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Archive - 2021

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1
Small Businesses And An Uncertain Future
2
How To Turn Around High Employee Turnover
3
Turn Marketing Cost To Marketing Investment
4
What Is Marketing?
5
Small Business Time Management

Small Businesses And An Uncertain Future

As small business operators, our world is impacted by uncertainty.

Sometimes, from day to day, we’re not sure of the long-term loyalty of our staff; overhead costs like rents can trend up or down quite quickly; new legislation that we had not expected can change your trading landscape.

Even as we write our annual or other short-term Business Plans, we sometimes feel unready to look too far ahead. While planning for next year may be reasonably reliable, really small businesses rarely write long-term Strategic Plans looking ahead 5 or 10 years because we feel that we are unable to reliably predict the stability of the future.

So what are we to do as small business owners trying to reach a vision of the future in as steady and as planned a direction as we can steer?

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How To Turn Around High Employee Turnover

Employee turnover can be one of the highest costs of any business when you take into account the cost of separation, recruitment, training, loss of knowledge and experience, transitional loss of productivity, and reduced workplace morale.

For a small business, these real and hidden costs can be seriously multiplied. In a small workforce, any small business employer can testify to the fact of how disruptive it can be if a key employee leaves, and it is not false to say that often if they are a popular co-worker, it can lead to further resignations.

In different industries the average “poor” turnover rate can be anything from 13% to 30% – that’s 13 to 30 people out of a hundred who leave your employment every year!

In a small business with a workforce of an average of 9 people, that’s 1 to 3 people leaving the business every year!

On the other hand, a settled workforce brings many benefits including the retention of corporate knowledge – and the fun of going to work!

How do you turn this around?

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Turn Marketing Cost To Marketing Investment

Often, when I talk to small business owners about the need for them to market their businesses properly, the conversation usually turns to how costly it can be.

People talk about the cost of marketing material, the cost of advertising, the cost of other marketing activities, and if they think to prepare them, the cost of preparing marketing plans.

I prefer to think of expenditure on marketing as an investment rather than a cost, and especially if what you spend leverages into multiple sale volumes.

But this is often difficult to see for a number of reasons:

  • Not many small businesses have focused marketing plans so their marketing activity ends up as a shot in the dark without any significant returns
  • As a result, their marketing is a scatter gun approach so the cost of running marketing activities is not met by significant increases in sales
  • When they do decide to prepare a marketing plan, they hire a consultant, at a significant cost, and the resulting plan is hard to follow because they are not actively engaged in the “advice” given
  • Consultant-prepared marketing plans don’t allow for the business owner to adapt and amend as they roll it out.

What these small business owners (you?) need is a cost-effective way to turn the cost of a marketing plan and its implementation into an investment in finding more sales.

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What Is Marketing?

If I asked you “What is marketing?” you might give me a technical definition or you might describe to me what it is.

But I’m pretty sure that what one person tells me is going to be different from what another small business owner tells me because there is a lot of misunderstanding out there about marketing.

When I ask “How do you market?” the definitions and stories get even worse!

I get answers like:

  • You have to have a great call to action
  • Tell them how awesome you are
  • It’s about closing the sale
  • You just have to be determined (others say it differently “You have to be pushy”
  • Keep asking until they run out of excuses

So, what is it?

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Small Business Time Management

One thing all owners of small businesses say is “I don’t have enough time.”

Interesting, because we can have different balances in our bank account, we can afford to hire different numbers of people, we have different tax bills, we can have different equipment in the business.

But I’m pretty certain one of the things we all have equally is time.

Look at the clock.

Mine has the numbers 1 to 12 and I’m pretty certain yours does too.

So why do some of us struggle to get things done and others seem to fit everything in easily?

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