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Goodbye 2013 - Hello 2014! Tips for business success in the New Year

By Mikela Dennison, Senior Account Executive at The Clarity Business

There has been a strong sense of optimism in New Zealand's business circles this year, and it's only going to pick up further next year. You can utilise smart communications and a strong message to make the most of the positive conditions – and we can help you.

According to a recent article on Interest.co.nz, business optimism is at a 15 year high - which is great news for the economy and for the people working hard to keep the small, medium and large businesses moving forward into 2014.

Manufacturing and Services optimism are both at the highest levels since 1999, and optimism in the agricultural sector is at a 19 year high – which the NZ Herald links to a big increase in milk production.

The Construction and Retail sectors are both incredibly elated at present, and hiring intentions are also on the rise. The NZIER has noted that 2014 will see the economy grow strongly, with the best performance since pre-GFC 2007. The Government is set to post its first budget surplus in years in July 2014, which despite the controversy around asset sales, is going to be hugely important to the national economy. Things are looking good.

Make the most of the booming economy in 2014

With these favourable business conditions, the question for your organisation going forward is this; what will you do in 2014 to make the most of the booming Kiwi economy and more positive business sentiment across the board?

If you have been thinking about growth, raising your company profile, attracting new and talented staff, or you want to do more work with your existing client base, now is the ideal time to review your current business communications strategy and start planning for the exciting year ahead.

Review your communications from the past year

Before launching into another year, take a moment to review your 2013 communications:

  • Were you keeping your customers, clients, suppliers and staff engaged in your business, sharing news, tips and research that they'd find useful?
  • Did you start using social media channels to keep on top of important trends and conversations, and communicate in real time with your target audience?
  • If you've got a company newsletter or HTML, was it well-designed, full of interesting content that your customers and clients can benefit from?
  • If you submit tender proposals to secure work, what was your win rate – and is there an opportunity to raise the tender bar next year, and really stand out from your competitors?
  • Have you seized opportunities to create compelling publications, infographics and marketing material that connects your business with your target customers and supports your objectives?
If you read that list and thought perhaps you could have done more to communicate what makes your business, service and people so great, then 2014 is the year to seize opportunities and generate value through smart, engaging communications and content.

Identify ways to improve your communications for business success (and then do it!)

It can be daunting to think about all the things you could / should / would do to improve your business communications next year. Tweet or blog? Brochure or video? Hard copy newsletter or targeted HTML? Traditional tender or something more innovative?

There are so many options when it comes to communication styles and formats, but it doesn't have to be intimating. Simply think about what your objective is, who your audience is, and how best to communicate with them - and then do it.

You won't regret communicating with your customers and clients more frequently, but you will regret leaving them in the dark about your business and how you can assist your audience.

Seek out advice on what would be the most effective method of communication and then jump right in. Your customers, staff, and bottom line will thank you for it.

If you want to get an edge in the New Year through smart, targeted communications, we'd love to discuss your goals in early 2014. Get in touch with me via mikela@theclaritybusiness.co.nz or George atgeorge@theclaritybusiness.co.nz or tweet us your questions about communicating in 2014 via@ShapeTheMessage.