4 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business
A New Year isn’t just a new calendar or a new date. For small businesses, it represents an opportunity to get organized, make a plan, and stick to it for a full calendar year. You could plan to lower costs and improve cash flow, or get a better handle on inventory forecasting. Whatever, your thoughts, the natural progression of weeks and months makes it much easier to set goals, track progress and evaluate your master plan for the full year. It’s easier to tell how well everything is going.
Here are 4 New Year’s Resolutions that can help any small business get ahead in today’s competitive environment.
1. Plan Now and Execute Now.
Before you can accomplish anything with accountability, you must have a plan. Starting 2016, write up a formal Business Plan. Business owners can benefit tremendously from a business plan. It details everything that needs to get done for your business and could be your road map to success. It keeps you in line with the right priorities and keeps you accountable. It lets you know how far your progress has taken you and how much more is needed to be done. It also helps you see (and plan for) problems or obstacles/challenges and avoid any bumps along the way. No matter what industry you plan on going into, a business plan is essential. For example, for anyone who wants to get into the landscaping industry, finding a solution to growing your clients and making your job a little easier through the use of landscaping software could be the answer. Having a business plan allows you to write down things like this, so you can look back at it and see whether you have achieved what you set out to do. Although every aspect of running a business is important, there may be some that you might prioritise before others. For example, to protect your business, you may want to get landlord insurance online. This is important to cover you and your business in case anything was to occur. It is best to prevent anything from happening beforehand. This is why writing a business plan is effective when it comes to thinking of potential solutions that could solve any issues you have come across. If you already have a business plan, do a quick review and add, delete or postpone tasks from it as necessary. You must set aside some time to setup your plan and execute it now. It could even help you get financing and credit to expand your business further down the road.
2. Know Your Competition.
All business want to be better than their competition. The only way to do that is to know your competitors in your industry as well as competitors in other industries that may be cross selling your type of products. You must do a competitive analysis. You must know how your competitors are selling the same products that you are selling. What channels do they use for marketing? What promotions do they run? How much do they sell the same product that you sell? You must know the answers to all these questions if you want to beat your competitors. Having all this information will let you better understand your market and will help you identify and single out new markets for your products. It will also help you plan marketing campaigns and advertising budgets.
3. Evaluate Your Payment Options.
Find out what payment options are available for you to offer to your customers. Many businesses are now offering PayPal, Credit and Debit Cards, Gift Cards, Prepaid Cards, Virtual Cards, Android pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay as payment methods. Having more payment options for your customers to pay you will help you increase sales. If you make it easier and more secure for customers to pay you, you will attract more customers. eCommerce retailers can now offer Bitcoin through streamlined services like Germany’s Bitcoin kaufen PayPal without the need for dubious payment apps. Other payment options are Amazon Payments, Gift Cards, Reloadable Prepaid Cards, eChecks, Google Checkout, and Google Wallet. There are many more we can put on this list such as ACH but we hope you have a general idea of what you can go for. Also, it is a great time to check up on your merchant account rates. We offer a Free Merchant Account Anaylsis. Take advantage of our offer to find out how you are doing with your merchant account and if we can do better for you.
Having adequate payment security will help put your customers’ minds at ease when paying electronically at your retail location, over the phone or via your online store. If you already offer most of the payment options available out there, make sure that they are up to date and their security is at or above industry level. You must make sure that the payment methods you adopt help reduce payment fraud and keep customer data secure. The latest EMV Chip card technology requires merchants to upgrade their card readers as well as be informed of what the new technology adoption means. Also make sure that you audit your operations to be in compliance with PCI Compliancy.
4. Manage Inventory and Cash Flow.
Having a tight hold on inventory will help you manage cash flow better. Having too much inventory on hand is not ideal as it locks away cash that could be used for marketing and advertising or R&D purposes. Not enough inventory would mean lower sales or longer waiting times for customers who may then buy from your competitors. A good inventory management plan is to look at previous years sales and forecast how much product will be sold this year. Not everyone will know hot to manage this side of their business, especially if they have recently started. Although you might not know as much as someone who has been running a business for a number of years, there is always room to learn. Plus, with the help of technology, potentially looking into something like open source software inventory management could be very beneficial when it comes to sorting out your inventory. You shouldn’t feel like you are on your own. Account for holiday sales and stock up just enough that would sell fast. Also make sure that your supplier knows that you will be buying a certain amount every month so that they can have it ready for you as needed.
Maybe it would be wise to look out for other suppliers or vendors instead of relying on only one supplier. If your single supplier’s inventory management is bad, it will drastically affect your inventory also. Cash flow projections will let you see how much inventory and sales you will have every calendar month. That will give you a clear picture of how much cash rich your company will be. The extra cash could be used to research new products or for advertising and marketing instead of just sitting there in inventory.
It’s the start of a new year and you need to put your plan into play and review and tweak it as necessary in order to maximize your goals. Don’t let it go to waste.
Contact Us for more information on Credit Card Processing, or eChecks and ACH Transactions. Or take us up on our FREE Merchant Account Analysis offer. We’ll analyze your merchant account rates and let you know how to Save! If you are ready, you may be able to Switch and Save!