Written by guest blogger: Marissa Perez, Business POP
There are several misconceptions about running a small business; some think entrepreneurs have all the time in the world since they create their own schedule, while others think huge risks are a daily task needed to see success. As a small business owner, you know these aren’t true, but you still may have misconceptions of your own, one of them being that you can’t possibly compete with your larger competition. You won’t be taking down Amazon anytime soon, of course, but you can still compete with the best of them.
Find Smart Ways to Cut Costs
Cutting costs can be viewed negatively, but the key is to do it in a way that doesn’t decrease quality or jeopardize safety, such as cloud computing or dropshipping. By using cloud-based software, you no longer have to buy and install the software and updates or pay a team to run it, and you reduce the amount you spend on storage space and large servers. If you’re spending a lot on the supply end, consider dropshipping, in which a supplier handles the inventory and shipping. It’s a low-risk option with low or zero overhead for you and no need to pay for inventory until a transaction is made. Plenty of products make good dropshipping businesses, so do some research. You can reduce the costs of marketing campaigns as well by taking advantage of the budget-friendly (but effective) advertising campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or create your own business filter on Snapchat.
Keep Your Website Updated
When people are searching for your business online or even just discovering you for the first time, the first place they go to is your website, so make sure it stands out. You can use some of the popular website builders like Wix or Squarespace to easily create a professional website with content, product pages, and a contact page, but you are often limited on the design and templates and may have trouble getting the graphics to sync up. This is where it makes sense to hire graphic designers who have experience with graphic design tools, as well as web and mobile design, to make your website stand out on a visual level. You’ll find various rates, some as low as $35 an hour and some on the pricier side at $100 an hour, so be sure to interview candidates. Pay attention to their portfolio, reviews, the scope of work, and the timeline for completion.
Once they start designing, ask them to include a blog page and show you how to quickly update it to enhance your customer engagement, credibility, and SEO. Plus, you can kill two birds with one stone by posting the link on your social media profiles.
Jump on the Technology Train
It might sound cool to say you have an accountant, but there is accounting software that can do the same thing both instantly and for a better price, helping you keep track of invoicing, payments, expenses, bills, and payrolls, among other things. On the same note, it would be awesome to defer things to your HR team, but as a small business you probably don’t have this luxury, leaving you to do it yourself, but this can eat up as much as roughly 35 percent of your time, according to a study cited by FinancesOnline. With HR software, you can better oversee your talented employees, track goals, and comply with those confusing legal requirements including taxes, healthcare, and insurance. Automation increases efficiency too, making it simple to create your own custom reports and even enabling employees to log on themselves to request time off instead of giving you a sticky note that you are sure to lose.
It doesn’t matter how small your business is, you still need to keep up with your competition. You can compete with some of the bigger competitors too. With hard work and a few changes along the way, you’re another step in the right direction.