By Connor Wilson –
Every year, businesses the world over spend a significant amount of time and money ramping up for the holiday season, and then, just like that, it’s over. As quickly as Halloween seemingly rolled into Thanksgiving, the New Year is here, and the holiday rush is a mere memory. But what about your business efforts? After weeks, if not months, of running at max strength, what do you do once the inevitable Q1 lull hits?
As you close out 2018 and dig your feet into 2019, it’s important to address the unique needs of this slower period, and in doing so, prepare your business for not only the first quarter, but for the rest of the year. Not sure where to start? Here are six tips to help you decelerate business and make the most of down time. (more…)
By Jennifer Lobb –
Pricing can and often does make or break your business, and hastily setting prices without addressing important concerns can result in a whole host of problems, including plummeting margins, decreasing market share, or brand alienation.
Every business is different, and in many cases, the pricing strategy you choose is entirely reliant on the industry in which your business exists. However, though differences are plenty, there are some steps that, when incorporated into pricing efforts, will help you set prices that will support your financial goals while growing your business. (more…)
By Jennifer Lobb –
Before long, the air will be cooler, evergreen and twinkling lights will deck homes and storefronts, and holiday music will begin to play – albeit earlier than seems necessary. Though the holiday season begins as soon as Jack-o-Lanterns end their month-long reign, when it comes to planning and sales most small businesses focus on what many consider to be the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday.
Business owners and managers alike plan meticulously for the big day, with efforts covering everything from staffing and business hour updates to marketing and sales initiatives. However, as you likely already know, when it comes to Black Friday, inventory is often the make-or-break factor. (more…)
By Jennifer Lobb –
Running a business is time-consuming work, and as a new business owner, time is exceedingly hard to come by. Though you may not be able to add an extra hour (or minute, for that matter) to your day, there are ways you can capitalize on, and make the most of, the time you do have. By following the seven tips below, you’ll be able to take charge of your day and manage your time in a way that improves both your productivity and state of mind.
1. List & Define Your Tasks & Goals
When thinking about time and how to better manage it, there are two dominating categories of obligations and to-dos and your list: operational tasks and business goals. Tasks are those mundane-yet-import requirements that happen daily, weekly or monthly, without fail. (more…)
A new year is upon us, and for many of us that means taking inventory of our lives, deciding where we can improve and making resolutions to guide us through our journey to improvement.
While we typically think of resolutions as personal promises, the sentiment can and should extend to professional organizations. By making company-wide resolutions, small business owners, managers or individuals in other leadership roles can promote growth, increase the bottom line and improve company morale.
Not sure what types of resolutions you should make? Here are seven that will be important for a strong 2018. (more…)
By Eric Rosenberg
Kaizen is defined as “a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices” and personal efficiency. The word literally means “improvement,” but has taken on a more important meaning in the world of business.
Large Japanese companies like Toyota have long touted the benefits of Kaizen, and it has slowly moved into the corporate culture at companies around the world. Now even small businesses take notice and try to apply the philosophy of continuous improvement to their business. No matter what size organization you are a part of, your team can almost certainly benefit from Kaizen. Here’s how: (more…)
By Michael Willee
As a small business, you have to approach things differently than larger companies in your field. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a disadvantage. While big businesses have considerable resources to draw from for projects, they can also be the victim of an entrenched mindset that can prevent new and innovative thinking. Here are some ways that small businesses can succeed at winning an unfair game.
Be efficient. While other organizations may have millions of dollars to throw around, startups and small businesses don’t have that luxury. But a lack of money doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of results. The most successful small businesses are the ones that make the best use of the money they do have to achieve the greatest return on their dollar. That doesn’t necessarily mean slashing expenditures across the board; sometimes, it’s better to pay a bit more for a superior product. But smart entrepreneurs are able to recognize areas where there’s value to be had in undervalued assets.
Use metrics to your advantage. Bigger companies can afford to take success at face value, but small businesses should want to know where that success comes from. Who is your target audience? What type of advertising is most successful, and in which medium? (more…)
By Cindy Bates
The start of a New Year is likely to have many SMB owners recounting the ups and downs of the past year and looking for things they can do better in 2015. For some, that means streamlining budgets. For others, that means getting a better grasp on the elusive work/life balance. In my role, it means looking for ways to increase productivity and helping SMB owners get back a bit more of one of the world’s most precious resources – time.
As I look for ways to improve productivity this year, I’ve shared a few tried and true methods below that will help you start your year off strong.
• Start with you – Taking better care of yourself can go a long way towards helping your business thrive. It can be as simple as getting more rest. Sleep can have a major impact on your performance, with one study finding sleep to be more important than food. The latest wearable devices make it easier than ever to track your habits – when asleep or awake to keep your efforts on track. Best of all, you can share healthy habits with your employees. Scheduling daily walks or offering yoga courses onsite can reduce stress and encourage teambuilding. (more…)
By Gina Watkins
Hopefully you’ve already started thinking about how you’re going to make this year’s holiday season worth celebrating—because without a doubt many of your biggest competitors have already started generating buzz. While you may not their million dollar TV budgets or a Grammy-worthy holiday jingle to do it, you don’t actually need those things to be successful—you just need the right plan in place and the right tools to help you out.
Following are some easy to embrace tips to help your business build momentum as you head into the holiday season:
Develop a schedule to build momentum
Building momentum will be crucial in determining whether or not this year’s holiday season is one worth celebrating. But you can’t build momentum without a plan for how you’re going to do it. Start by creating a schedule. Map out the weeks leading up to and through the holiday season with specific business goals for each of the big days. The specific holidays you plan to target may vary based on your business and your audience. (more…)
What to Do when You Return from a Small Business Trip
Rhonda teamed up with Marriott and Visa to create the Smart Small Business Travel Guide, on which this blog post is based.
Before you go on a business trip, allow for thoughtful planning to help you make the most of your travel. (See my previous post to get started.) With a plan in place, you’ll have an easier time ensuring that you’re productive and meeting your goals while you’re away.
But in some ways, the most important part of your trip happens when you return. You’ll probably have generated many leads, sales, and ideas—now it’s time to follow-up.
Your first inclination when you get back to the office is to jump right in to tackle anything that’s accumulated while you’ve been away. Wait! Schedule an hour or two—or even a day—just for trip follow-up. Capture the successes you’ve achieved from your trip and outline your next steps. (more…)