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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Smart Small Business Tips

Owning a small business demands a great deal of time and attention to details. These details can make the difference between making a profit and suffering a loss, particularly in difficult economic times. To keep your business in top form, spend the time attending to those areas that can cause falling sales and rising costs. This attention will go a long way toward making your business a financial success.

Monitor Expenses Frequently

Each day can have a number of surprises that can mean unexpected costs and loss of productive time. It can be critical for small business owners to periodically monitor these unscheduled expenses to see how they affect the bottom line. A monthly review of expenses is not too frequent to ensure that you are making the adjustments needed to continue to make a profit. Without this monitoring habit, you can quickly find yourself in a hole without being aware of it until the expenses have taken a large chunk out of your profit margin.

Keep Up With Technology

Technological changes occur so frequently, it's 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. Educate yourself 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, monitor financial transactions better or help your workers produce more in less time.

Target Your Advertising Efficiently

Advertising can be a huge percentage of your monthly budget, so make sure you are getting your name in front of the right target audience. Before allotting your advertising budget quarterly, research the various options that are available in your local area. New publications and flyers are always being produced. Determine how well past advertising efforts have worked and consider changing to a different medium. Consider using local radio or TV for advertising your products or services. Ensure that your website is getting regular traffic. If not, consider marketing packages offered by your website host.

Use Social Media For Marketing

Set up a Twitter or Facebook account and post to it regularly, describing your product or services. Offer helpful hints or information that people can use in their daily lives. Invite comments and questions to keep your business in the forefront of lively and interesting online conversations. Link your accounts to other related information that can be helpful to online readers.

Offer First-Time Customer Discounts

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 will use word-of-mouth to bring other customers to you.

Start A Rewards Program

If your business is one that relies on repeat business to build revenue, consider adding a rewards program. A rewards program needn't be complex and time consuming. A simple punch-out card that offers a "get one free" after a certain amount of purchases can keep customers returning to you, time after time. A rewards program can also be simply the ability to bundle a number of items 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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