What every small business needs to know




Adapting to the changing times is crucial for success. That’s why it’s important for small businesses to periodically review what’s working and where there’s room for transformation.

“Take the time to step back and examine everything, from connecting with customers to cash flow management,” says Tim Carroll, vice president of small business engagement at Deluxe Corporation.

With this in mind, here are tips for small businesses to improve their chances for success.

Connect with customers

Nothing beats word-of-mouth recommendations. Thanks to new digital technologies and social media, it’s easier than ever to share these kudos.

“In today’s digital world, you can reach millions of eyes simultaneously. The key is to also get customers to engage with you and share your story with others,” points out Carroll.

You don’t have to be a social media maven to make the most of your digital presence. Take a look at other websites and incorporate appealing aspects of these on your website. Use the space to highlight successes. But don’t overlook more “traditional” communications. A recent survey found that 86 percent of consumers preferred receiving customer appreciation gifts – including thank you cards – through traditional rather than online methods.

Get noticed online

A website can be a powerful marketing and sales tool. But if nobody visits, it’s a virtual ghost town.

Your website needs to be indexed properly to show up high in search engine results. According to researchers, more than half of online shoppers don’t go past the first two pages of search results.

This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical. Optimize your website for keywords and phrases your customers are searching for online. To accomplish this and improve search engine rankings, small businesses increasingly turn to marketing services firms.

Think ahead

Don’t get caught off guard by annual events that matter to your business. For example, it’s never too early to think about holiday marketing. Plan now to maximize sales when it matters.

Streamline payments

New payment technologies can streamline logistics and keep you in complete control of the payment process. The ability to send checks electronically makes a lot of sense and saves dollars for a business focused on reducing costs. For example,you can create a check in a few keystrokes on a computer or tablet and pay your vendors in seconds – whenever and wherever you want.

Preventi identity theft

Identity theft and fraud are increasing, and businesses – like individuals – are at risk. Before giving out confidential information, confirm how it will be used or shared.

Ensure password protection on your accounts, and don’t use easily available information as a password or authentication. It is crucial to have a contingency plan in place prior to ID theft or fraud.

Make changes to help set you up for success.