5 To-Dos for Small Business Owners
Consumerism trends are constantly evolving, so if small business owners don't pay attention, valuable opportunities to close deals or enter new niches can be missed.
It’s important to know how customer behavior affects the economy and look for ways to adjust strategies as needed. Keep these 5 to-dos for small business owners in mind to ensure you’re up to date.
1. Offer Seamless Customer Experiences
To succeed in a crowded marketplace, small business owners must see every customer as a unique individual rather than part of a cohesive group.
One way to improve customer retention is to focus on offering seamless experiences, or experiences that are consistent, efficient and enjoyable. One way to deliver a seamless experience is to invest in technology and customer service training.
Technology makes it possible to personalize websites, mobile apps, customer portals and marketing messages, giving customers unique reasons to stick with your brand.
In addition, customer service training is essential for promoting consistency. Every customer service agent should have the same processes and information, enabling them to answer questions and provide product recommendations with ease.
2. Provide Various Payment Options
E-commerce makes it possible for customers to buy from small business owners all over the world, increasing the demand for digital payment options. Improve the customer experience by accepting mobile payments, contactless payments or recurring payments.
Mobile payments are even more convenient than credit and debit cards, as they take place via smartphones and tablets. Once a customer sets up a digital wallet, they don’t have to worry about using cash or swiping a credit card.
Contactless payment systems are similar, but they work with smartphones, tablets, smart cards, key fobs and other devices. To make a contactless payment, the customer simply taps their card or device over a specialized terminal.
Recurring payments allow a business to charge a customer a predetermined amount of money on a regular basis. Monthly and quarterly intervals are common, but payments can be collected more frequently or companies can offer annual billing for the customer’s convenience.
These options have the potential to help improve cash flow, increase sales and reduce the risk of fraud, so it’s worth switching to a system that allows you to accept all forms of these payments and more.
3. Improve Cybersecurity Practices
Cyberattacks are on the rise, forcing businesses of all sizes to strengthen their online security. Small business owners can protect company data by training employees, engaging in incident response planning and installing security software.
Employees are the ones who use internal systems daily, so they need training to recognize potential threats and respond appropriately. If you’re not already offering cybersecurity training, start doing so immediately.
Incident response planning involves thinking about what you’ll do if your company has a data breach or other cybersecurity incident. Planning ahead ensures that a business can keep running even if systems are taken offline to respond to a threat.
Good security software can detect threats and isolate them until an IT professional can remove them permanently. Once the right software is in place, update it regularly so that it recognizes new threats and responds accordingly.
4. Incorporate Better Software Solutions
The software you use should increase security as well as improve business efficiency by eliminating repetitive tasks, reducing the risk of errors and making it easier for users to complete their work.
Small business owners all over the world use project management software, accounting software and customer relationship management software to ensure their companies run as smoothly as possible.
Many businesses offer project management software to increase productivity and ensure that everyone has access to project-related information. Using this type of software helps project managers and their team members keep track of current workflows, stay under budget and avoid missing deadlines.
Accounting software makes it easier to reconcile accounts, run payroll and keep track of accounts payable and accounts receivable. This type of software is helpful for businesses of any size, as it’s capable of producing detailed financial reports to guide decision-making.
Customer Relationship Management software gives employees immediate access to sales and marketing information. Instead of searching a directory for a customer’s phone number or looking through invoices to find out which product a customer purchased, employees can easily see a customer’s entire history with the company, allowing them to provide much better service.
5. Develop Talent Management Programs
In a competitive business world, good talent is everything. Small business owners need skilled employees who can come up with product ideas, solve manufacturing problems, provide excellent customer service and find ways to increase efficiency.
Talent management involves recruiting productive employees and working to retain them for as long as possible. If your company doesn’t have a strong talent management program, here’s what can be done to overcome staffing challenges:
- Professional development. If entry-level employees don’t have an opportunity to develop their skills, they may leave a company after just a year or two. Increase your retention rate by offering ongoing training and other opportunities for professional development.
- Diversity: Some of the greatest advancements in history came about because people with different backgrounds worked together to understand each other’s perspectives. To make the company more attractive to potential employees, embrace diversity and make sure that all staff members have opportunities to share their ideas.
- Employee engagement: Engagement refers to how enthusiastic an employee is about their workplace. When employees are enthusiastic, they provide better customer service. They may also put forth more effort when it comes to generating ideas or implementing new strategies. To increase engagement, make sure you have the right managers in place. Once you have a strong management team, solicit employee feedback regularly.
Stay Ahead of Current Trends
To stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to be aware of the suggested best practices for your industry and then prioritize them in your business plans.
Contact us to see how we can help you improve efficiency, especially in your payment acceptance process.
- The future of Customer Experience is human meaningful & transformative – Hospitality Insights
- What Is Customer Experience Management (CXM/CEM)? – The CX Lead
- Top 7 Small Business Trends To Know for 2023 – PayChex
- Are there really any tangible benefits to diversity and inclusion? Isn’t this just corporate jargon? – U.S. Office of Personnel Management
- Employee Engagement – Berkley People and Culture
- 6 Important Small Business Trends (2023-2025) – Exploring Topics
- 8 Huge Cybersecurity Trends (2023) – Exploring Topics
- What is a Data Breach? – Fortinet
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