Tips for smart small businesses

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Owning a small business takes a lot of time and attention to detail. These details can mean the difference between making a profit and suffering a loss, especially in tough economic times. To keep your business in top shape, spend the time focusing on areas that can lead to lower sales and higher costs. This attention will go a long way in making your business financially successful.

Monitor spending frequently

Every day can have a number of surprises which can lead to unforeseen costs and lost production time. It can be essential for small business owners to periodically monitor these unexpected expenses to see how they affect the bottom line. A monthly expense review is not too frequent to ensure that you are making the necessary adjustments to continue making a profit. Without this habit of monitoring, you can quickly find yourself in a hole without realizing it until expenses have taken up a large chunk of your profit margin.

Follow the technology

Technological changes occur so frequently that it is often difficult to keep up with current developments. Faster computers, cloud sourcing, and mobile technology can ultimately save you money and make your team more productive. Learn about new technologies by reading about these products online or in technology magazines. See if any of them could help your business reach more customers, better monitor financial transactions, or help your employees produce more in less time.

Target your advertising effectively

Advertising can be a huge percentage of your monthly budget, so make sure you get your name known to the right target audience. Before allocating your advertising budget quarterly, research the different options available in your area. New publications and brochures are always produced. Determine how well previous advertising efforts have worked and consider switching to another medium. Consider using local radio or television to advertise your products or services. Make sure your website is getting regular traffic. Otherwise, consider the marketing packages offered by your website host.

Using social media for marketing

Create a Twitter or Facebook account and post there regularly, describing your product or services. Offer useful tips or information that people can use in their daily lives. Invite comments and questions to keep your business at the forefront of lively and interesting online conversations. Link your accounts to other related information that may be of use to online readers.

Offer discounts for new customers

To attract new customers, offer a first-time customer discount to introduce these new people to your business. Give them the royal treatment and they’ll use word of mouth to attract other customers to you.

Start a rewards program

If your business relies on recurring activities to generate income, consider adding a rewards program. A rewards program doesn’t have to be complex and time consuming. A simple punch card that offers a ‘get one free’ after a certain number of purchases can keep customers coming back to you, every time. A rewards program can also simply be the ability to bundle a number of items together at a reduced price. Look for ways to save your customers money while encouraging them to return to your business in the future.

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