Five Things Small Businesses Should Think About In 2016
With 2016 right around the corner, small businesses should be prepared for the year ahead and what the new year will bring.
Here are five things Bizfi founder Stephen Sheinbaum thinks small businesses should know about:
- Prepare for More Cyber Attacks – The number of attacks and people affected rise each day. No industry is immune, and small companies are just as likely to be targets as large companies: That’s one of the big takeaways from the campaign to educate small businesses about the need to switch to EMV card readers. Your business must have a plan for protecting both the information it creates and the information it collects. You also need a plan for how you will respond if you are hacked and you should simulate at least one crisis response.
- Find & Retain the Best Staff– Make sure your current workforce has the training and tools it needs to do the best possible job they can. This can be anything from a headset to CRM software. Then, help your best prospects see a career path for themselves within your organization. You can do this by setting goals for your employees and giving reviews and rewarding those who earn it.
- Get Up-to-Date on Financing — Small business financing continues to evolve in new ways, providing more choices than ever before. The model of small businesses trusting in banks to offer loans has shifted. Now, many businesses rely on other forms of financing to supply the funding they need. And with the Fed expected to raise rates imminently, it’s important for businesses to understand all the available options.
- Get Smartphone Friendly - More than 109 million Americans use a smartphone, up from roughly 40 million in 2009. And if you want potential customers to find and use your business, you must plan to be smartphone-friendly. For most small businesses, that is going to mean ditching the website they have now in favor of a responsive design. Don’t just let potential customers research your products and services: Get a mobile e-commerce platform and let them buy, whenever and wherever they are. Upgrade your cash register so that you can accept payments from smartphones, too.
- Be Social - Your 2016 small business plan must include a strategy for using social media like Facebook and Twitter. The former is working hard to convert small businesses from free fans to paid users of services to find and engage customers. Take some time to learn how Facebook ads work and think about whether they are a solution for your business. If your customers are teens and college students, be prepared to make greater use of Instagram. If you’ve got a female demographic, the new buyable pins on Pinterest might be something for you to explore in 2016.