What Keeps Small Business Owners Up at Night
Owning a small business has a lot of perks, but it can also be very stressful. After all, you’re responsible for your livelihood in addition to that of your employees.
That’s no small task.
Below, we tackle the common issues that might keep you tossing and turning at night, and then we show you what you can do to sleep like a baby instead.
Growing and Retaining Business
The goal of most small businesses is to grow. And in order to accomplish that, your focus should be on both retaining your existing customers and acquiring new business.
Show your current customers that you value their business and input. Send out surveys and ask for feedback regularly in order to improve your products or services.
Don’t ask for feedback if you’re not willing to make a few changes, though. Everyone likes to be asked for advice, but not if it’s going to be ignored.
Consider offering loyalty programs or other incentives. Not only will it reward your customers for doing business with you, but it will enable you to collect valuable data that you can use in your marketing efforts.
To focus on acquiring new customers, you’ll need to spend some time and effort on marketing tactics, from social media to community outreach.
But if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, consider hiring a marketer or working with a small agency. You may be surprised to learn how much of an impact even a small budget set aside for marketing can have on your bottom line.
Retaining customers and acquiring new business alone will not guarantee that your business stays in the black.
No matter how much revenue you’re bringing in, poor cash management will lead to major financial problems. So be sure to keep track of your cash flow every week to always know where you stand.
Late payments from clients are one of the easiest ways to get into trouble. Invoice clients as soon as possible after work is completed. Send reminders that payments are due, and set clear penalties for late payments to encourage on time payment.
At the end of the day, no matter what you do, some clients will occasionally pay late. Create an emergency fund to cover expenses during these times.
Staying on the Cutting Edge
When was the last time you made a technological upgrade to your business? If it wasn’t within the last 6 months, you may be missing out on efficiencies and savings that an investment in new tech can create.
Are you worried about cost? Only large companies used to be able to afford the best new technologies, but today there are many tools and services that make it easier for small businesses to compete with the big boys.
Everything from cloud storage to accepting payments via your iPhone is now well within reach of many small businesses.
Perhaps you’re concerned that you don’t have the resources necessary to make a change. Of course, some technologies are harder to transition to than others, but many of the most common technologies used by small businesses are relatively easy to set up and use, and ultimately, well worth the cost of learning and implementation.