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We build our entire lives around the pursuit of success. This pursuit does not typically have a ceiling or end-point. As long as we are living, we want to be living as successfully as possible. No two people have the same success story, just as they wouldn’t share the same path in achieving that success. The same goes for businesses. There is no secret to success, no guaranteed strategies to follow that will ensure you outlive your competition, and no promised upward trajectory year after year to achieve your company’s goals.

But that doesn’t mean that you are forced to fend for yourselves! There are practices that you can follow that will help guide you along the path of success. These patterns have emerged after studying successful companies in various stages and across various points of growth. Keep these strategies in mind for your business as you transition into the new year!

1. Subject Matter Experts Are The New Salespeople

Put yourself in the mindset of one of your customers here. There are three categories that salespeople commonly fall under: order takers, salespeople, or subject matter experts. When customers come to your business, who do you think they would rather interact with? Someone who they perceive as just pitching them a product or service for a sale or someone who they feel is an actual expert in their field who they can interact with on a deeper level?

Subject matter experts will not only appeal more to your customers, but they will allow you to put a higher emphasis on the quality of your leads.

2. Validate With Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is not just for the smaller creatives. In addition to helping increase capital, crowdfunding is a great way to test out the market. You can get a good sense of how the public will react to your products by seeing which ones get the most funding.

3. Use Videos More Frequently

Feeding quality content and graphics to your audience is essential but there is another medium that is often neglected: videos. Users are prone to react more positively to information presented via video format. This not only applies to the marketing portion of your company – get creative in incorporating videos into every area where there will be customer interaction!

4. Email Is No Longer The Only Way To Interact Internally

Rethink the way your company uses email. Aside from face-to-face interaction and phone calls, is this the only other way your employees get in touch with one another? There are new collaboration tools that are designed to improve the way that your team communicates. Slack, for example, is a way to connect your team where everything (messages, tasks, work) is stored in one place that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device.

5. Focus And Personalize

Do you know who your audience is? If you can’t answer that question with confidence, then you’re in danger. You won’t know how to talk to your audience if you don’t know who they are. You may think the best strategy would just be to go as broad as possible to reach the most people, but that will only hurt your company more. Narrow your focus and then, and only then, will you be able to grow. And get personal with your customers! Mass-generated content or emails, for example, will only serve to push people away from your company. Get to know them and then prove to them that you truly know them.

Your company may already be doing some of these. If so, keep practicing them and figure out the best course of action that works for your company. If not, make these 5 practices a part of your company’s New Year’s resolutions!