This year’s U.S. National Small Business Week is being observed from May 20-26. Like every year, all eyes will be on the great potential that this sector holds for the U.S. economy. In fact, small businesses are so closely interwoven with our daily lives that it is uncommon to not come in contact with a small business every day one way or another. Yet, so often we see small businesses facing a tough time staying afloat when faced with stiff competition or unfavorable economic conditions. Here are some survival tips for this vital sector:
Survival Tips for Small Businesses in Tough Times
Note that it is more beneficial to start implementing these tips while the going is relatively good. This way, your business will be operating under fewer constraints than reacting to a recession out of compulsion.
- Cut costs: Take a look at your overheads and see where you can slash your recurring expenses; e.g. reduce energy bills, consume less paper and other office supplies etc. Invest in technologies that let you trim your costs in the medium-to-long term.
- Use low cost marketing techniques: With the popularity of social media, you can market your products and services even free of cost. You may have to spend some time learning the ins and outs. But if you succeed at it, a new avenue opens up to get more customers.
- Focus on retaining existing customers: It is far easier to make use of existing customer relationships to increase your sales than approach prospects who don’t know you. These interesting stats tell you just much…
– Repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers.
– Referrals among repeat customers are 107% greater than non-customers.
– It costs six times more to sell something to a prospect than to sell that same thing to a customer.
(Source: “Customer Relationships Are Key to Your Marketing Strategy” by Laura Lake at Marketing.About.com)
- Make your office operations more efficient: Go paperless – it may cost you some time and money now but it will be a blessing for your small office in the months and years to come. One good way to go paperless is to get a scanner and small business document management software. Sohodox is one solution that lets you quickly create a centralized, searchable database of all your documents. Using Sohodox, you can scan, index, store, organize, quickly find and edit documents in simple ways. Learn more about Sohodox. Once your documents are in Sohodox, create all new documents only in electronic formats to reduce your use of paper. Scan all incoming documents too.
Experience the benefits of using Sohodox – turn every week your very own small business week!