Small business owners know better than anyone that change is the one thing you can count on in business. And without large staffs or stockholders to answer to, small businesses are uniquely positioned to be adaptable in the face of economic conditions beyond their control. Here are some actions the small business owner can take now to adapt to changing business trends and the current economic landscape:
- You must have an online presence. If you don’t have a web site, create one or have someone create one for you. You should be able to get a nice web site for less than $500, and much less if you do it yourself.
- In addition to a web site, you should start exploring social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. These platforms are great for promoting your business and for finding out what people like or don’t like about it.
- If you don’t need a physical storefront, get rid of it. Because of the affordability and availability of technology, you might be able to run your business from home and use a storage space for inventory, especially if you are a business-to-business entity. The phone company should be able to forward your old land line phone number to your cell phone via a virtual business center, thus allowing you continuity with your customers. Today, one can do business from practically anywhere, and not having a storefront will save a lot of money on overhead.
- Differentiate yourself with excellent customer service. Take care of your customers’ needs and always deliver your product or service on time. Always return your phone calls by the end of the day.
- Make your product or service “greener.” Over the past decade, businesses have capitalized on growing environmental concerns of their customers by either greening existing products or creating new greener products or processes. For example, you could make sure to recycle, cut down on packaging or go to recyclable packaging, and make sure you mention your efforts to be a better environmental steward in your advertising or on your social media accounts.
Check the Library’s ConnectNow for upcoming business programs on how to improve your profitability, and for Computer classes on Social Media.