If you’re like me—and almost everyone else in this country—the end of the year is a time to look back and assess. I enjoy the nostalgia and reminiscing that occurs at this time of year, but it can also be a time of dread. It’s a time to realize you either hit the mark or you didn’t. And if you did, you may be apprehensive about being able to do it again in the new year.
So, we make resolutions.
We tell ourselves we’re going to do X differently this year. And most of us fall short of X because we forget about it, or we fall back into old routines because they are easy and we know how they work.
But this year, if you’re going to take on a resolution, we have some tips for you. The goal is to make resolutions more intuitive and doable. Here are a couple of ways to do that.
We’re down to the last two weeks before Christmas with some of the biggest shopping days of the season still ahead of us. Since every sale can help your future marketing, it’s essential that over the next few weeks you think not only of the money, but the data you can garner from each sale as well. But don’t stress. You still have time to implement these important activities for big results.
Things You Need to Do During Small Business Season
Don’t let the biggest sales season go by without gathering this data and implementing some of these activities to help with future marketing:
Okay, so this might not be a “secret” weapon, but email marketing can help extend the push to shop small that began on Small Business Saturday. These types of gentle reminders can keep customers buying from you all season (and all year) long. You just need a couple of great ideas, an email marketing tool (like MailChimp or Constant Contact), and of course an email list.
There is nothing more convenient than whipping out your phone, typing in a URL (or opening an app), perusing offerings, and hitting a few buttons to buy something…anything…everything. We even get our groceries that way these days. But as convenient as online shopping seems, there are several reasons to shop local.
In person is the way to go this Small Business Season. If you can suspend disbelief for a few minutes, we’ll explain why.
Our Favorite Reasons to Shop Local During Small Business Season
For a while, marketers have been telling people how to build relationships with potential customers on social media. They’ve shown them how to nurture a potential customer through the sales cycle to make a buying decision.
And that’s what businesses have been focused on.
But your social networks need to be doing double duty now.
Yes, attracting new customers is important but there’s another great need right now—employees. You need to attract people to work with you and retain those you currently have.
Social media is an incredibly strong way to do this.
Consider the following types of posts to help you be seen as an employer of choice.
Brownie Wise (the saleswoman behind the success of Tupperware) said, “If you want to build a business, build the people.” This is incredibly important but now more than ever. With the hiring shortage going on, you must do something to make your business stand out and helping potential employees understand they can have a career with you (or at least feel valued while they are there) can be the difference between going with you or deciding to work elsewhere.
But how do you “build the people”? Training can be costly and who has the time or money for that? Believe it or not, there are a lot of free resources out there. Here are just a few:
Do you have dreams about owning your own business or becoming part of the gig economy? Making your own hours? Working from wherever you want?
Then you’re not alone.
There are an estimated 582 million entrepreneurs (about 775,000 of them in the US) already working for themselves. And that number is growing. According to Guidant Financial, 27% of people polled in 2020 wanted to start their own entrepreneurial enterprises because they were disenchanted/dissatisfied with corporate America. And a lot of people are rethinking their current jobs because of COVID.
Whatever your reasoning, you may be hesitating because going out on your own means leaving your comfort zone and the things you’ve become accustomed to. If you’re looking to become your own boss, here are some things you need to know.
The scene is a common one these days. Lines of people waiting to pay in a restaurant, retail establishment, or grocery store. Tempers flare. Customers yell at staff and wonder why there’s only one person checking people out. Your staff thinks, “Who needs this?” and they’re not wrong. They feel overworked and underappreciated. Customers are demanding and loud. Customers vow not to return. It makes for a bad situation for everyone.
So what can you do to ensure it doesn’t happen in your business?
Dealing with angry people during a staffing shortage is not easy, especially since one problem creates the other. People are angry because they have to wait. People have to wait because you are short staffed. No one wants to work in an environment filled with angry people.
Here are some things you can do to diffuse the situation.
Let’s face it. You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a help wanted sign. If someone wants to work, there is little stopping them on the employer side. (There may be things like childcare or scheduling on the employee’s side but that’s another article.)
If you’re running ads along with all the other employers out there, you’re at the mercy of their budgets—and if they have a larger one than you—they may be able to get their wanted ads in more effective places more often. A sign in your place of business can also be effective but only if the right person passes your place. To stand out in this employee’s market, you need to get creative.
Many of us have spent this year concerned over the health of our businesses or those in the community. Ultimately, a healthy business has a good balance sheet. It has more coming in than it does going out. But that is not the only indicator of business health.
In today’s world, where a quick decision from a politician can radically affect your business overnight, it’s important to know the early indicators of business peril. This of these things as your business’ “canary in the coal mine.”