Small Business, Big Results
This is an article “Small Business, Big Results” by Marc Primo
Most successful businesses always use a variety of tools and apply different kinds of strategies. Regardless of how big or small the venture, being able to maximize productivity for as little operational cost as possible is half the battle won. On the other hand, a business might just be wasting effort and money if it fails to invest in the right tools and people due to poor strategy.
Today, there are around 31.7 million small scale entrepreneurs in the U.S., which reflects a 7% increase in the last three years. This number also represents 99% of all the businesses in the country, leaving the 1% to larger entities in operation.
With so many companies trying to make it in this challenging economic climate, getting the big results you aim for may somehow be a shot in the dark. However, following these best practices might help you weather the storm more easily.
Manage your time more effectively
Time management has always been a key factor to how you can successfully manage your business. The logic is simple; you have 24 hours in a day and as long as you are able to set daily goals within a realistic timeframe, you’re all set. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to multitask or applying pressure on your employees. That often doesn’t work.
Instead, try to be more proactive than reactive and learn what aspects of the business you need to prioritize so you can allot ample time to take a look at each one. Here are a few more tips on productivity which can help you come up with your own best practices.
Serve your customers on social media
Like many entrepreneurs have learned in the past, customer service is always top priority. With the many social media platforms around such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, lending an ear and helping your customers has never been easier.
Try to create rules on how your customer support team should handle customers, regardless if they are commenting on complaints or praises. Assign someone who understands how social media works, can communicate your brand values effectively, and is reliable in providing positive responses to your customers.
Continually learn about consumer habits
Like the season, customer behavior changes as fast as the digital space is evolving. Perhaps, one good example is how consumers would shop for presents this Christmas. Studies have already shown that 62% of consumers plan to shop early this year, 46% expect companies to offer discounts, and 60% are on the lookout for the best bargains.
Given the circumstances today, it would be best for small businesses to utilize gift cards and discounts to maximize on brand exposure online rather than expect big returns as the usual Christmas shopping behavior is definitely cancelled this year. Target about 70% of shoppers via E-commerce and continue streamlining your digital features in a way that customers can get more information and find it easier to shop on your website than anywhere else.
Learn when to take and when to give back
Speaking of the Christmas season, learning to give back to your customers and employees is equally as important as taking in the big profits. Being generous to your customers and employees is always a proven practice that garners higher returns. This creates good branding and a loyal following from your customers and boosts your employees’ morale for improved productivity.
In turn, your generosity also allows you to ask for help when you need it. Establishing good networks by giving what’s due and being fair is a business acumen that goes a long way. Remember, everyone wants to thrive and be successful, so helping out when you can and practicing reasonable generosity is essential if you also expect to get a boost when you suddenly find your business in the gutter.