client’s demands. This is particularly true for larger projects, like some of the shopping cart websites we’ve developed. We try to look at every business’s website as an individual experience. This means that a potential client gives us the scope of what their business goals and needs are. Seeing what they want to achieve we ask ourselves, does the clients’ needs match our capabilities as a web development and marketing team?

Organize the Project Details

The very first step is to organize all the details of the project. This first step is the most important because all of the details will be identified from the beginning so you and your team aren’t caught off guard by any unnecessary problems. For us, as a Digital Marketing Agency, the projects that we deal with are primarily based on developing websites for our clients. Once a client signs a contract with us for web development, we organize all of the variables that we need to consider before doing any development. This helps our writer and developer figure out how to write and build the pages that we are going to create. Knowing from the beginning what our client’s needs are helps us when choosing a layout that is specific to their goals. Since we deal with countless industries and businesses, it’s crucial for us to be as organized as possible with a project from the beginning.

Delegate The Project Properly

Use the details of the project to guide your decision making when it comes to choosing the right people on your team to be given the appropriate task. Understanding what strengths and weakness your team has, you’ll be able to find tasks that you can delegate to your team, without worrying about whether or not the tasks can be completed. According to Life Hack “make sure each team member is clear on what is expected from them and when. Encourage them to ask questions to clarify anything that may be uncertain, and to come to you whenever something seems to be out of place or going awry. Clear and open communication is mission-critical.” As the project manager communication is imperative throughout the project. Checking in on your team from time to time, to see where they are and any problems that they need help with, can also help push a project along.

Create Proper Deadlines

A project can fall apart at the seams if proper deadlines aren’t put into place. For us, we find that flexible deadlines work the best, when putting together a website. Since we work closely with clients, asking them to approve the content that we write and the website that we build, we know that oftentimes clients can hold us up. Earlier this year we had a client keep the content for months before doing anything with it. That means that although we had done a photo shoot, wrote the content, and even started building a layout, with the content approved, their website would’ve been finished in a matter of a few days. So although we had a deadline in mind, sometimes clients can hold us up from moving to the next phase of a project. But as a team, we try to make sure that we’re at least on the same page with where we want to be by certain deadlines, even if we are flexible enough to change those deadlines.

With realistic expectations, organization, delegating tasks, and creating proper deadlines to finish the project, you’ll be able to successfully complete any type of project. Just follow our tips closely for the best results. Interested in seeing some of the projects we’ve tackled so far, check out our Portfolio.

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Creating A Healthy Work Environment is Vital for Any Business

Creating a healthy work environment is vital for any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re the owner of an office space or a nail salon, a restaurant or an optometry center, any type of work space or environment needs to be healthy for all of the people working with you. As I’m sure you know “a happy employee is a productive employee.” And why? Because when employees are enjoying and thriving in their workplace, their productivity increases. In fact, Business Performance states that “an employee’s workplace environment is a key determinant of the quality of their work and their level of productivity. How well the workplace engages an employee impacts their desire to learn skills and their level of motivation to perform.”

As a manager, employer, or CEO you may not even realize the type of work environment that your staff is working in. Being aware of this will help you and your team, work together in a healthy and harmonious environment, which is not only good for you and your staff, but your consumers as well.

You Set the Tone

As the person in charge, you not only set the tone but you also create the environment that those who work under you, work in. This means considering the staff policy that your company has, and if it doesn’t have one, it needs one. This is the safest way to set rules and standards that are meant to be met by all of your staff from entry level positions to team leaders. These rules also give your staff guidance when it comes to a range of issues, such as tardiness, sick days, meetings, dress codes, and more. Keep in mind that since the work culture starts from the top, than you have to be mindful of your own behavior and how you’re setting an example for your staff. Consider how you communicate to your staff and around them as well as the energy that you bring into the workplace.

Trust

Trust is a huge factor for any team member. They want to know that they can trust each other and the members of your company at the top. According to Forbes, one of the best ways to build trust is “by owning up to mistakes, showing compassion, making amends, and focusing on actions.” Failing to do so doesn’t show a trustworthy leader or boss and can actually turn off some of your employees. Trust is so important because it is earned not given, and if your staff constantly witnesses you making excuses for your actions or the actions of the company instead of owning up to the flaws and faults you’ll never be able to build that trust with your team.
But trust doesn’t stop there, it also extends to micromanagement. Micromanaging your employees has an opposite effect on what your intentions are. According to Entrepreneur.com in their article “Micromanagement is Murder: So Stop Killing Your Employees” a former “micromanager” shares what happened when she was micromanaging her team. “Instead of nurturing my employees’ strengths, my micromanagement was driving a wedge between me and them. Every day, I could see the unnecessary stress I was putting on everyone.”
Another part of trust is leaning on your staff for their knowledge in their field, otherwise, why are they working for you, right? For example in Entrepreneur’s aforementioned article it mentions that one of the biggest issues with micromanagement is that it’s one-sided. They use a 2016 report conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management that looked at the feelings 600 employees had for their jobs. The survey not surprisingly found that, “only 37 percent of employees said they were very satisfied with the respect and consideration their managers gave their ideas.” This means the employees overwhelmingly felt as if their opinions and ideas weren’t valued. But if you start to trust in the opinions and the knowledge of the staff that you hired, than it can help build a bridge between you and your team.

