HAPPY NEW YEAR: 4 easy steps to boost your business in 2017

With 2016 behind us, one of the questions owners of established enterprises and start-ups have been asking us over the past few weeks is what they should do in 2017 to grow their companies. Whilst there is no silver business development bullet (every venture is different, after all), there are four things everyone could do.

1) Re-evaluate your business plan: in this day and age, everything seems to be changing constantly, and it is doing so fast. This also applies to the needs and demands of your customers, so whatever you do in 2017, please ensure that your business remains relevant to your target market. It is your clients who keep you in the saddle, after all. Survival is all about adaptation. For some more inspiration, click here and here.

2) Network, network, network: if you want to attract (new) customers or investors, you will have to brush up on your networking skills. No one will find out about you and your fantastic product if you are not putting yourself out there. Start by making a list of upcoming networking events and relevant conferences you’d like to attend. Such occasions offer excellent match-making and networking opportunities with likeminded individuals. Also put a few hours aside to connect to relevant online professional platforms, such as LinkedIn and Afrinection's Network and Forums.

3) Boost your online presence: the days of the Yellow Pages are long gone. Today, the world revolves about the internet. Your business’ longevity therefore largely depends on whether potential clients, customers, investors, and other stakeholders can find you online. So get a simple but effective website via Weebly, Wix, or one of the other small business website platforms, and list it on all appropriate portals, platforms, and business communities. Last but not least, don’t forget to get a LinkedIn profile and Facebook page as these will help you interact directly with your customers and target audience.

4) Advertise: advertising remains a powerful vehicle for pushing your business. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg: for $0.30 p/day ($9 p/month) Afrinection gives you all the tools you need to efficiently punt your products, services, talents, and ideas. Visit our website and click on the 'Become an Advertising Partner'. After registering, you can start your advertising campaign straight away, growing your business one connection at the time. It is really THAT simple!

By Miriam Mannak, Afrinection’s online editor and community manager. She is based in South Africa and can be contacted on miriam@afrinection.com.