We are over a month and a half into 2018 and I don't know about you but around this time is when I start assessing my New Year’s Resolutions (both personal and professional). With a new year comes reflection on the past and plans for the year ahead. What steps are you taking to ensure that your commercial appraisal business has a successful 2018? If you haven’t already thought about how you’re going to achieve your 2018 business goals, here are 5 helpful tips to get you started!
- Learn from the past.
Many people focus on the future, and while having a plan in place is vital, it is equally important to never forget to learn from the past. Past performance often reflects future performance. Take a look at the past year. Were there projects or priorities that fell by the wayside? Why? Take this time to reevaluate what your business should focus on in 2018 and make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew!
- Hire the right people.
The first quarter of every year is always a strong hiring period for most businesses. Hiring new talent is an inevitable and critical part of being a business leader and it is more complicated than just reviewing applications and interviewing candidates. Spend time writing quality job descriptions to ensure you’re attracting the right candidates and when it comes time to interview, make sure you are asking the right questions to ensure the candidate is a proper fit for your office culture and business goals. Avoid employee turnover by being open and honest with interviewees about what it is going to be like to work for your company. You want to give a realistic view of the work environment.
- Standardize your processes.
Having the proper procedures in place make a huge difference for any company (regardless of size). Your commercial appraisal business will not thrive if it is relying on outdated and manual processes. Having the systems, tools and processes is the best way to manage and streamline workflow. Business owners who disregard process standardization struggle to keep up with the ever-changing commercial real estate environment. It may be easy to “get by” without proper processes in place, but it won’t be long before your business suffers the consequences. Spend time mapping out your processes as they are today to figure out where there are redundancies and where you automate.
- Stay relevant.
Similar to number 3, but I would be remiss if I did not specifically address this point. Standardizing process and staying relevant go hand in hand. The longer your company can stay relevant the better. Make sure you are taking the time to evaluate the needs of the market. Are you noticing any new industry trends that perhaps aren’t going away? Is your product or service meeting your customers’ needs? If not – what needs to change? As business owners it is sometimes difficult to remove yourself from the situation, but the best way to understand your customer and prospects needs is to think of things from their point of view. What are their needs? Even when working on scaling your business, customer demands and satisfaction should remain a top priority.
- Improve your online presence.
To grow a successful business in 2018, you need a solid online presence. If your website hasn’t been updated in a few years, it might be time for a revamp. Making changes to your website isn’t as costly as it used to be. If you do your research and some upfront work, you can give your website a facelift for under $1,000. If you need a major website overhaul, investigate hosting options like WordPress. Your website should be both attractive and functional.
A super simple and cost effective (re: FREE) way to improve your online presence is to be more active on social media. It may not seem worth it at first, but social media is a great networking and marketing platform for businesses. Social media when done correctly builds customer loyalty and increases of the chances of your business making sales. Commit to devoting at least 5 to 6 hours a week to social media. Take the time to research where your ideal customers hangout and then tailor your social media strategy to engage with them. What other companies in your industry doing on social media? Look to them for ideas. Engage with your business peers on social media. In this day and age, customers want to get to know their business partners and see the personality behind the company and product. Show the world who you are!
What are some your 2018 goals for your commercial appraisal business? At ExactBid we'd love to partner with you to take your commercial business to the next level! Learn more about ExactBid and our solutions for commercial appraisers on our website, or contact us directly to speak with an ExactBid representative.