Saturday, September 21, 2013

Small business: Tips to start the new year off right

This time of year, many small business owners are looking at how their business performed last year and trying to figure out how they can improve in the New Year. Here are some tips to help you start the New Year right with your small business.

Look at how you operate your business and be sure you are truly focusing on your customers. Most small business owners would say of course they focus on customers. But it is easy to get busy with day-to-day demands and let yourself get into a rut when it comes to your relationship with customers.

Work to understand thoroughly who your customers are and what they need. Realize this does not always stay the same and you must be vigilant if you are to keep customers happy and coming back.

One way to do this is to seek feedback from customers often and in a variety of ways such as email or paper surveys, social media, or just asking them while they are in your store. Look at your competition and ask yourself why customers would come to you instead of them and vice versa.

Use this research and the customer feedback to sharpen your competitive edge and deliver outstanding customer service this year.

Put to use the financial information based on your business operations. Too many small business owners keep financial records just for tax purposes. But accurate and current financial records can be invaluable as you make business decisions.

So take time to organize and analyze your financial records and do not be afraid of the numbers. You need to understand and use your business’s financial statements to have a profitable and growing business. This year, use the insightful information in your financial records to better manage your business.