In a New Economy, Small Businesses Must Adapt
Profit is not a dirty word and any small business owner will attest that they don’t have the luxury of speculation and haphazard risk taking with their funds. Free enterprise requires small businesses to adapt to new models and technologies or risk falling behind and maybe even eventually failing. And that’s the way it should be.
Rewind a couple decades and you will find that entrepreneurs seeking more exposure relied on word of mouth and traditional print advertising. Flash forward to the 21st century and you find entrepreneurs still facing the same exposure battle, but they now have new tools with the Internet, e-commerce and social networking sites.
The modern consumer is in constant contact with family and friends, and small businesses need to become part of that loop. The small business owner who shows and tells the most new prospects about his or her product or service will end up moving the most volume, considering the entire infrastructure is in place to properly capture that business.
The economy is less than friendly right now, and consumers are still cautious about spending. This means small businesses must keep the costs of goods at low levels without sacrificing quality.
To make sales and profit lines grow these days, the adage: “old is forever new” is good to keep in mind. Satisfied customers are the best form of advertising (not to mention free), so take what you already have, and run with it. Create a buzz by getting people to talk about you and your products by making the consumer feel good about their purchases.
Show gratitude to your customers; people share positives experiences with others. A satisfied-once customer can easily turn into a satisfied-twice customer. Making a connection with consumers and helping them feel what you provide makes their lives a bit better, brings immeasurable value to the longevity of your business.
To increase profits in any business, you must run a tight ship. Small business owners need to take scrutinize their payroll to make sure compensation accurately reflects performance. Assess workers’ responsibilities and roles, and make necessary changes and shifts to employee workloads.
Owners shouldn’t be scared to place the magnifying glass on their performance. Do you have a handle on the cash flow so there is no wasted or misused dollars? Are mismanaging or misappropriating your time? Determine the highest and best use of your time and energy to help expand the company and do it.
Brig Hart – entrepreneur and CEO of R3Global, a sales and marketing company offering support to distribution. Author of the book Why Not You, Why Not Now.