Business Owner Checklist For 2016

It’s 2016, we’re closing in on spring, and as soon as the harsh cold weather clears out in favor of warm spring weather, and gives way to greater retail foot traffic and more people happy to get out of the house… It all adds up to a great time for small business owners to start taking a look at the to-do list to begin growing their business!

An Unbelievable Number

Depending on who’s doing the reporting, as many as 45 percent of small business owners don’t have a website. That is absolutely mind-boggling.

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And while the reservations about having to create a website are many and varied… and quite frankly, rarely apply! Thanks to website builders, it can take an unskilled, code-illiterate person just an hour or two to create a website, often for no more than a small monthly fee. Need a shop which allows people to check out with credit or debit cards? No problem!

Of course, fully-custom websites might costs hundreds or thousands, but even that is better than having no website. Having a website means that it’s easier for potential consumers – even local ones – to find a small business on the internet using Google or other search engines, and can dramatically increase revenues by allowing individuals to purchase online. Some small business owners even report that having a website for their business can dramatically reduce phone calls, as common information such as closing and opening times can be found out online.

Increase Your Profit Margins Using Digital Affiliate Products

It doesn’t matter what your product or service is; the simple fact of the matter is that very few have a large profit margin. But what can a small business owner do to increase profit without dramatically increasing the time they spend working, or their upfront costs?

Turns out, a lot! For example, using systems like Square for your register rather than paying a register company can dramatically reduce accounting and bookkeeping costs, and small energy-saving techniques can make a dramatic difference on your business utility bills.

Another way to increase your profit margins is to offer high-margin products or services alongside your usual lineup. And that really just means being able to supply a good or service which takes you very little time or money to make, so that each sale represents a majority of profit.

Start Investing in Marketing

Marketing is a nebulous concept, for most small businesses; and often it’s overlooked as an expense that’s just too much, and is a sunk cost. But the reality is that a good marketing campaign can produce an ROI of 200 percent or more! And marketing doesn’t have to be very expensive; it can be as simple as a small regular ad on the sidebar of a big website about your town or city, or holding a fun neighborhood event to gain your business more exposure.

Not all marketing techniques make sense for every kind of business; and in general, placed ads, text marketing, local events, giveaways, and specials can all provide some much-needed spark to introduce new customers to your business.

Partner Up With Other Small Businesses

We don’t mean form a corporate partnership: but instead undertake an informal marketing partnership with another business in a similar market, area, or with a related product or service to gain more clients. For example, a restaurant and a small brewery might team up to do a special dinner night where the meals are matched to courses of beer! Or two retailers in the same shopping center might team up to have a special sale weekend to draw even more customers than usual into both stores.

The possibilities are only limited by your creativity, and generally these sorts of partnerships can help facilitate great relationships between small business owners.