5 Quick Tips for Better Small Business Practices
Guest post by Kelli Brewer at Deploycare.org
According to the United States Census Bureau, as of June 15, 2020, roughly one half of all SMBs were minority owned and of those 6.09% were Veteran-owned businesses (roughly 351K). Small business owners and entrepreneurs are a strong part of our economy and those looking to strengthen their small business practices and shore up their organizations in the face of a fast-moving environment can benefit from looking at these strategies below. From marketing to networking to payroll, these are some tried-and-true strategies for making sure your organization is on the path to success.
#1 Invest in the right kind of marketing
Understanding the who, what, why, and how is critical to the success of your business. Who is buying your product? What are they using it for? Why do they need it? How do they access your product or service? These are among the most important questions to ask. Low-cost, high-impact marketing that help build strong marketing foundations include:
- CRM: In essence, a CRM is a software program that lets you keep information on all of your customers or business prospects. Organizing this information in a single place allows you to build stronger relationships and understand your customers better. There are many benefits to having a CRM, including: improved customer service, increased sales, and better analytics to name a few.
- Website: Having an up-to-date internet presence starts with a well-designed, informative online strategy. Defining your guiding star, incorporating your brand, and understanding your target audience are all important steps in your strategy. Now you can start to think about how you want to leverage search engine optimization (SEO) to build brand awareness. SEO practices rely on the algorithms used by search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo!, or DuckDuckGo) to crawl websites looking for certain keywords and phrases. If you have the right content, your product or service is more likely to show up higher in search results.
- Social media: Social media marketing continues to be the most effective form of customer generation. Sales via eCommerce platforms are on the rise, and social media isn’t going anywhere in terms of helping small businesses improve brand awareness, promote products, and engage with their customers. For those of you with B2B businesses offering services instead of products (B2C), you can build a a social media strategy by focusing on those platforms that are B2B friendly such as LinkedIn, according to Sprout Social.
#2 Form an LLC
In small business practices, putting the paperwork together to form a limited liability company (LLC) is worth the time and effort. There are several advantages of forming an LLC, including tax benefits and fewer restrictions. In addition, since it is a limited liability company, this means that you won’t be held personally accountable if something untoward were to happen to the business (such as bankruptcy or other legal trouble). Forming an LLC also offers easier management of business activities and allows you to set larger contribution limits on retirement funds and insurance policies.
#3 Grow your network
One of the most important parts of managing a small business is reaching out to others and networking effectively. Joining organizations full of your ideal customers or businesses that work with your target market can be help your networking.
For instance, getting in touch with the local chamber of commerce can be great for your organization. Membership in the chamber will give you access to the best local resources and news, get you in with the right crowd, and help you gain a voice in your local government.
#4 Get funding for emergencies
Small businesses can find grants for all manner of emergency situations — you just have to know where to look. For instance, coronavirus assistance is available via various sources. Try the Economic Injury Disaster Funds from the Small Business Association and Amazon grants. The point is: there are ways for your organization to obtain funding (which may be easier to apply for if you have a written business plan).
#5 Rethink payroll
It may be prudent to take a look at your business’s payroll system. Assess whether you need to make any changes. Making sure you have the right software for getting payroll out the door can be a game-changer for your organization. Features like automatic payroll, same-day direct deposit, and employee benefits management make it easier to pay your workers on time. You can even get help with filing taxes!
Go forth and do good!
These are only a few of the key things small businesses and entrepreneurs should be focusing on as they seek to improve their sales, engage with clients, and become generally more successful.
Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions. If you need help building a solid marketing foundation for your business, schedule a 30 min strategy call.