As you move through the year and put your plans into action, it is important to be aware of the following four trends that are reshaping the landscape of small businesses.
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- In light of the current economic climate, company owners are placing an increased emphasis on marketing and recruitment.
- Stay up to date with the most recent advancements in commercial technology.
- Entrepreneurs are making use of educational resources that are available without charge.
- Being a sole proprietor of a company can be isolating; avoid doing it all by yourself.
When a new year starts, it’s common to make a long list of resolutions and things to accomplish. This list, however, can quickly become overwhelming if you try to tackle too much, too quickly. My approach to resolutions has always been to begin by outlining both short-term and long-term objectives that span the entirety of the year. After all, we have an entire year to work toward achieving our objectives, and there’s a reason that they aren’t referred to as “January Resolutions.”
Even though now is an important time for business owners to take stock of their operations and chart their course for the coming year, it is easier than ever to get bogged down in worry about the challenges that the economy is currently facing.
I would like to encourage all owners of small businesses to approach the year 2023 with some measure of realism and sensitivity; be aware of the economic headwinds we’re facing, but don’t let them monopolize your attention. Don’t let them bury your head in the sand. Instead, focus your time and energy on the challenges and operations that are directly under your purview to achieve the best results.
As you work throughout the year to put your plans into action, here are four trends that are reshaping the landscape of small businesses that you should be aware of:
In light of the current economic climate, company owners are placing an increased emphasis on marketing and recruitment.
At the end of the previous year, we carried out a survey of business owners across the country. The results showed that 78% of business owners think that a recession will affect their plans for their businesses. Despite this, business owners are making significant investments in their companies, with a focus on marketing and promotion, hiring new employees and increasing wages, investing in new equipment and technologies, and increasing overall capital expenditures.
An aggressive, offensive strategy is the most effective way to combat clients who reduce their spending. If you feel that your marketing strategies could use an update, consider the following best practices:
Maintaining a straightforward strategy that is aligned with the overarching objectives of your company will assist you in remaining on the path that leads to achievement.
Identify your target audience: You should start with the end result in mind. Whom exactly are you speaking with, and what exactly are you attempting to convey to them?
Make sure you use the appropriate platform:
Once you have an idea of where your target demographic can be found, you can select the marketing method that will be most effective for you (s). When getting started, I would suggest putting more of your attention and resources into one or two specific marketing channels, at least to begin with.
You can no longer expect marketing to be a one-way street in this day and age of social media. Measure your success. Engaging with your customers across multiple platforms and in multiple ways should be the goal of any successful marketing campaign in the modern era. Establish your objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) as early as possible, and check in with them regularly to determine whether or not your message is resonating with your intended audience.
Stay up to date with the most recent advancements in commercial technology.
The past few years have seen widespread adoption of new technology by small businesses, with the goal of making business operations and the lives of customers easier. Incorporating the most recent technological advancements into your company’s operations is not a luxury item anymore; rather, it is necessary for the continued success of your enterprise. 68% of business owners anticipate investing in new or upgraded technology this year, regardless of the possibility that the economy will enter a recession.
For many of us, the process of introducing new technologies and services has the potential to be bewildering, if not outright terrifying. If you’re interested in implementing new technology but aren’t sure where to begin, the following are some things you should think about prioritizing this year:
Making an investment in an automated payroll or human resource (HR) management platform can help reduce operational complexities and costs while streamlining processes.
At the point of sale for your company, you should begin accepting alternative payment methods, such as cashless or peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, such as Zelle.
Bringing your customer relationship management (CRM) system up to date by enhancing it with omnichannel communication capabilities that can communicate with your customers on any platform they may be using.
Improve your defences against hackers and other online dangers by beefing up your cybersecurity measures. Regrettably, con artists and hackers are increasingly focusing their attention on the financial vulnerabilities of small businesses.
Entrepreneurs are making use of educational resources that are available without charge.
It’s never too late to pick up new skills. There have been many more and better free educational materials for business owners in recent years, and more and more business owners at various phases of their careers are looking for these tools. According to what we found out in the previous year, the majority of business owners, including 75% of female business owners, wish they had a greater understanding of the financial aspects of their companies. If you are looking for advice, the following are some resources you might want to consider:
The answers to many frequently asked questions can be found in educational resources such as SCORE and the Small Business Resources site on Bank of America’s website. It is helpful to keep these resources close at hand.
Online learning platforms are provided by organizations such as LinkedIn and the Small Business Administration if you are interested in pursuing a more conventional education. Additionally, women can earn a certificate in business administration from Cornell University through a free online program provided by Bank of America.
Your community banker specializes in working with small businesses and can be an invaluable asset to your success while also making your life much simpler.
Being a sole proprietor of a company can be isolating; avoid doing it all by yourself.
Having to start the new year with the responsibility of running your company on your shoulders can be an extremely stressful experience. I hope that you will remember this one piece of guidance: Find someone who has been there before and can share their experiences with you.
Investigate joining groups such as the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Luminary, the Small Business Chamber of Commerce in your area, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Business Networking International, or other organizations of a similar nature. The revival of in-person networking events has resulted in the creation of new chances to meet other local business owners and to work together with advisors who are in a position to guide and assist you on your path to becoming an independent company proprietor. Less formal forms of networking, such as participating in LinkedIn groups or having coffee or drinks with people who share your interests, can be just as beneficial.
If you make the cultivation of relationships with individuals and communities in which you have faith a top priority, you will reap the benefits for many years to come.
It can be intimidating to begin the year with the intention of achieving all of the goals that you have set for yourself, but if you incorporate the advice that was given above into your game plan, you will be actively positioning your company for continued success in 2023 and beyond.