With the Christmas and December trading period being as busy as it is, it would be easy for 2022 planning to be pushed aside; however, it’s critical small business owners start preparing for the coming year.
We’ve outlined six New Year’s ‘resolutions’ merchants can make to set their business up for further success in 2022.
Review your business costs
Continually checking business hygiene means that business owners should be reviewing their costs and searching for ways to reduce expenses and save in 2022. The start of a new year is the perfect time for businesses to review these costs; from insurance to utilities and one commonly forgotten cost, merchant EFTPOS fees, which can become a huge dent in a small business’ bottom line.
At Smartpay, we offer our Zero Cost EFTPOS and Simple Flat Rate solutions, tailored to help SME businesses save on merchant fees and manage their cash flow. And what they save on merchant fees, can be reinvested back into their business for other costs such as staff wages, a marketing campaign or even introducing a loyalty program.
Consider everyone’s mental health
The last few years have been challenging to say the least and feeling the stress of running a business can take its toll.
A recent study conducted by Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry titled, Small Business, Mental Health; navigating the complex landscape, highlighted the unique challenges small businesses face regarding mental health in the workplace with most small business owners reporting stress levels and rates of mental ill-health much higher than before the pandemic.
Therefore, it is important for you to take the time to recharge over the Xmas break so you can look after yourself and your staff in the new year. With the recent pandemic, now more than ever there should be a level of care or support for mental health for both you and your staff.
In the new year, start fresh and create a ‘resolution’ to challenge yourself and think about what tasks you can outsource, delegate where possible or try to say ‘no’ if the situation allows. Some tasks may not need your expertise and could easily be done by others in the business; trust your staff to help your business succeed and as a result, keep your mental health on track.
Get on top of your marketing
If you are a small business owner, marketing, including social media marketing, can be one of the most important aspects of your business. A good place to start is to review this year’s marketing plan, chosen channels and your brand positioning and use it as a base for 2022’s activities.
More and more customers are expecting a level of engagement and personalisation from the companies they shop with, even the smaller ones so engaging with your customers from the start of the year can continue to increase customer loyalty.
Upon reflection of 2021, were there any exclusive deals or marketing campaigns that helped drive traffic to your business? Did you find a specific marketing platform or channel that really resonated with your audience? Was there an increase in revenue when you ran a specific campaign and what could be a fresh take on it to replicate next year? These are all questions to ask yourself to ensure your marketing efforts continue to be targeted and effective.
Let your customers know you appreciate them
It’s a known fact in business that things start to slow down after the peak shopping season and January can be a quieter transaction month. Consumers are also naturally inclined to make their own ‘New Year’s resolutions’ about money and even prepare personal budgets for the year.
Showing your customers you appreciate their loyalty is key to keep them coming through the doors. This can be achieved through loyalty programs, a rewards system, gift with purchase or even further discounts which make customers feel valued by your business.
Think ‘green’ for your business
Can your business go green? There are a number of ‘green’ strategies you can follow that will benefit the environment, benefit your bottom line and position your business in a positive light to environmentally conscious consumers.
There may be an initial cost outlay but this could ultimately be saving your business thousands each year. There are small changes you can make such as considering going ‘paperless’, reviewing your waste management processes or even changing your store’s light bulbs and turning off equipment overnight to save on electricity costs. Not to mention, green strategies can also lead to tax credits or deductions, giving you more of a reason to start reviewing in 2022!
Plan your budget
When it comes to planning your budget, start planning for 2022 by reviewing this year’s financials notwithstanding a few hiccups in cash flow and interrupted trading periods. It is also important to review your products and/or services and determine what worked well this year and whether they can be replicated.
Cash flow is crucial to get you through a quieter January period and small businesses should also start the new year right by collecting any outstanding debts.
Whether it’s planning your marketing and budgets, going ‘green’ or looking after your mental health, it is important to set goals and prepare your business for success in 2022.