By: Jennifer Devitt on May 5th, 2015
Happy National Small Business Week! Here are 4 tips to boost your small business in 2015.
Happy National Small Business Week. Since 1963 the United States has focused on small business by focusing attention on them during Small Business Week. Small businesses have powered the United States for centuries. These businesses range from so-called "Mom and Pops" to startups.
In January of this year, the Small Business Administration stated that small businesses created 2 million new jobs. They also stated that more than 7 million of the 11 million jobs created during the economic recovery in 2014 were created by small businesses. Statistics show that there are 28 million small businesses in the United states and that 22 million people are self-employed. The theme for this year's National Small Business Week is "Dream Big. Start Small". Last year we also discussed National Small Business Week on the blog, offering tips for small business. Let's take some time to take a look again and discuss tips and tools small businesses can utilize in 2015 to boost their business.
1. Mobile. In 2015, mobile is more important than ever. Last month as we discussed on the blog, Google made changes going into effect on April 21 on how they ranked mobile websites in searches. This switch was called "Moiblegeddon" by many in the tech world. A March 2015 poll conducted by Endurance International Group showed that 78 percent of small businesses did not have a mobile website or app. The poll showed reasoning from too busy to lack of funds, while half said they simply did not know how to build one. As we have stated here many times, mobile traffic is on the rise. Thanksgiving 2014 traffic showed mobile was responsible for 52.1 percent of traffic. It is long past time for small businesses to stop taking a back seat when it comes to mobile.
2. Social media. We have also discussed the importance of social media. It is key to monitor social channels as well as review sites. If your small business is not yet participating in social media, it is time to get on board. 52 percent of adults use multiple social media networks. Businesses can use social media to manage reputation, increase brand awareness, generate web and blog content and communicate with clients and potential clients.
3. E-commerce. E-commerce goes hand in hand with mobile development. Statistic show that one-third of e-commerce sales are happening on mobile devices, up 23 percent from the prior year. Small businesses that function day to day with a smaller staff than larger competitors do not need to suffer from reduced business hours. By having a well-developed e-commerce web and mobile site, they can offer 24 hours a day shopping hours to people around the world. No need to turn down customers who are not local. Stop loosing customers who cannot shop during your normal business hours.
4. Partnerships. Small businesses do not have to increase staff if they do not have it in the budget to achieve these goals. They can partner with marketing firms who can assist with brand management and social media. Find a good developer who can assist you with development projects on an as needed basis if you cannot afford to have one on staff. There are many boutique-style firms who offer varying services via a collective partnership of firms offering a plethora of services. These firms understand that not all of your needs are present daily. They are there to help you when you need them and are off helping someone else when you don't, thus saving you money.
Many small businesses today will cite cost concerns for reasons to not incorporate any of the items listed above. Well, social media is free to use. While it does take time from your day which, as a small business owner I understand does not come cheap, it doesn't need to take all day. Take 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes later in the day. Spread the word via social media channels about news and current promotions. Take time to engage with clients and potential customers. Let them get to know you and your brand. With regards to technology trends, follow the theme of the small business week "Dream Big. Start Small". Take some time to make a plan, talk to developers and find a starting point. You don't have to do everything at once, you can develop in phases, "start small". Just start, the future of your business depends on it.