Most small businesses have EOFY marked in their calendars in a big red circle. It’s stressful, sure, but it can also be a springboard for future growth.
Recent lockdowns proved that small businesses are well-positioned to adapt and overcome volatility, provided they have suitable planning in place. We know that twists and turns remain as we rebuild post-COVID, but setting actionable resolutions will help small businesses develop the good habits that will set themselves up for success during the financial year ahead, regardless of what’s thrown at it.
Take control of your time
By spending less time on administrative, non-revenue-generating tasks – many of which can be automated today – you can spend more time where it matters: enhancing your products or services, building deeper connections with customers and growing your business.
Let the new financial year be the time your business truly embraces technology to streamline your backend systems. For example, integrate your point of sale (POS) and invoices with your accounting software, unify your in-store and online sales channels or deploy software that allows customers to book appointments at the click of a button.
Whether you’re a retailer or a restauranteur, there’s software designed specifically for your industry, allowing you to enhance every aspect of your business so you can focus on providing the services and experiences that keep customers coming back.
A loyal customer base you can rely on to support you provides the certainty and stability that makes running a small business so much easier. It’s easy to think that you need to engage with as many customers as possible, but it’s actually five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
Rather than spending all your time acquiring new customers, build relationships with existing customers. Deploy a personalised approach based on their purchases and preferences, and incentivise loyalty by offering deals for regulars.
And don’t underestimate the impact of simply staying in touch with them. If you can prove they’re a valued and important part of your business, their affinity to you will likely grow.
Master your money
Money matters, especially for businesses looking to put the economic impact of the pandemic behind them. If you’re yet to feel the benefits of digital, ditch the paper trail and tune up your e-invoicing.
If customers are taking too long to pay and it’s hurting your cashflow, reduce your payment terms. If you’re working on a larger project, request a deposit upfront. And if you offer a variety of payment options, whether via invoice or in-person at the point of sale, the more convenient it is for customers to pay.
Unify your online and offline worlds
The smartest small businesses are those with a unified strategy across both online and offline channels. Customers want the convenience of being able to interact with businesses across multiple touchpoints. Online sales reached new heights over the last 18 months, but can’t replicate the bonds and experiences business owners can create with customers face-to-face.
Online and offline channels are most effective when they supplement each other. An online store, email marketing, social media, and click and collect are effective ways to tie both together and offer shoppers the seamless experiences they demand today.
Whether it’s to overcome a stressful EOFY, or ensure your goals this year are achievable, good habits form the foundations of successful businesses. By putting resolutions in place today, and sticking to them, you can ensure that this financial year feels like just another stress-free day at the office.