Small businesses (i.e. all businesses with less than 500 employees) have it tough. Not quite big enough to easily earn enough to have a safety cushion, but still with significant costs, they are treading the eternal middle ground. If you are smaller it is even worse – the rate at which businesses with no employees close down is 3 times higher than those with employees. Of course, not everyone is supposed to keep going and be successful, however, a certain percentage might be better off if they listened to some of the advice we are going to list here.
How’s that marketing working out for you?
Depending what generation you belong to, you might feel different about various marketing options at your disposal. If you grew up with newspapers and TV ads, you might be a little weary of the social media marketing. On the other hand, if you were born with a smartphone in your hand, some disdain for the more traditional media might be present. What you have to be aware of is that the old guard is not dead, nor is the new stuff the be-all and end-all of marketing. Compare your options and choose your venues. If your customers live on the net, your presence on the social media is a must. If you have local clients that watch a quirky little local TV channel – you tune in and get some ads going.
Use the tools at your disposal
There are so many ways to keep organized in today’s day and age. With the cloud technology you’re enjoying the benefits of all the users always being updated at the same time. You have Trello or Meistertask and similar apps to keep everyone in the loop of who’s doing what and when they should be doing it. As you grow larger you should consider NetSuite implementation for your company – this ERP system can help you keep all your data in one place. The key word is integration and use of tools that can help you get the best out of yourself and your employees.
Consider the costs and how to reduce them
Every month, your company has expenses that you have to cover. With the number of employees the little things keep adding up, of course. You are probably doing your best to offer as many services to your clients as you can, to keep the magical numbers of customer satisfaction up. Add your overheads to that and it turns into a nice little pile. What to do? Be brutal. Cut down on all of the expensive services that your customers would not even notice are gone. Find the most efficient way to supply all the employees with what they need every day – perhaps hire one company to do all the maintenance if that means your payments in this regard are smaller. This will help you to make your break-even point more feasible – and ultimately make you breathe more easily.
Spend more on keeping the existing customers
It might sound counter-intuitive, but spending more on ways to keep your customers is actually very profitable. The numbers do not lie, it is 5 times more expensive to attract new ones than it is to keep the customers you already have. This, of course, does not mean that you shouldn’t be out there looking for new customers, just that you should be paying more attention to keeping those you already have, even going as far as spending more on them than you normally would. Of course, if you can find out why the loyal customers actually stay with you, it could make a world of difference to the way you run your marketing.
Turn things around – literally
We mean it, try going in a completely different direction. In the end, why not? If your company is in the dumps, you are struggling with your overheads, why not start all over again, but in a different field. You would still have all your experience and the contacts from your previous small business – this should give you a much better springboard for your new one than you had when you were starting the first time. A new beginning is sometimes the best ending.