In this day and age, you may be thinking more about how you’re going to keep your small business afloat than how to take it to the next level.
Granted, there are a lot of businesses out there that are basically fighting for survival, just trying to make it to the other side of the pandemic. However, taking your business to the next level is part of keeping your business afloat. There are over 32 small businesses in America operating right now, and some of them are competing for the same customer base that you covet, which is why, as part of keeping your business alive, you should do all you can do to take your business to the next level. Here are some great tips that will have your small business going leaps and bounds above the competition.
Make Your IT Team More Efficient
With the majority of workers now working from home, IT is a more important position than ever at most businesses these days.
It is essential for a business to have a well-functioning IT team that can troubleshoot problems with your company’s computer systems before they become big problems. IT support is also important for many of your workers, as if they’re having a problem with their programming, the first people they will call is IT. Make sure your IT team has a great managed hosting service that can easily spot problems before they become headaches for your company.
Improve Your Marketing Strategies
There are so many ways you can market your business these days.
Back in the day, you only had TV, the newspaper, and billboards. The internet, however, has opened a door to a new world of marketing, and social media platforms have only expanded on the multitude of opportunities a business has to market itself. Marketing on social media has become a central focal point for small businesses looking to gain an edge over their rivals. Social media also has enabled the rise of mobile marketing, which can take your marketing plans to a brand new level entirely. Your competition is surely upgrading their marketing game, so you should too in order to get a better edge on your competition.
Take A Chance On Second Chance Employees
Once the pandemic runs its course, we’re going to face an employee shortage sooner or later.
The coming lack of employees will spur many small businesses to think outside-of-the-box to find the staff they need to take their business to the top. One such employee that businesses should look to hire is “second chance” employees. These are workers who received some training in the modern workforce while incarcerated. These are individuals who are begging for a second chance to make it in the workforce once they’re released from jail, and a business should take a flyer on this workforce. Most businesses look away from those who have served time in prison, and the lack of opportunities leaves little choice for these workers to re-offend.
By giving “second chance” workers a look, not only are you helping them ease back into society in a positive way, but you will be one more step ahead of the curve and could potentially spur a new wave of hiring that will give “second chance” workers a better shot at making it in the workforce.
Have Networking Chops
While another business may be your competition, it is also very important to find the best workers for your business before your competition does.
This is called “networking,” which will allow you to find the talent that you need by attending events and pitching your company to prospective employees. To do this will require the services of another company that specializes in recruiting. That’s the beauty of networking, utilizing businesses to help your business get and retain talent. So don’t shun other businesses. Instead, do some networking to boost your business and find the next great superstar.
Invest In Corporate Parking
Now, you may read this step and wonder why in the world would corporate parking take your business to the next level?
Well, it’s simple: It makes your business look “official,” and potential employees and customers love a business that has a sense of professionalism to it. Invest in corporate parking that will make your parking lot stand out. Also, you’ll want to invest in a security system for your parking lot. Things can happen in the parking lot, even during the day, and customers and employees value safety above anything else. Having a good security system will go a long way to making sure that your corporate parking lot looks, feels, and is safe for everyone.
Make Your Office Dog-Friendly
When workers begin to return to the office, they’ll be looking for an atmosphere that reminds them of their home office.
One way to achieve this feeling is to make your office dog-friendly. Allowing your workers to bring their pets to work will make the job feel a bit less like a “cold corporate place” and more of a relaxed spot that will make your employees feel more at home. Having pet care in your building will go a long way toward improving the productivity of your office and take your small business to the next level.
Get Insurance Protection
Having insurance protection is going to be very important, especially when you start welcoming back your workers to the office.
There is no other way to sugarcoat this: We live in a world that lives and breaths off suing companies, and if one of your workers catches the coronavirus while at work, that could be an insurance nightmare for your company. So now is the best time to review and retain a lawyer that can fight for your interest in court and get you the best advice in civil litigation. Getting insurance protection for your small business will guard you against frivolous lawsuits from customers and employees who will be sure to sue you over every little thing that goes wrong in the office.
