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I can’t be sure if your business has been naughty or nice this year as only Santa Claus knows that for sure. But I can tell you what should be on your small business Christmas list for success in the New Year. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a business startup  or small business partner, it’s good to know what is expected today and what business tools are required to make it in the competitive world we all live in.

  1. Branding or Rebranding – This starts with a simple quality logo representing your company look and feel across all your marketing platforms from your business card to your website to your online advertising.
  2. Responsive Website – Today your website needs to look good and respond to all sizes of digital devices including a mobile smartphone. With more and more views using mobiles and Google prioritizing mobile websites, this is a “must have”.
  3. Reliable Hosting – The reasons should be quite obvious, but a few are not. Great hosting helps your website load fast so you don’t lose web searchers. Hosting today needs not only be fast but also needs a back-end that provides daily backups, scans for malware and updates themes and plugins.
  4. Business Email – Your free public Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo account just won’t make the grades for everyday business. Domain business email offers a professional look and provides the trust your customers want. Beyond that, business email provides larger email and file storage as well as web collaboration.
  5. Blog Posting – If you’re not a writer, hire a ghostwriter, a family member or a good friend that has a way with words. Regular blogging with integrated social media posting will improve your online presence, establish your credibility as an expert in your field and increase your SEO rankings with Google searcher results.
  6. Facebook Business Page – As a means to extend your website to social media exposure to thousands, a matching business Facebook Page is required. This page needs to link back to your website as well as your website icon link to your facebook Page. Facebook Ad campaigns and blogging can boost your ratings and likes.
  7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Your website and blog need both on-site/on-page as well as off-site/off-page SEO settings made and submitted to Google. If you want your website or blog to be found and rank well with Google searches this is a must. Results are better using professionals as it takes several learned tech and marketing skills.
  8. Cloud Storage/Backup/Collaboration – If you’re not in the cloud as a small business, you’re living in the “Ice age”. You should have remote access to files and documents as people want things immediately today. More importantly, your files need to be backed up in real time should your computer or tablet crash or get lost. Once in the cloud, collaboration to mutually work in projects or send links to files opens a whole new world.
  9. Create a Mobile Office – It’s quite simple! Not only should you have access to your email on your smartphone, but also to download the apps for sharing and editing documents, for invoicing/expense software, messaging, marketing and video web presentations. You should be able to ski at your favour resort and be able to post a blog, present a proposal, share a file and send an invoice while you’re warming up over a hot coffee.
  10. Cloud Accounting – The major cloud accounting services for invoicing, billing and expenses, offer small businesses cloud accounting (SaaS) including QuickBooks, Simply Accounting and Freshbooks. Capture your expenses on the road, send an invoice, forward a quote or make a payment all from your mobile phone, tablet or laptop. You can even see who’s viewed invoices, quotes and get the payment into your business account.

So review your list and take a few notes. Post your snail mail with your enclosed list to Santa, but don’t forget his postal code HOH OHO

Seasons Greetings and Happy Christmas!

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