The chamber is the Voice of Business and as the Voice of Business, there’s something we feel the need to express to everyone in this community. Inflation is being felt everywhere, from Fortune 500 companies to solopreneurs just starting out.
However, the difference between large-scale companies and smaller ones are their reserves. According to JP Morgan Chase, the average small business runs with only 27 days of operating expenses in reserves. Increases in utilities, goods and services, real estate, and gas costs; supply chain issues impacting delivery; and employee shortages have taken a toll on businesses, especially our smaller ones.
In this challenging time, while you are dealing with your own concerns over stretching your paycheck, we want to share some things you might not realize.
There was a time when the biggest concern a business had was bringing in customers. These days, we know you’re worrying about a lot more. You’re wondering where you will find qualified employees. When you do find them on paper or through an application, you keep your fingers crossed that they will show up for their first day of work, or better yet, the interview. Once you hire them, you hope they’ll come back the next day and the next.
If you’re a woman who owns a business and you’d like to apply for federal contracts, getting officially certified as a woman-owned business is essential. The federal government’s goal is to award at least 5% of its contracts to women-owned small businesses each year. While the certification process may seem daunting, it’s not that difficult if you know the basic application rules and materials needed.
It’s that time of year again and many of us are preparing for a return to normal when it comes to the seasonal onslaught of tourism. Even with high transportation costs people are traveling and still--hopefully—buying. If you’d like to attract more tourists to your place of business, here’s how you can prepare.
If you’re a small business owner without the resources to hire a large full-time team, you can still meet your business needs through freelancing or turning to independent business professionals. This can be an economical way to accomplish your goals without having to cover the cost of full-time employees.
Does your town host a Wine Walk, Holiday Stroll, First Friday, or other downtown event where they close off streets and encourage people to get out and support business? If so, you may know that those events often bring the crowds but also bring “tire kickers,” people who are just out for a stroll, not really interested in what you sell. They’re just going into each business, poking around, and usually leaving empty handed.
The hard part of that is that you likely brought in full staff to ensure you had enough coverage only to deal with a lot of “lookers.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few suggestions on how to transform your looky-loos into looky heres.
It’s not uncommon to hear old timers (of any age) complain that young people don’t have it as hard as they did. It’s a common lament that younger generations are not as battle worn as the Silent Generation.
Whether that is true or not remains to be seen.
But the one thing that is true is that people will not do business with you if you make it hard to do business. There’s just too much competition and not enough interest.
To attract sales and become interested in your business, you want people to know, like, and trust you. Once they are interested, your work isn’t complete. You want to make it easy on them to do business.
If you’re doing the following things in business, you may be missing sales because you are making it too hard.
If you’re a small business, you probably bootstrapped your website content, picking it up here and there, copying what you like from other sites (hopefully not word for word), and adding as you go. That’s the way most small businesspeople do it unless you’re lucky enough to know someone who offered their writing services or have it in your budget to have it written for you.
But do you ever wonder if you have the type of content that will transform the casual web visitor into someone who buys?
Here are the components you need on your website to ensure more sales conversions.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. While we may have different responsibilities, the most productive people learn to use their time in valuable ways no matter how little of it there is. They quickly grasp the best way to use “stolen minutes” in between projects or appointments. Some even keep a non-critical to-do list of all the things they want to do when they have those unexpected moments. That way they can make the most of them when they appear.
But if you want to take your day back and get some of those mission critical things done that you never seem to have time for, you may need to be honest with yourself. Instead of waiting for an opening in your day, create one by taking back your night.
After all, how much is binge watching TV really helping your business?
We get it. You need that down time after a busy day. You don’t want to think. You’re burned out. TV is easy. You’re spending time with family. Whatever your excuse is as to why you’re losing hours in your night staring at a screen, you could be moving your business or yourself forward. If you need to unwind that way, give yourself an hour, not three. Here’s what you could be doing instead with just 1-2 hours each night.
Do you need more attention? Do you feel like your business isn’t top of mind in your community? People won’t buy from you if they don’t think of you. While the easiest way to increase sales is to upsell existing/current customers, the second-best way is increased exposure. These days—to stand out—you need to get creative. Here are a few ideas to help get your business the attention it deserves without breaking your budget
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.