Communication

Having an open dialogue with your staff allows you to keep the work relationship moving at a comfortable pace for you and your staff. Your employees should always feel open enough to have an honest conversation with you about how they feel about work, other coworkers, and work related topics in general, such as new ideas, projects, etc. When your team feels like they can have an open discourse with you than it also leads to more trust. Communication also means being transparent about their job. Reward them by giving positive verbal feedback. Even recognizing their work inspires their workflow and will give them a positive interaction between you and them. If you are having issues with an employee it’s always best to talk to them directly. And happier employees always feel best in an environment that they can thrive in when giving the opportunity to correct mistakes they’ve made. So keeping open communication on both ends with your staff will create an environment where they can come to you and safely speak about any issues, and you can do the same.
Being a business owner, can be difficult when you’re worrying about earnings, business expenses, projects, and more. Taking a little time to consider the team that is working for you to keep your business alive or to help it grow, can make a big difference in overall work performance, productivity, and your staff’s general well being. And it goes without saying that happy employees will continue to work for you. So set a professional, comfortable tone at work, build trust with your staff and communicate effectively and you’re guaranteed to see better results and a healthier workplace. That is why creating a healthy work environment is more important than ever before.

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Marketing in the Holidays

The holidays are on the horizon once again, so it’s time for small businesses in the community to start developing and launching their local holiday marketing campaigns to reap the excellent benefits of the season. By incorporating the holidays into marketing campaigns, your audience can gain an exciting incentive to choose your business for their holiday shopping. Promotion LA is a digital agency for local businesses that can advise you on how the holidays can boost businesses. Here are some genuine helpful local holiday marketing ideas.

Create a Contest

A promotional contest is nothing new, but the holidays are a terrific opportunity to hold one for your audience. You can run holiday-themed photo contests on social media (i.e. the best holiday photo shared will win a free product or service). Another good example is if you have a competition that encourages customers to personalize your products, such as “The most creative decoration on our X product wins X prize.” The ultimate goal of contests is to generate engagement, so the holidays are a better time than any to hold one.

Holiday Email Campaign

An email campaign will do great wonders for your business. Send a series of weekly messages, revealing new special offers. Craft a holiday newsletter and reach out to people in your mailing list for the holidays. On that note, trying direct-mail postcards attached with coupon codes can drive new customers to your website or store.

Personalize Your Own Brand

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3 maids. www.3maids.com

Customizing the look of your company’s products to fit in with the holidays could be an effective tool to market to your audience. If your company has a delivery truck, for example, a new makeover of the truck with a new holiday design, a sign, and a special offer can possibly attract drivers and bystanders through town. If you are a restaurant, a stop-and-go food stop, or coffee shop; redesigning your packaging could encourage your customers to share your designs and products on social media, where the word can spread and grow. Personalizing and “holiday-ing” the design of your website with highlighted offers and seasonal decoration can create engagement between your audience and your content.

Another great marketing strategy would be giving out holiday candies, such as chocolate or candy canes, that are customized to show your business logo and any info you want to share. If it’s a B2C business, this will remind customers of your business every time they eat one of the candies. Businesses could hand out the candies for free or include them with every purchase.

A Free Gift

When something is free, it’s hard not to like or appreciate it, whatever it may be. A free surprise gift that is included with a purchase will give people something to remember you by. This strategy could also see a growth of customers. The main goal is for people to spread the word to their friends, which can lead to new customers, more profit, and more repeat business.

Create Promotions That Fit The Season

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The spirit of the holidays involves togetherness, love, sharing, friends, and family. Offering bundle product sales will help boost sales marginally. Aside from that, integrating promotional offers such as “Buy one, get one free for a friend” will add focus on friends coming in together and taking advantage of the promotion. A campaign like this is aimed to boost sales, but is also aimed to bring an emotional connection to your business. Remember to set a limited time offer in order to get the best result immediately.

Slogans and Storytelling

If you choose to create a campaign, featuring your own slogan for the holidays would be beneficial in branding your business. Building your campaign around a slogan can help reach your target audience, especially through social media. It establishes an identity, an idea, and individuality that can set you apart from your competitors. Make sure to go all in on this, as in redesigning all of your platforms (website, landing pages, and social media links) to support your campaign.

Finally, sharing stories and messages during the holidays, particularly to a focused audience, can connect your business to people. This is your chance to highlight the great work that you and your staff do for the community. If you’re donating money to a charity, put a spotlight on that in your campaign. The idea is to give your audience a sense of the things that your company cares about during this generous time.

Put Them Into Effect

Now that you have your ideas for local holiday marketing campaigns, it’s time to execute them. We know that it can be rather difficult for small, local businesses to break out and make a name for themselves, but utilizing the holiday season will help your business succeed, marketing-wise. Promotion LA is a digital marketing agency that cares about small businesses succeeding. If you’re an owner of a local business in the LA community, we could have the answers you need. Call us to schedule a free business consultation!

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