The new year is here, and many business operators are preparing to expand their operations. In fact, some company leaders establish resolutions to stay on track with long-term goals - a valuable practice for franchisees to follow.

Consider the following tips to potentially improve your business' profits in 2013 and beyond.

1. Manage expectations
Many business operators are still recovering from the economic recession of the late 2000s, and their desire to grow sometimes leads them to make radical resolutions.

For example, a business leader may set the bar extremely high in the hopes that he or she can significantly expand a company. However, Chris Hylen, vice president and general manager of a globally recognized payment processing firm, advises business operators to take a slow, straightforward approach to develop realistic goals.

"Map out a plan for where you want your business to go in 2013 and how you plan to get there," Hylen told Business 2 Community.

Hylen said that setting revenue or customer-oriented goals is helpful for many business owners. With realistic aspirations in place, franchisees can outline the necessary steps to accomplish these goals.

2. Make customer service a top priority
Pauline Lewis, a business leader who runs her own embroidery company, exemplifies the value of customer service with her marketing strategy. She said that roughly two-thirds of her annual profits are generated during the holiday season, but she engages her clients year-round to keep them interested in her company's products and services.

"The best time to engage with your customers is not when you want them to buy - it's when they are relaxed and not even thinking about the holidays," Lewis told the news source.

Personalized customer service shows consumers that a relationship is based on more than just a sale - it reflects how business operators view their patrons. Promote your business by providing quality customer service year-round.

3. Embrace technology
Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter provide free advertising opportunities to business owners. Franchisees who focus on the latest technology trends may find new avenues to reach potential clients.

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki notes that business operators can become experts in their respective industries to build relationships with customers and expand their brands. Additionally, business operators can offer web-based promotions that may eventually lead to sales.

"People will follow you for your content," Kawasaki told the news source. "And then they will pay attention to your promotion[s]."

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