Boost Your Building’s Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is a very important aspect to a business not only for its survival but also for getting two steps ahead of the curb (get it? Curb!) of your competition.
Make sure that the landscaping around your business is top-notch. Have the grass mowed and the area around your business look as clean as it can be. Also, if you have trees, now will be the best time to contact a contractor that specializes in tree care. Having the outside of your business look just as great on the inside will go a long way to putting your business in front of your peers and setting you up greatly for the future.
Keep The Building Clean
In addition to keeping the outside of your building clean, you must also keep the building itself as clean as possible so that it can be an attraction to potential customers.
No one likes to venture to a business that has overflowing trash bins and clutter, and it’s also not an effective work environment either and will be the ticket to some (if not all) of your employees asking to work from home for the foreseeable future. Make sure that you’re keeping your office building free of clutter and contracting with trash operators to come and collect garbage from your commercial trash dumpsters regularly so that customers and employees won’t have to witness looking at overflowing garbage and have a business that they can freely move to do their jobs.
Watch Your Taxes
When you first decide to go into business for yourself, the very first thing you will be introduced to is business taxes.
Taxes can be a pain, but if you make a smart budget and stick to that plan the best you can, then those taxes won’t be so much of a burden on your company’s bottom line. When it comes to business taxes, you should always be thinking about how you can make a profit from your taxes, not trying to one-up “The Man.” You should do whatever you can legally do to lower your taxable income so that your business will be able to make a nice profit; and once you do, reinvest your profit back into the business, either by introducing new products or giving your hard-working employees much-deserved raises.
Have A Long-Term Strategic Plan In Place
The one thing that gets many businesses caught up in today’s marketplace is that too many small businesses think in the short term.
Yes, it can be hard to see well into the future of where your business will be, but developing a strategic long-term goal will get your company on the right path to go into the next level. Everything about your operation should have a long-term plan attached to it, from the people you hire to your budget, and, especially, the customer service you provide. We’re not saying it’s not important to think of the present, it is. However, if you really want to make sure your small business has longevity, having a strategic long-term plan will put everything into place for your business to acquire the knowledge and assets needed to take your business to the next level.
Build In Downtime
Maintaining a small business takes a lot of time and work, which is why it’s important to not overexert yourself.
It is very important that you build in some downtime that will allow you to recharge and focus on working on the business, not working in the business. If you read that last sentence as “this is not a vacation,” you are correct because downtime is not a vacation, it’s a chance for the business owner to firmly work on growing their business instead of working hard just to maintain it. The pandemic has forced many small business owners to do more “business maintenance” than actually working to grow their companies, and rightfully so as most of the nation’s 32 million small businesses are fighting for survival.
While many business owners are working hard to keep their business afloat, one shouldn’t forget the crucial aspect of building up their business, as it will be these companies that will truly come out of the other side of the pandemic a winner and keep their business growing.
Make Sure Your Company Is Attracting Tomorrow’s Workforce
You’ve heard this saying all the time, that the children are our future.
Well, the future has arrived, and your business needs to be focused on attracting the next generation of workers to your company. That means hiring a younger workforce while paying them nearly the same salary as you would a more experienced one. Having an experienced workforce can pay dividends, but a younger, more energetic workforce can bring new and exciting ideas to your business that can help it grow and prosper into the next phase of your expansion. So don’t shy away from hiring tomorrow’s workers today, as they can be the ticket to boosting your small business to the next level.
In conclusion, many business owners are in survival mode right now. The pandemic has wrecked their bottom lines and 2021 is seen as a crucial year to get their businesses back afloat. By trying to maintain their bottom lines, that mentality has also caused them to ignore building up their company to take it to the next level, and while it is important to keep your business maintained so that it won’t drown, now may be the perfect time to make it into a company that will not only be sustainable for the future but also set it up for future growth.
In the end, that’s the ultimate goal for any small business with big dreams and venture, growth. Without growth, your business will be stagnant, and won’t have the tools in place to weather the changing of the times. Small businesses should be focusing their efforts on growing up their businesses so that it will come out on the other end of the pandemic stronger and better than ever before.