It’s common for business owners to experience periods of feeling stuck. Sales are plateauing, hiring new staff is becoming challenging, or you simply feel stuck. When this occurs, you might need fresh eyes to help you develop strategies for reinvigorating and expanding your company.
Consider opening a web store if you are a retailer without an internet presence as another approach to increase sales. Consider an email campaign to maintain your message in front of your consumer base once you have collected enough customer emails. Also, don’t overlook social media.
If you’re an online-only business, consider a direct mail campaign, including a catalog featuring your best sellers for prospecting to new potential buyers. After testing a multichannel approach, you will be able to determine how to best spend your marketing dollars based on which channels were most effective in reaching your sales goals.
—George Fotis, Business Consultant, Michigan SBDC—West Michigan Region, Grand Valley State University
Often, we hear that businesses want to go to the next level, but can’t for lack of workforce. Explore opportunities such as “justice involved” individuals, who often have received some training and/or certification while they were incarcerated. They expect entry-level positions, are eager to work, and may have extra motivation to “show up and deliver” due to reporting to probation/parole officers. For businesses, there may be extra incentives for hiring these individuals, such as tax credits, and there are assistance programs to further develop these new workers.
—Kelly Asbury, Director, SFCC Small Business & Technology Development Center
I advise using a systematic approach to time management rather than using the “Whack-a-Mole” method to complete projects in full. First, allocate 60% of your time to proactive tasks that either cannot be done by others or actually bring value to your organization. Spend 20% of your time planning and 20% of your time strategizing, making up the remaining 40% of your time. Planning is the process of allocating time to the resources and schedules needed to run the business; strategizing is the process of considering ways to enhance business performance, customer satisfaction, or profit margin.
You should be using accounting software as a seasoned company. What more can you measure if you have a handle on the fundamentals? Learn how your inventory turns work and explore your financial flow. Now is the perfect time to start tracking your company’s performance and using analytics to advance your company.
Businesses must ready and fortify their cyber infrastructure in order to position themselves to take advantage of opportunities presented by a robust information security posture, not only to be ready for the next danger. The barrage of communications that have been sent to small business owners underlines the continued danger that rogue software and other cybercriminal components pose to the security of their digital data.
As a business, you grow by controlling cost and maximizing profits. As you acquire small businesses that are ancillary services, you not only control the cost of your primary business, but you gain the clients and customers of those ancillary businesses—not to mention the introduction into new areas of business or industries not originally served by you, through a partner they already have grown to trust.
—Donald C. Robertson, Sr., PTAC Counselor, Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, St. Louis County office
Every corporation ought to have a toolkit for operations. Your toolkit for business should contain:
The poor practice of businesses continuously selling on social media needs to cease. A sales-only strategy on social media might as well be a fail-only approach because marketing and sales are two distinct things. Produce and record content that benefits your audience and strengthens your connection with them. This could include knowledge about the industry, advice, or even amusing behind-the-scenes videos.
All relationships are built on the tenet of giving more than you receive. Share your expertise, market trends, and thoughts. So that when potential consumer is ready to make a purchase, they can go to a brand they are familiar with and trust: YOU.
For nearby small businesses, Google My Business pages are a fantastic and free resource. Then, after claiming your free Google My Business page:
You must demonstrate your knowledge if you want to keep gaining respect from your clients and other companies. This includes offering information, holding webinars, conducting research, and even having Q&A sessions on your social media platforms. Seek out opportunities to offer what you know and frame it as a free chance for others to gain knowledge and develop.
When you organize an event or allow download access, just be sure to collect contact information or provide a link to a specific promotional page. Not only are you exhibiting your skills, but you’re also leveraging them to expand a potential customer base. You can convert that into ongoing growth if you follow up and offer insightful advice.
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