In the busy life of a small-business owner every day is a step closer to success. Sometimes the pressure of doing so much by yourself clouds the picture. Following are 3 tips to help bring success into sharper focus.
Every quarter, choose 1-2 items that you buy from vendors that can be renegotiated or obtained from a less expensive or more efficient supplier. Assign the goal to your top achiever or an up-and-comer. The reward will be two-fold. You should be able to shave some costs and it also presents a chance to challenge and incentivize employees. If you’re concerned about having the money to incentivize employees, consider affordable and flexible business funding options.
Tie a financial bonus or other reward to the successful completion of the goal. This is also a good way to show your suppliers that you’re on your toes and remind them that they need to keep enticing you to retain your business. Just like you should be actively encouraging customer loyalty, so should your suppliers.
A little does go a long way. Research shows that customers love rewards programs. According to Maritz, a customer loyalty program management company, 45% of customers say that the chance to earn a reward is the key reason they’ll choose one brand over another. Loyalty programs are easy to implement. Restaurants can give out loyalty cards. Tie the reward to the purchase of a premium meal or new appetizer. For every 5th visit, offer customers a reward. The benefits are two-fold. They not only encourage repeat customers, but adding an expiration date is an easy way to boost sales within a set time period. It’s a fast and easy tactic to implement. Use it to ease the impact of an unexplained sales slump or predicted seasonal slow down. For financial solutions to manage cash flow during slow seasons, learn about merchant cash advances.
This is a case of “pay now or pay twice as much later.” As a small business, your size is in your favor. Use it and stay ahead. It’s easier to adapt when your operations and teams are small. Leverage your agility and beat larger companies. The chief goal of technology is to decrease dependence on human labor. At a very simple level, fewer employees to do the job reduces payroll, or at least can cut overhead. Ideally, incorporating technology into your business should streamline your operations for more efficiency. This, in turn, should add to your bottom line and foster business growth. Adopting technology early gives you first dibs on market share. Arrive late to the game and you may not catch up.
Areas to focus on include ease of access for your customers. If you are in the retail business, make sure to accept a variety of payment methods such as Apple or Google payments. Also offer the ability to order and pay ahead online. E-commerce companies should even consider new currencies like Bitcoin.
As the use of technology removes the human touch, consumers’ desire for a meaningful experience with your business intensifies. If you don’t already have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology, that’s an important area to explore, as well. CRM enables a company to deliver very specific messages tailored to niche audiences. According to the article “40 Small Business Trends and Predictions for 2017” published in Business News Daily, niche companies will prosper in 2017.