December 2007, economy took a nosedive and the Great Recession started to have a crippling effect on US economy. Nevertheless, economic rebound began in the latter half of 2009 and the initial steps of recovery, accredited to the small business owners who refused to give up.
Over these years and after looking at the growth margin in the year 2013, small business owners deserve a pat for beating the odds. Indeed, this might be the biggest reason for market expectations to rise considerably in 2014.
“Change is not a threat rather it is an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, but transformative success is” – Seth Godin
Small business is an ever-changing domain, it is easy to start and yet dubious. The strategies that worked last year might not work out this year. Moreover, small-business risk exists for everyone no matter whether you are a startup or a seasoned entrepreneur. Thus, in order to stay on the edge, small-biz entrepreneurs need to keep up with the latest tech, management, and health care fronts. It is the time to be transformative not just to survive.
In 2014, you need to know how to grow your business and continue to operate it with efficiency. Start knowing the business stands of this year, where you want to place your small business and how you will get there. This is the year when we will see small business entrepreneur’s move past, surviving and thriving. To know how they are going to do it, implement these five strategies to make your small business survive in 2014.
#1: Put More Passion and Invest A Little More Time
Getting your hands on a small business is hard, and maintaining or growing it is harder. If your small business managed to survive the Great Recession though bruised and battered, yet you made it. Its 2014, time to reignite your passion. Recapitulate, why you went into business, hardships you faced in the past years and challenges you aimed to meet, but failed. Readjust, but do not lose focus from your small business passion.
After passion, it is ‘time’ that you need to multiply in 2014. Amplify your time by one hour or a week or may be by a month. Use your time reading, meeting the mentors, join conferences, webinars, or treat your mind with something refreshing. If you can manage daily responsibilities, then it becomes easy to set the future vision, plan, strategize and think about the growth. As time management is critical, schedule it and make commitments respectively.
#2: Boost Your Marketing Moves
When budgets are tight and challenges are too many small business owners makes the first move by shrinking their marketing costs. This is a serious blunder, before you pay yourself it is sensible to invest in marketing. Without the marketing strategy, you will have no customers, and when there is no customer, you will have no sales. Moreover, no sales notify that you have no business.
Another major aspect is your email marketing, though most of the experts consider the death of email marketing, but it continues to be an effective tool to reach new and existing customers. Strategize your email marketing moves with the use of professionals to refine your profits.
#3: Make the Decisive Move With Social Media
With the rise of the digital media, it has become essential to tell your brand story through a number of social platforms to let your customers search your business even while they are in their running shoes. Social networks help to drive results to your business by –
- Widening your accessibility compared to traditional marketing strategies. The simple interface of the social media platforms makes it easier for the small business to venture this arena with confidence.
- Increasing your interaction with customers over the social networks gives your business a profitable boost. Today’s customers like to engage with brands through their Facebook pages. It is the channel to make and break business count on the customer experiences both good and bad to bag better ROI.
- With social media campaigns, you can hit the bottom-line comfortably than any other channels. The Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, small business can spread their bandwagon with effective contests, giveaways, or social undertakings.
#4: Work Hard to Earn Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is the key point on which you need to work hard. You have to harvest an environment that will make you receive consistent patronage from the customers. To bag positive customer experience, hit on:
Brand Storytelling – chances are there that your customers might share an interest on your product. Sharing your brand story might spread a strong appreciation about your establishment. A story helps to establish a relationship and strives to keep your customers close.
Addressing with Customer Names – email marketers follow this trend, since using a person’s name shows the personal touch and tell the customer how important they are.
Be Transparent – disclose what your business has in store rather than hiding it from your customers. Make yourself available on social channels. Engage yourself in conversations with customers over live chats or hangouts to resolve their grievances. Ask for their improvement suggestions.
#5: Gain Knowledge on Affordable Care Act
With the Obamacare taking a plunge in the business environment, SMBs must understand the Affordable Care Act that includes measures to help SMBs lower premium costs and increase access to quality, affordable health insurance. It is tough for the small business owners to incorporate all the new rules because they lack the HR departments that large companies have. They should start learning the health care reform to stay ahead of the general curve before Affordable Care Act takes effect on 2015.
Are you ready to thrive!
SMBs are entrepreneurs who make and break their own paths. The spirit and power of small business lie in the individual and the teams who work hard to create a thriving enterprise. Whatever strategy you chose, make sure it fuses with the emerging trends to help your small business succeed in the global competitive business environment.
About the Author!
William Walker lives in Birmingham, Alabama and works as a telesales executive after majoring in Economics. He jams up the best with startups working on products, growth, mobile, online business and brand equity. He enjoys writing informative blogs with good coffee or wine to inspire the wannabe market leaders.