The New Year often brings renewed enthusiasm for evaluating the progress of your small business and implementing new processes to ensure future success. For 2018, we’ve compiled a list of opportunities to help you take your small business to the next level.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of a business and critical in its growth. Small businesses are highly dependent on their cash flow, and must either cut costs or scramble to find alternative funding when they are not being paid on time. When money is tight, and bank loans are difficult to get, a cash-strapped company can be pushed to the brink. Learn some tips for improving your cash flow: 15 Ways for Small Businesses to Boost Cash Flow.
Many business owners raise their rates once per year as a standard process. Entrepreneurs often undervalue their services when they first get started. Undercharging can affect the longevity of your business and make you and your employees resentful if you know you deserve better. Take the time to evaluate if a rate increase may be right for your business. Decisions on whether to raise rates for new clients or to existing clients should be made after doing your research and looking into what your competition is doing. Once you’re confident about your value, make sure to communicate rate changes far in advance to both employees and customers to ensure a smooth transition.
A small business owner’s day-to-day list of actionable items can be all-consuming. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, it may be time to start delegating. And, while many people don’t delegate because of the upfront effort required for success, delegation is key to a successful work-life balance for most small business owners. To delegate effectively, choose the right tasks to delegate, identify the right people to delegate to, and delegate effectively by training and keeping the lines of communication open. Establish the objectives and deadlines of each delegated task and you’ll be well on your way to producing more with less stress.
Technology encompasses many aspects of a small business today so there is no surviving without it. Make 2018 better by embracing the technology that will help you connect with your customers, limit frustrations for your employees, and help you run your business more efficiently. Connect with your customers by implementing email or social media campaigns…or making your website more mobile-friendly. Limit frustrations for your employees by asking them what would make their jobs easier. Do they need need new computers, updated software, faster internet? Will a customer-relationship management systems or accounting system improve efficiencies or communication? Implementing just a few enhancements can save time and money, and make for happier customers and employees.
Promoting a business is an ongoing challenge for small businesses. Many businesses keep their focus on delivering promises to existing customers, and neglect efforts to acquire new ones. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, you need to promote your business. Finding high-impact, low-cost methods is only part of the recipe since you need a plan of attack. You need to find out who your best prospects are and determine the best way to reach them. Is the decision maker the CFO of the company, the director of human resources, a 35-year-old working mom, or a college millennial? Will you find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram? Will customers be searching for your product or service on Google or Bing? Do they look for coupons? Have a plan of attack and make sure your all of your efforts are focused on the right target audiences in the right channels before implementing new tactics.
Now that you have your resolutions, make sure to put them into action. Set goals for each resolution and hold yourself, and your team, accountable for achieving those goals. Mark your calendar with a monthly or quarterly check-in meeting to help keep everyone on track during the year.
Breakout Capital supports small businesses beyond lending, and its customers can schedule a free 30-minute consultation to gain advice on what resources may be the right fit for their business. Give us a call and we’ll share our insights and recommendations on small business technology, effective marketing strategies, and other resources to help your business succeed.
Let’s make it a great 2018!
About Breakout Capital
Breakout Capital is committed to responsible lending. We believe it is better for you to keep your business and grow it responsibly than set it up to fail with insurmountable debt. Please contact us today if you’d like to partner with us.