5 small business strategies to become stronger than ever
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In 2023, many small business owners are looking for solutions to keep their businesses afloat and stay competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. The challenge can be complex, but not impossible. With the right strategies, small business owners can navigate these uncertain times and grow stronger.
Small businesses are an important part of our economy, but staying ahead of the competition can be difficult for even the most seasoned entrepreneurs.
Related: 4 trends every small business owner should know about in 2023
1. Know your business better than anyone else
As the world continues to evolve and new technologies emerge, companies need to move with the times and develop strategies that guarantee success for years to come. The first strategy is about building a strong foundation for your business. By understanding your market, setting clear goals, and using an effective financial plan, you set yourself up for success.
To lay a solid foundation, it’s imperative to research your competitors and understand how their offerings compare to yours. If you know how they position themselves against the competition, you can develop an effective marketing strategy to attract customers. Additionally, setting clear goals allows you to measure progress over time. It also allows you to identify which areas need improvement or where additional resources should be allocated.
Finally, generating healthy cash flow is essential to any business growth and sustainability, and that is why you need to plan your upcoming year wisely to be aware of your monthly and yearly expenses and how to maximize them.
2. Use evolving technology to your advantage
In the modern business world, an effective technology plan is essential for success. I call it LTIEP: Leveraging Technology to Improve Efficiency and Productivity, which is critical to small business success in 2023. Businesses, especially small businesses, can reduce their costs through the use of technology while increasing efficiency and productivity. This strategy also enables companies to take advantage of new opportunities that would otherwise not be available without technology.
The shift from paper processes to automated digital systems is an example of using technology to increase efficiency and productivity. This reduces time spent on manual data entry, improves access to data across multiple locations, increases accuracy by eliminating human error, and provides instant access to valuable insights into customer behavior and trends. Additionally, some automation processes can be set up with little or no programming experience, allowing any small business owner to implement this strategy in minutes.
See also: 6 ways to protect your small business from inflationary pressures
3. Money needs planning in the business world
As organizations face unprecedented challenges today, it is imperative to prepare for the future. The third strategy focuses on financial planning. To ensure success over the next three years, it’s important to develop a plan that will ensure your business remains competitive and weathers turbulent economic times.
The first step in this strategy is to create an accurate budget that takes into account all current and projected expenses, including taxes, labor costs, rent/lease payments, insurance premiums, and utilities. There is no strict rule for this, but I suggest preparing an extra 15-20% of your calculated budget for unexpected expenses. It is also important to consider possible increases due to inflation or other external factors. Your budget should also include savings goals so you can build an emergency fund or invest in new equipment or technology if needed.
4. Use the customer community method
Keeping up with the competition is essential for small businesses in today’s dynamic business environment. The fourth strategy focuses on cultivating customer loyalty through innovative customer service practices.
Small businesses should strive to invest in the customer experience by creating an emotional connection with them. This can be achieved by offering personalized services, creating a sense of community, providing rewards for returning customers, placing a focus on communication and feedback, and responding promptly to inquiries or complaints. By recognizing and celebrating each customer’s unique needs and experiences, small businesses can quickly build a loyal following that keeps coming back because they feel valued as part of the corporate family. New entrepreneurs tend to underestimate this method, but you have no idea how effective it is and how wonderful it works.
See also: How to inflation-proof your small business
5. It is a continuous game; play your best
The fifth essential strategy for small business success in 2023 is creating a culture of continuous improvement. Businesses need to continually improve their products, services and day-to-day operations. By creating an appropriate level of continuous improvement, organizations can quickly identify and eliminate problems while identifying opportunities for growth.
This includes developing processes that measure progress toward goals such as customer satisfaction or cost savings, and regularly reviewing them to ensure they are still effective. The old school believed this was only critical for large corporations, but these days it’s clearly necessary for small businesses as well. In addition, this strategy should include educating employees on the importance of continuous improvement and providing feedback on how their work contributes to organizational goals. As part of this strategy, companies should actively seek new technologies or processes that can help improve efficiency or profitability. Finally, staying abreast of industry trends gives companies an edge over competitors who don’t prioritize continuous improvement in their operations.
Small businesses face unprecedented challenges in the changing business landscape of 2023. However, with the above strategies, you can successfully navigate these uncertain times and emerge stronger.