Ways to succeed: small business owner’s edition

I think it goes without saying that the economy has been terrible for the last couple of years, and the economic recovery has been very sluggish at best. The unemployment rate has been really high reaching record rates too. For those who own a small business this can be bad news. If people do not get paid, they do not buy your products or services. On the flip side of this coin is the possibility to tighten your belt, so to speak, on your business and focus on key things to strengthen your business during these hard times. Here are some tips for strengthening your business.

Take care of your customers

It might go without saying that your customers are extremely vital to your businesses success and even just your survival. So take care of them as best you can, greet them, talk to them, and thank them. Good businesses create databases and ways to understand their customers better from understanding what, when and why they buy things. It is also good to find ways to get feedback from your customers in as many ways as you can and an online presence is vital in this day and age to best serve your customers.

Take care of your employees

I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to any business owner, but I have seen way too much of it to be that optimistic. Your employees are one of your greatest assets if not the most important one. They can make the difference in surviving a bad economy. Yes, I know that many will argue that if you create a good system then you can just plug people into it but who is coming up with these innovative systems? That is right- your people and when a system fails your people need to fix them. Some things so remember are positive work environments, recognition, feedback, feedback, feedback. And taking a good look at employee benefits like good health insurance, paid time off, and even flexible schedules are usually a good return on investment.

Automate things that you can

Yes, I do strongly agree with having good business systems, and I am not just talking about good computer and software systems, I am also talking about employee manuals and ways to codify the best ways and policies for serving your customers. A good thing to automate would be pay roll services which are cheap and effective. Other things could include automatic shipping services or even response mail and emails. The important thing to remember is that being consistent is the most important thing as well as do not over look things that are simple or easy. I hope these tips have been helpful for anyone who owns a small business or even managers of small businesses. Keep an eye out for ways to improve your business and it usually starts with these tips. So I wish the best of luck in your efforts.