Year-round tips for small businesses
Small businesses are the backbone of America. From small town Main Streets to those that start selling goods out of a garage and blossom to having multiple locations and everything in between. However, businesses don’t always run at 100% and small business owners should consider ways to stir up business during down times and also plan how to improve for the future.
Between seasonality challenges, changing consumer trends, or worldwide events that alter the way small businesses operate, it’s always wise to have a few tricks up your sleeve. We’ll walk through a few tips small businesses can use to plan for these challenges, from mobile banking to social media giveaways and a few tactics to use these times to plan ahead and improve.
Many small business owners jump into opening their business out of passion, but can get overwhelmed with the finance side of things quite easily – 82% of small businesses cite cash flow issues as a reason for failure. Between managing payroll, understanding profit and losses or maintaining a budget, finances can be tough. If things happening in the world keep you from going to a physical bank, or you just want all the information at your fingertips at all times, transitioning to an online bank is a great option for small business banking can be your best option. Not only will mobile banking give you access to your finances in the palm of your hands, but will also help save you time to focus on your small business or time with family.
While some businesses may see a decrease in sales or foot traffic for a number of reasons, it’s always a good idea to keep your brand top of mind. Any small business can run a simple and effective social media giveaway. While always fostering a connection between your brand and followers on social media is good business practice, a branded giveaway can amplify your reach and introduce your product to new and potential customers down the road in an exciting way. Whether a social media giveaway is meant to drum up some new business, or get word out about an upcoming event, it’s a great platform to connect with your customers!
While business can slow down, try to look at it in a positive light. This is a great time to plan for the future or look internally at your small business’ processes and work out any shortcomings you may have. Start by looking at your business from a strengths and weaknesses perspective and identify the immediate weaknesses you can improve on. Maybe you have an amazing product or service but you lack in the marketing category. Look at other local small businesses in your industry and keep tabs on what they do to advertise their business. You don’t want to copy what they’re doing, but it’s always smart to draw inspiration or get some ideas rolling from what you like.
If you know business picks up during the summer, start looking into part-time staff with college students coming home looking for a summer job. Another great thing to do is to run your own market research with polls and forms. Not only will this help you learn more about your own business, but it can help you innovate and offer new, relevant products, while gaining valuable insight from consumers.
Whatever the case may be, planning ahead and setting your small business up for success in the long run will leave you feeling confident and with a sense of assurance. No matter what’s going on in your small business’ life, keeping an open mind and working on improving your business in a number of ways year-round will not only help you come up with fresh ideas and better processes, but can also help reignite your passion.