Four resolutions SMB owners will want to keep past January
On December 31, most of us set resolutions for the New Year. Whether personal or professional, we tackle our resolutions with fervent ambition, however, as the end of January approaches it’s not uncommon to find that our feverish drive has cooled off considerably.  
 
I recently met with Loredo Rucchin, founder and main creative brain at Jukebox Print, an online printing company that specializes in delivering unique printed materials, with a focus on business cards. We met in Vancouver at Startup Canada’s#EveryEntrepreneur Tour, a cross-Canada event series that brings together the brightest minds in entrepreneurship. While speaking with Loredo, I asked him about his 2016 resolutions. He shared that he has set and kept the same resolutions for the past few years. Naturally, I was curious to learn more about these resolutions and how he manages to do what so many of us struggle with. He was kind enough share them with us–you can find them listed below.
 
Loredo is a veteran small business owner who has achieved success both on home soil and abroad– Jukebox Print serves customers in over 100 countries, with offices in Vancouver, BC, Toronto, Ontario, New York and soon Paris, France. Loredo explained that he sees professional and personal success as the same thing and as such he pours all his heart into his resolutions. Whether you want to be or already are a small business owner, I hope his insights offer inspiration for the year ahead.  
 
Loredo’s resolutions for SMB owners
 
1. Simplify. Year over year I make it my mission to simplify what we do, how we do it, and what messages we share with the world.  When Jukebox Print started we had one main focus, which was business cards. I discovered that progress is much easier when you have a small product base as it allows you to reduce financial risk with a small inventory and it allows you to optimize your processes. Although we have expanded to offer an extensive range of print products, I still make it a rule to only mention one product when introducing my company as it’s an easier and more memorable takeaway for potential customers. 
 
2. Embrace social media. Jukebox Print has built a strong following on Facebook and Twitter, and those channels have served us well. They offer us the chance to connect with customers directly, and with persistence, these outlets have helped us reach new audiences and new customers. Given that this is a yearly resolution, last year I challenged myself to explore new social media channels that could have a positive influence on our business. We started taking the time to share photos of our work on Instagram, and immediately discovered it was the perfect platform for Jukebox Print to show off our craziest ideas and development projects. That being said, Instagram is not the easiest platform to use from a business perspective. If you want to explore Instagram as a promotional channel, I suggest you sync it up with a tool like Hootsuite for a more organized way to keep track of activity on your posts. Hootsuite also provides great analytics for your other platforms like Twitter and Facebook. If you aren’t already on a few social media or you aren’t using any tools for analytics, this is definitely one resolution you will want to keep this year.
 
3.  Dive into online advertising. My resolution to further embrace social media ties directly to this next resolution. Facebook and Twitter are fantastic advertising platforms for beginners to use. Their approach has significantly simplified online advertising, so do not be afraid to try it out. You can control your budget and target audience, and it’s easy to test out with low price campaigns before diving into using a bigger budget. This will give you instant access to international buyers. Some of the most powerful advertising features on Facebook include conversion tracking, email re-targeting and custom pixel audiences. What that all means is, with whatever budget you have (even if it’s just $50), you will be able to track how many people purchase from you after seeing your ad, you will be able to target ads to your email database, and you will be able to distribute ads to people outside of your network. These services have proved to be invaluable to Jukebox Print, and this year, we will continue to take a more strategic approach to online advertising. 
 
4. Expand international reach. As an e-commerce business, international markets represent a huge sales growth opportunity, so each year I am looking for ways to reach these new markets. If you want to sell your products around the world, align yourself with partners that can help you reach this goal. PayPal is the perfect example. For the past 17 years, PayPal has proven itself as a digital payment solution that people trust worldwide. I learned this from personal experience. As soon as Jukebox Print added PayPal as a payment option for our customers; we noticed a significant increase in all over sales volume and an immediate increase in sales from international buyers. Having PayPal as a payment option gave instant credibility to our brand and it enables us to get paid in more than 100 currencies. On top of that, buyers can use any payment method they like and you can sleep soundly at night knowing that your customers’ personal and financial information is safe. For any business, but especially an e-commerce business with the resolution to expand international reach, you need PayPal on your side.

Alexander Peh, Head of Mobile & Market Development

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