The end of January – a full month into 2014 – is a good time to see how you’ve progressed against goals and look into what your small business doesn’t currently have in place that it needs to.  Naturally the list of needs for small business owners is very long, so here are three tips that any and every entrepreneur should pay attention to this year.

Making your business accessible via mobile

According to a new eMarketer report, U.S. consumers were on track to spend more than $37 billion on retail purchases made via smartphone and tablet in 2013, up from nearly $24 billion in 2012.  If your small business sells to the public, it’s clear that you need to consider having a mobile presence.  But even service providers and consultants benefit from mobile-optimized websites that make it easier for people to find your business. Customers are spending more time online on phones and tablets than ever before – and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

If you don’t have any mobile functionality right now, don’t worry.  A relatively easy first step is to develop either a separate mobile website or make your existing website mobile optimized.  Both options are affordable and well worth the investment of time and resources.

Small business insurance

If your start-up or growing entrepreneurial venture doesn’t yet have small business insurance, 2014 is the year it should happen – and preferably in Q1.  Professional liability insurance and general liability coverage are the first insurances you should look into, as they are key to almost every small business.  Professional liability protects your business if you’re sued for your services,  even if you haven’t made a mistake, while general liability protects against third party claims for bodily injury, associated medical costs and damage to someone else’s property.  Both are in order for your business to be truly protected, and you may want to investigate a business owner’s policy and Worker’s Compensation coverage as well.

Social media marketing strategy

We know that adding another element to your marketing mix isn’t something most entrepreneurs are dying to do.  But the truth is, social media is a big part of the modern marketing landscape, which means you simply cannot ignore it.  Did you know that the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is people aged 55 to 64?  Or that YouTube reaches more adults in the U.S. aged 18 to 34 than any cable network?

The statistics on the rise in social media use are almost staggering, with usage increasing across all demographics – albeit on different networks across the Internet and around the world.  With a social media strategy that includes choosing your networks, connecting with customers and using tools to simplify social media postings for your small business, you’ll feel more secure knowing you’re part of the social media landscape.

The contents of this article and the linked materials do not offer legal, business, or insurance advice related to the needs of any specific individual business. Claim scenarios are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to the terms and conditions of the policy in question. Please consult your professional advisor.

This is a sponsored post from Hiscox.

Hunter Hoffmann is Head of US Communications at Hiscox insurance and is responsible for media relations, social media, internal communications and executive messaging. Hunter lives in New York City with his wife and two sons – Walker and Otis. In his spare time, he moonlights as Chief Marketing Officer and deliveryman for Junior’s Fresh, a fresh baby and toddler food delivery service and cafe in New York City founded by his wife, Michelle. His passions in life are food, family and the NY Yankees.