Top Ways to Keep Your Macomb, IL Business in Its Best Shape
Running a small or home-based business is not a small job. It takes dedication, perseverance, and passion. You also have to have a strong business sense, be a people person, and have a deep understanding of your industry and market. But, there are still many other things you can do to keep your business running at peak. The following ideas from the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce can help you do just that without taking a huge chunk of time out of your already-busy days.
Master your online presence
First and foremost, you have to understand that we are living in a digital age. And, as intimidating as it might be to learn all the ins and outs of the World Wide Web, you must have an online presence if you want to remain relevant in today’s market. Be sure to keep digital accessibility in mind.
You also need to pay close attention to your online directory listings as well as your social media. Something many business owners are afraid to do, but that is equally important, is to ask for reviews. Even if your customers have had a negative experience, how you respond and react to online commentary can have a significant impact on how others view you as a business owner
Take care of yourself
When you are the boss, you naturally spend much of your time taking care of everyone else. Unfortunately, this can leave you depleted of energy, stamina, and focus. Learn how to prioritize yourself so that you will feel relaxed, refreshed, and ready to tackle each day. Start your self-care efforts by taking steps to create a calming environment at home and at the office. Simple ideas here include reducing clutter, adding houseplants, and swapping sugary snacks with healthier alternatives. If nothing else, take a moment each morning to spend time with yourself so that you can clear your mind for the day ahead.
Lay a strong foundation
When you are just starting your business, you’ll find that there are some tasks that are best finished in the early days. Your business structure formation is one example. Many small businesses choose an LLC. This structure helps you make decisions for your business. In most cases, you can quickly and easily form your structure online, but do make sure to look for a formation service that offers professional support so that you can have your questions answered if and when you need them. Another idea is to establish an organizational chart early on, even if you don’t have a full team of employees. Brex offers additional guidance and information on the types of org chart your company might use.
Get familiar with marketing channels
We’ve already touched on your digital marketing needs. However, there are many other marketing avenues by which you can keep your business in the public’s eye. Keep in mind that traditional marketing methods, like business cards, leave an impression. These are also small reminders that your customers can carry with them, and they can’t delete a business card like an email. Your business cards should have visual elements consistent with your online presence. In other words, make sure that you use a design template that allows you to add your own logo and images. Don’t forget to use the same font and style throughout all of your print and online marketing.
You can also do things that bring customers into your business. Strategic Factory explains that an open house is one option that can help you show off your business. You may want to have printed brochures or fliers at your open house to explain key aspects of your business. Again, make sure to be consistent with your branding, and design the documents in any program with which you are comfortable. However, it’s best to save these files as PDFs before sending them for printing, otherwise the formatting might shift in the transfer. You can use this PDF converter to turn any Microsoft 365 files into PDFs in three simple steps: select your file, select PDF as the new file type, and save!
Keep your vendors accountable
If you rely on vendors for your livelihood, keep them accountable. Although the world continues to struggle with supply chain issues, if your vendors promise you something, make sure that they deliver. As far back as 2017, major retail giant Walmart started implementing fees on vendors who were not on time 95% of the time. While you might not have to go to these lengths, do let your suppliers know that you value communication and remind them that the best way for you to keep your customers happy is to be armed with information. In other words, demand, at the very least, that they give you a heads up if they can’t meet your needs.
Work when it matters most
As a person, you have a natural rhythm of when you are most productive and when you are least productive. For some of us, it’s 4:30 in the morning when everything is quiet and our minds are rested. We can then cozy up to our computers with a cup of coffee in hand and knock our largest obstacles out of the way for the day. Not a morning person? The Ladders reports that many people are most productive at 1:30 PM. Schedule your working hours for when you can get the most done. Similarly, if you run a brick-and-mortar store, pay close attention to when your customers are coming in and when they're messaging you asking if you’re open. It can be beneficial to adjust your operating hours to cater to the people that pay the bills.
Hire for diversity
Having a diverse staff is a great way to ensure that you can meet the needs of all of your customers best. Further, when you hire people with disabilities, your business may even be eligible for tax credits to help you accommodate workers with special needs. Perhaps most importantly, having a range of people on the payroll means that you have eyes and ears in many demographics. This will give you an advantage as your employees can help you look for marketing opportunities to expand your reach and serve your community better.
Keeping your business at its very best is a combination of big decisions and small actions. The above are just a few ideas. Remember, however, your business is unique to you, and it takes time, trial, and error to find a rhythm and strategy that works for you and your customers.
Join the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce to connect with local entrepreneurs and resources that can help your business grow.