Survival Tips for Small Businesses
┐by: Julie Martin
Staying afloat and solvent while running a small business can be a tricky process. If you aren┐t in a profitable niche market, chances are you are having to deal with a lot more competition than you are used to. As the economy flounders, it is getting harder for smaller businesses to compete with the corporate giants. However, there are ways to stay afloat and keep your competition in your rear view mirror. We┐ll try to give you a couple tips to get you going.
Tip #1 - Never Stop Advertising
Advertising is the lifeblood of small businesses, especially small businesses trying to make it on the Internet. This is an ongoing process that will never end - until you close your store. You will need to continue to get the word out about your company and your products if you want to continue attracting new customers. The ┐build it and they will come┐ theory is not paying off for the majority of small businesses.
If you can┐t afford high cost advertising, try exchanging links with other stores, or building a network of shops that act like a neighborhood, helping each other out. Small businesses need to stick together. You will be surprised at the response you get by offering a cross-link with another business. Chances are, they are as hungry for new customers as you are.
Tip #2 - Keep it Fresh
If you went into the grocery store every day and saw the same pile of fruit, in the same spot, until it eventually started to mold, you would probably avoid looking at it. In fact, you might take great steps to avoid it or notice a new pile of fruit that you would rather see.
Your website is your company┐s face. You need to keep it fresh and updated constantly. If your site hasn┐t seen an update since 2002 it is time to inject some life and new content into it. Even if it is something as small as changing the layout of your content, or the overall look of your site, it will be greatly beneficial.
Internet shoppers tend to glaze over when they┐re presented with the same old content over and over. Keep your website┐s face changing constantly and your customers will want to keep coming back to see what is new.
Tip #3 - Branch Out
If you are sitting all alone in your office wondering why the orders have slowed down to a trickle, you may need to start branching out. If you product line isn┐t selling, investigate new sales methods or even new products that will spark interest among consumers. Don┐t sit on your sinking ship bemoaning your fate. You will have to take an active role in bailing your business out of trouble.
If you don┐t want to sell new products, you can look at alternative methods of selling your existing line-up. Online auction sites are a great way for small businesses to reach new customers and it normally is very inexpensive.
Tip #4 - Reach out and Grab Your Customers
We don┐t mean this literally of course, but if your site is lacking a good click through ratio, and the most commonly viewed page is your home page, you may benefit from adding streamed content to your site. Try to find streamed news content that is pertinent to your products. Add product information or articles that will spark interest and keep customers from clicking away from your site. Try to find methods of attracting clients and getting them to stay by offering an interactive element to your website. For example, you can add an online forum for discussing your product, or an online chat where they can ask you questions.
While we can┐t promise that it will be easy to stay solvent as a small business, these tips should help you along your way to running a profitable and successful business. Whether you are strictly an online retailer or a hybrid, these tips will help you keep your customers coming back for more and getting new interest in your company.
About The Author
Julie Martin is the publisher of ┐The Iscaweb eZine┐ a weekly eZine dedicated to increasing your online profits, no matter what you are selling. Julie also uses the ┐Plug-In-Profit┐ system to GREAT effect!
To subscribe to the eZine, or to learn more about the Plug-In-Profit system visit: http://www.iscaweb.com