As you look ahead to the new year, what investments are you planning to make in the first quarter of 2017 that will improve your business?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. More Talent
We’re investing in people. We are developing different professional services and capabilities that we can bring in-house, and we’re developing a greater capacity internally to pursue a lot of our big projects.
2. Social Responsibility
We are working together with the United Nations to participate in a sustainable development goal focused on health and education. It’s all about carrying a bigger social responsibility as your company grows.
3. New Automation Technology
I’m always interested in new automation technology for my businesses. Anything that can help us work smarter instead of harder is worth the investment. If we can automate any processes, it will leave us open for continuous improvements and greater efficiencies. We are on a quest to automate as much as we can, and every team member is always on the lookout for new technology to help us do that.
4. New Programmers
In 2017, we will be growing our programming team by bringing in more full-time in-house developers. Our plan will be to invest heavily in new apps and programming tools in order to streamline our own processes while creating new outwards-facing products and services. We believe in-house programming is the best investment for growth.
5. An Evolving Understanding of Our Clients
In a competitive niche, it’s essential to understand our clients and build products that reflect their real-world needs. At the beginning of every year, we embark on a two-pronged strategy. We use data analysis to examine patterns and we talk to our clients to find out what changes would excite them. The combination of data and client experiences are crucial to evolving our product portfolio.
6. Paid Social Media Advertising
Paid social media advertising can help us surpass our sales goals by raising brand awareness, improving web conversions, and increasing content marketing penetration along with all the tools needed to measure the KPIs. And because of the highly targeted nature of paid social, we’ll be able to continually optimize our ads to increase both the quantity and quality of those leads.
7. Collaborative Office Space
We’re investing in a fun and collaborative office space for our company to thrive in. This will greatly improve communication, increase problem-solving abilities, and create a better sense of community among our team members.
8. Education, Training and New Strategy Development
The start of a new year is a great time to invest in education and training that your team can implement throughout the rest of the year. Look at your 2017 goals for the company as a whole as well as those of your individual team members to help create a strategic plan for the different areas you want to focus on when planning training sessions.
9. Building Out Technological Capabilities
I plan to invest in broadening our technological capabilities in capacity building. As a social entrepreneur, I need to ensure that technology remains at the realm of our core business, which in turn will advance our reach and the impact that we can have in our communities.