With 2013 nearly a memory and 2014 looming before us, it’s time again for New Year’s resolutions.

infrastructure Unlike the common resolutions that are quickly discarded by the time Valentine’s Day rears its head, these are five simple ways to improve your business that can also boost your productivity and customer base.

Improve your infrastructure

First, consider improving your infrastructure. Just like it’s important to maintain streets and sidewalks in your town, it’s important for you to make sure that the technology used in your business is not hamstrung by faulty wiring or potential security exploits. The computer equipment made today is some of the sturdiest, longest-lasting hardware ever produced. Unfortunately, it’s still subject to environmental issues, none more so than electrical surges or losses. If you’ve been replacing a piece of equipment at your business on a regular basis, that is more likely the product of faulty wiring than simple bad luck. Have an electrician run a few tests and you can head off potentially expensive problems with equipment by ensuring that the electricity you’re using is well-grounded and reliable.

Likewise, your network cabling can be tested by any low-voltage certified electrician, and finding a cable that needs replacing on your schedule is far more advantageous than suddenly losing connectivity when you need your hardware most. When a network line becomes frayed or cut, it can lead to complete failures in communication, or, frustratingly, intermittent problems that can be costly to identify. Schedule a time for your electrician to do some testing and avoid power and network problems in the coming year!

Also, have your software provider or network specialist ensure that your security settings for devices like routers and wireless access points are configured with unique information and not just factory defaults. Making a few simple changes to passwords and access can mean the difference between maintaining secure data and having your customer’s payment information stolen by tech-savvy outlaws. If you feel overwhelmed by network security lingo, there are plenty of companies who specialize in securing your network and explaining potential threats in a way anyone can understand.

Set up your virtual marketplace

Get SocialSecond, look to the internet for ways to generate new business. Beyond having a Facebook page or Twitter account, more and more customers want the option to order online. Whether you’re a restaurant with an online To-Go menu or a retailer offering a catalog on the web, by allowing customers the option of browsing your goods and services from the comfort of their home, or on their smart phones, you’ve given them a measure of control that makes them feel more in charge of their purchasing decisions. You’ve also provided them with a convenient way to interact with your business. As shopping habits continue to migrate to online storefronts, resolving to place yourself in the virtual marketplace only makes sense for growing your business.

Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Business in 2014 – Part 2