News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Business

January 11, 2014

KRISTIN CRAIG: Start your year off right with some business resolutions

TERRE HAUTE — It’s time for those three dreaded words — New Year’s resolutions. Many of you make them in your personal life, but have you thought about applying those same commitments to your business?

Here are some simple, low-cost steps you can take to improve your business life in the year to come. It doesn’t matter if you are a business owner, manager or dedicated employee — with some easy planning and a little dedication, these can help keep the year on track and headed in the right direction for 2014.

Get your social media strategy together. Like it or not, social media isn’t going anywhere — the number of people using Facebook each month is estimated to be 1.5 billion. Many businesses already have a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a LinkedIn profile. But here’s the question you need to ask yourself: When is the last time you updated your information? For example, did you provide your customers or clients with time-sensitive information during last week’s winter storm? If your last status update is more than a week old, you’re missing the boat. It’s not enough to just have a presence, you have to engage your audience and set goals to expand your network over the course of the next year.   

Here are a few quick tips on how you can get actively engaged: Schedule regular posts. Add social media icons to your existing marketing pieces including advertisements and business cards. Put links on your website. Include icons and links in your email signature.

The Chamber has a new option for business owners: add your social media links to your business listing in the Chamber’s online directory. It’s quick and easy. To update your listing, contact us at memberinfo@terrehaute

chamber.com or call 812-232-2391.

There’s an infinite number of possibilities; just remember to keep social media in the forefront and up-to-date.

Next on the resolutions list: educate yourself. Or, find a valuable resource and utilize its knowledge to keep you informed. Whether it is health care changes, tax laws or human resources updates, the world in which you conduct business is quickly changing.

It doesn’t matter if you are a business owner or not, understanding these important elements is critical to your success in 2014. Take advantage of these upcoming informational opportunities:

On Monday, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett will present his annual City Update to Chamber members — an insightful and detailed look into the most important local issues we are sure to face in 2014. Limited seats are still available for this event.

On Wednesday, the popular BIZ Seminar Series will return with Tax Implications of the Affordable Care Act, presented by Stadler & Co. Tax Service. This seminar is free to all Chamber members, Terre Haute Young Leaders and Human Resource Association members and enlists the help of local professionals to help you understand the issues most important to your business.

And be sure to mark your calendars for Feb. 2 to attend the annual Groundhog Day Economic Forecast. This event features panelists discussing local, state and national perspectives on today’s business climate. This year’s featured speaker is Victor Smith, Indiana secretary of commerce.

To register for any of these events, visit www.terre

hautechamber.com or call 812-232-2391.

And finally, the long-standing, tried and true resolution: Live a healthier lifestyle. Even if you’ve tried this in the past, take a different approach this year by specifically applying it to your work life. We’ve all heard that studies show healthy employees are more productive and have better attendance.

The reality is, it’s true and you’re throwing money out the window if you don’t choose to embrace healthier options in the workplace.

Here are some quick fixes for you and your employees: Drink more water and make it readily accessible to your employees. Start a walking group by visiting www.iwalkwabashvalley.org. Provide nutritious snacks. Walk more throughout the day. Provide employees with pedometers.

The list can go on and on — just take the initiative to put your best foot forward and lead by example.

To address the long-term, large-scale health issues facing our community, the Chamber has created Better Health Wabash Valley, a group focused on improving the health of our community. Get involved in this initiative today by visiting our website, studying the data and then attend the next meeting to figure out the best way for you to make a difference.

In short, I’ve seen 2014 described as the “year of” many things, but take this chance to make it the year about success in your business life.

The Chamber has a variety of resources available — whether you are interested in networking, business advocacy or promoting your business. Contact us today. We are here to help you succeed and together we can make 2014 the “Year Of Success.”

Kristin Craig is the director of operations and communications for the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce. Along with Chamber President Ken Brengle, they will address important topics related to business each month through this column. For more information about the Chamber and its initiatives, visit terrehautechamber.com or call 812-232-2391.

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