We are living in odds times.
Not exactly a breaking-news headline, I know. But true nonetheless.
With the world still topsy-turvy from two years of pandemic living, some of the old rules don’t seem to apply anymore. Indeed, what worked before may not be working now. In Chapter 2 of my new book, “Your Small Business Boom,” I suggest that now is the time to “do the opposite.”
What do I mean by that? Here are a few ideas to raise your game this year that may not be at the top of your list.
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Hogwash, I say.
What does it mean if your competitors are pulling back, retrenching, waiting it out? It means that you have a golden opportunity to cash in, that’s what. By marketing the heck out of your business, service, product, and/or brand, you can stand out when others are standing pat.
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2. Raise your prices
Blasphemy! Right? No, not at all.
First of all, businesses raise prices all the time (look at Netflix, which just made headlines for raising its subscription costs). The only ones who never seem to get the memo are small businesses. On one hand, it is understandable as the risk of alienating loyal customers seems real. Except it’s not really real. People patronize your business for all sorts of reasons, and unless everyday low, low prices are your brand and butter, low prices are not the reason.
Second, with inflation on the rise, you will be cutting into your profit very soon – if not already – if you don’t fall in line and raise some prices.
And finally, consumers are presently primed for higher prices; it is a sign of the times. There will be less fallout if you raise prices right now.
3. Rethink your apps
Personally, payroll used to be a big hassle for my business. Our payroll processor had a persnickety employee who seemed to delight in rejecting our weekly payroll spreadsheet. We then tried an old-fashioned bookkeeper, who literally did everything with a pencil.
Finally, I started doing some unrelated work with a company called Hourly and the lightbulb went off over my head. Hourly (and there are other companies that are similar), has a super easy-to-use, intuitive app that makes payroll a breeze. And that it’s tied to your worker’s comp, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone.
Payroll was the albatross we slayed. What’s yours? Whatever it is, this might be a good time to get out of old habits and app-up.
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4. Get physical
Yes, the Great Pivot moved people, customers, shopping, brands, and businesses online, but guess what? The metaverse isn’t here yet and omicron is going to pass. We still live in a physical world, and sooner rather than later, employees are going to be back in the office (whether they like it or not) and customers are going to be back in stores (more than they even are now).
It’s time to get ready for that. Spruce up the ‘ol place. Give it a fresh coat of paint and maybe even some new décor.
These are unusual times indeed. Don’t fight it; ride the weird wave. Do the unexpected.
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