Are you concerned about how your small business will fare in today’s economy? Here are small ways to boost your business’s professionalism.
by Luann Moss
As a small business owner, it can be intimidating to start and maintain your company, especially as times change and develop. It’s important to be aware of the challenges you’ll face as and make a plan of action to be prepared. Below are some important things to consider now more than ever before.
Online Reviews and Their Power
According to LegalRev, almost 90% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, which was more than an 80% increase since 2019! Because of the power of online reviews, it’s important to treat all your customers as if they were going to write a review online after receiving your services. Delivering high-quality customer service can ensure that your reviews portray your business in a positive light.
In addition, if a customer gets hurt or feels hurt due to lack of customer service, reply to their concerns through their reviews. Offer feedback, discounts, or a direct response to ensure the issue is resolved. You can also offer discounts through review sites, such as Yelp, and encourage customers to leave reviews about your business. Once a customer leaves a review, removing it can either be impossible depending on the platform, or still harmful to your company’s public perception. Many customers find it harder to trust an organization that they know removes or hides negative reviews. Similarly, reviewers who see that you’ve responded to previous customers may feel more confident about your professionalism.
Not Having Enough Money
According to the Michigan Certified Development Corporation, less than half of small businesses have their financing needs met, meaning you might be at risk of not having enough money to invest into your products, services and business. Failing to research financing for your business beforehand could hurt your company and lead to your business shutting down or going bankrupt.
Fortunately, there are many financing options you can explore. For starters, consider a business loan that’ll help pay for upcoming expenses and the cost of opening your business. These small business loans are usually lower in interest for smaller businesses. While you still need to pay them back, loans give you the opportunity to grow your business and improve sales if you have little financing to begin with.
You can also consider personal lines of credit or home equity. While these options are riskier, it might be better than not having enough money to start your business. If you’re confident about your business and products, consider personal bootstrap financing.
Not Making Enough Sales
As a business owner, one of the most important factors to consider is continued revenue and sales. Even a slow quarter can set you back and hurt your business. In fact, almost 30% of businesses fail because they run out of capital, according to Capital Bank. To boost sales, consider different avenues where you can share your products and services. For instance, the online market is now booming with customers. Consider marketing your company online and selling your products and services through the internet.
You could also hire the help of professional marketing teams who have experience helping small business owners grow and maintain their business. It’s important to also consider how this investment could help, instead of hurt, your business. Marketing teams and professional financial advisors are worth the investment so you can continue to grow your business and customer base.
Social Media Relevancy
Social media is a powerful tool that can either help or hurt your business. More customers are turning to social media and their followers to share their experiences at businesses. For instance, if you run a car dealership, you might have a customer recording and streaming their buying experience live.
Consider researching your business or brand for any mentions on social media. Unfortunately, not all videos will show your business in a positive light. Some users might try to highlight any poor customer service, poor interactions, and even any defects in your business’ building. Be aware of any social media posts that mention your business, and reach out to the customer so you can ensure they have a better experience. If the issue borders on harassment, you can also get legal help.
Using these tips can help you keep your business afloat and strong. Stay proactive and don’t let these modern-day concerns hinder your growth. As the world of business continues to change, the only way to maintain your success is to keep yourself aware of how it develops.