You might be surprised to learn that 2021 set records for new business launches. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, entrepreneurs launched over 350,000 new businesses last year.
Collectively, small businesses are significant players in the American economy, but they're also at risk of losing out on growth opportunities. Unfortunately, many small business owners fail to pivot their systems and stay relevant in the ever-changing market despite starting strong.
The U.S. Census Bureau's statistics reflect that most new businesses survive for five years or less.
So what's working against these companies? If you dig deep, you'll find that most small business owners are struggling with misalignment between strategy and execution.
Whether you're working for your 25th year in the business or the first, there are vital things that every business owner must do to set themselves up for success.
This year is almost guaranteed to be jam-packed with challenges and opportunities. We're looking at you small businesses! Take advantage of the multiple approaches you can take to win the business game.
Don’t Fall Victim To The Great Resignation: Keep Your Employees Happy
Even great manager knows that happy employees are more productive employees. There's something to be said about humans needing to find fulfillment from their workday; many studies prove this point.
So what are the reasons why so many businesses fail to keep their employees happy? Here are some of them:
Lack of communication
Long hours without appreciation
Employees are paid too little for the work they're doing
Stop making these mistakes if you want to win at business this year. The resolution? Reach out to your employees. Ask for feedback. Let them know they're essential, and you want to provide them with tools to excel.
Other ways to show your gratitude could include :
Allowing for flexible hours
Offering work from home days, if applicable.
Setting up "walking meetings" to enable employees to move around
Offering training or ongoing educational opportunities
The work that you put into keeping your employees content will pay dividends this year and years after. But, never forget, there's always room for improvement and tremendous success if you're willing to invest in your employees.
The three things that increase your chances of keeping your best employees on board are salary, benefits, and development opportunities.
If you feel the only option is to cut back in one of these areas because you're not making enough money yet to support increased spending, don't! It's better to offer more than less.
Pivot Your Systems For Growth
Change always remains constant, especially in the modern era. Therefore, having the flexibility to make changes and pivots when needed is crucial for any business that wants to stay afloat and competitive.
It can be challenging, but there could be opportunities for you this year if your systems are flexible enough to pivot when necessary.
For example, the internet is making the world smaller, allowing businesses from all over the world to connect in ways never before possible. In addition, the advancement of technology has allowed for more efficient and scalable business models than ever before.
If you're in a highly-competitive market with minimal entry barriers, then your systems must be flexible enough to shift while the industry is moving.
Your employees work hard for you every day, but they can't help you navigate the changing waters if they don't have a clear vision or direction. So do them a favor and set a path that allows for flexibility and ensures growth.
This year, consider how you can change your systems to take you from where you are currently to where you're going. And, be wary of these common pitfalls that can come back to haunt you later.
Not reinvesting enough of your profits - Most small businesses tend to reinvest around half of their earnings back into the company, but don't underestimate the importance of pulling cash out of your business. Instead, put at least 50% back into your business for marketing or expansion so you can remain competitive.
Not pivoting with your industry - Making changes and swift pivots is crucial to growth. You don't want to get left behind! However, to align with the next big thing, you need to have your mind and eyes open to what's coming next.
Not having enough capital - Many small businesses start underfunded but failing to pivot your systems for growth should be the least of your worries if you don't have enough money to invest in your company's future.
If you have an opportunity to grow your business this year, avoid making these mistakes that can get in the way. Instead, establish systems that can scale with demand, put an emergency plan in place, and reinvest in your operations, so you never have to stop growing.
Build Your Online Foundation Because Most Small Businesses Still Aren't Doing It
In 2022, it's surprising to learn that 57% of small businesses still don't have an SEO strategy. Online search is the number one way potential customers seek to find services and products they need.
This recent study of 600 U.S. and Canadian business owners shows that focusing on SEO can give your company a significant advantage over your competition.
Two years ago, during the pandemic's peak, internet traffic raised globally by 40%. With lockdowns, fear, and restrictions, consumers dramatically changed their shopping behaviors.
Since then, Search Engine Journal has found that 74.3% of businesses implementing an SEO strategy have maintained and even increased their SEO budgets.
Don't miss out on the SEO gold rush. Focus on your company's success online while the internet is still the wild west for small business.