No doubt you don't need reminding about some of the big things that happened in 2016. But despite wildly varying economic predictions and constant temperature-taking, in this tumultuous year small businesses have been doing what they do best - keeping calm and carrying on.
And we've been doing the same - providing news, views and expert advice on running and marketing a business. As we wind down for a short festive break, we've had a look back at some of the best blogs and articles published on Marketing Donut this year. Thanks to all our fantastic contributors who shared their words of wisdom with us and thanks to you all for visiting, reading our content and sharing it.
Happy Christmas and all the best for 2017.
1. "It seems strange that social media - a technology - is making businesses more human, honest and transparent, but it is undoubtedly raising the bar for customer service. Those that embrace it are standing out for all the right reasons."
From Is your customer service up to scratch on social media? by Christina Richardson.
2. "All sentences are equal, but some sentences are more equal than others. The bits you need to practise include your openings, your elevator pitch, your responses to challenges and questions that get people talking. These are your critical communications."
From Why practice makes perfect when it comes to communication by Andy Bounds.
3. "To beat your competition, you just have to be 1% better than everyone else.
Don't believe me? Usain Bolt's nearest competitor was just 1% behind him in terms of time, yet no-one remembers who came second."
From What Usain Bolt can teach you about getting ahead of your competitors by Mark McCulloch.
4. "Have you ever stopped to think about the sound of marketing? What does your business sound like when it communicates with your target market? What sort of language do you use?
From The sound of marketing by Armin Hierstetter.
5. "There are so many misconceptions in relation to branding. Often people think of a brand in terms of visuals: a logo, uniform, a website. However brand is first and foremost an emotional experience."
From It's all about the brand by Penina Shepherd.
6. "When I talk on a stage I always say to the audience that asking questions is the most important part of my presentation because that's when they get to ask me what they really want to know, rather than just listening to what I have decided to talk about."
From Are you still presenting like it's 1999? by Spencer Waldron.
7. "Nailing your social media marketing does not mean you have to conquer every channel. Who is your target audience? Where do they hang out? Does your niche lend itself to visual content? Video? Written? Which do you enjoy creating?"
From Social media success in just 30 minutes a day by Gemma Went.
8. "Those customers that are keen on a 'deal' also tend to be the most unreasonable. These customer types know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Why not let your competitors have them to themselves?"
From Don't compete on price by Benjamin Dyer.
9. "The only views that count are those of your ideal customer. You, your boss, your team - they are not your ideal customer and their opinions don't count."
From Seven ways to improve your online conversion rates by Chloe Thomas.
10. "Avoid bullet points. Trust me on this: nobody loves them. There's always a better way to present information."
From 11 ways to make your next presentation a sure-fire success by Andy Bounds.
Copyright © 2016. Rachel Miller is the editor of Marketing Donut.