Adam Povlitz is CEO/President, Anago Cleaning Systemsa leading franchise focused on technological advances in janitorial operations.
Small businesses are the heart and soul of any thriving economy. According to the US Small Business Association (SBA), small businesses created 12.9 million new jobs over a span of 25 years, accounting for roughly 66% of all jobs. Large businesses only added a net 6.7 million jobs in the same period.
Additionally, although it has declined somewhat in recent years, the SBA found that small businesses generated 44% of all economic activity from 1998 to 2014. In other words, entrepreneurs launching small businesses can have an incredible and meaningful impact at the local level.
To remain competitive in today’s market, I believe small businesses must focus on innovation, relevance and accessibility. With the right strategies, I am certain that small businesses can continue to succeed in the coming year. Below are five tactics for small business owners that can help them grow in 2023:
1. Plan for shifting business landscapes.
small businesses must consider inflation and market changes. Inflation can significantly impact small businesses, increasing the cost of goods and services. As a result, you need to plan for inflation by raising prices or finding ways to cut costs. Don’t lose focus on employee retention, though. Look to still be loyal, as hiring and training new employees can slow workflow and cost money. Also don’t discredit experience; know that your employees are also worried and affected by inflation.
2. Apply experiences and learnings.
recovery from the pandemic has been challenging for everyone, and small businesses are no exception. However, some lessons can be learned from this experience. For example, many have learned the importance of diversification, online presence and adaptability. This is also the time to lean into your employees, hear their perspectives and create an environment of transparency.
3. Make noise in the marketplace.
Marketing is a crucial tool for small businesses, as it can help you reach new customers and grow. Look to create a mix of digital and traditional marketing efforts. Having an effective digital presence, especially, is essential. Utilizing digital tools such as social media, email campaigns, blogging and effective SEO can help your small business reach a larger audience and build their brand. Investing in digital marketing strategies can help expand your customer base and increase sales.
4. Invest in People.
Traditional customer service is vital for all businesses but is paramount for small businesses. Small businesses must ensure their customers are happy and provide excellent customer care. You can build customer relationships, gain trust and loyalty, increase customer satisfaction and earn referrals by investing in people to deliver quality customer care. Technology and automation can be a blessing, but nothing replaces the power of the human touch, especially for smaller enterprises.
5. Account for flexibility when planning.
A good business plan is essential for the growth and success of any business, but I find that it is particularly vital for small businesses. However, know when to be flexible and shift plans to accommodate market changes. Flexible business plans can help your company adapt and implement the latest technologies or market trends and provide a competitive edge. They can also help employees quickly adapt to new changes or innovations to optimize workflow and profitability.
If you’re considering opening a small business, this could be the perfect year. I think you’ll be surprised to find a lot of support and resources. First, consumers increasingly know the importance of supporting small businesses locally. American Express reported that 88% of consumers say they feel a commitment to patronize and shop small businesses that contribute to the local community. Second, many programs are designed to help small businesses start, so check for grants, loans and other opportunities when building your business plan.
With so much opportunity and support available in communities nationwide, there’s no reason not to take the calculated risk of being your own boss while serving your community. With the right strategies, I believe that small businesses can thrive and succeed in the coming year.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?