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You're Wondering Why Has Business Been So Quiet in 2021

I like to try to keep our little community a Covid free place where we forget about all the terrible things going on it the world and concentrate of doing what we love to do. If you have had, like me, a very quiet 2021 you are probably feeling alone and worried about the future of your business. But we must remember it could be worse, we may not be able to work at all and luckily, at least we are doing what we love to do. YOU are not alone, in fact, every soaper or business I supply that I have talked too, trade has dramatically decreased, when talking to a colleague in the same community that I'm in, I've always been up-front & honest (you know that old saying:-honesty is always the best policy) with what's really happening for me, as most sellers, when you ask them how they are doing will say "yeah we're doing OK, or the ones who always say they "are doing great" NEVER do they say "it's pretty quiet" however when I offer up that I have been quiet you'd be surprised how people open up on their end and you realise you are not the only one who is quieter. It's a relief to you and a relief to them too to know they are not alone..Consistent improvements to enhance your small business are critical for its success and sustainability. Things like monitoring cash flow consistently, utilising social media for marketing, which is free, something not available to us years ago, and recognising your strengths while asking for help in areas that are less so can help you focus on improving areas of your business that offer the biggest gain. Sometimes it's a good idea to keep a checklist handy to remind yourself of the basic steps you need to take on a regular basis. 1. Keep Financial Score Few small businesses have an accurate idea of the daily, weekly, and monthly numbers and financial trends taking place within the organisation. It's vital that you spend the necessary time keeping current on cash flow. If you lack the financial skills, hire an accountant, but still stay very much in the loop. Keeping track of this let's you know at all times exactly what's going on at any given time. 2. Set Goals Similar to keeping score, setting goals and objectives is an essential part of your business success. Use the goals you set as an ongoing planning tool to ensure that you continue to move forward with your small business. For instance, try to increase traffic by a certain amount on your business website or blog. More web traffic can translate into added sales or customer loyalty. 3. Use High-Impact Marketing Wasting money on ineffective marketing is easy. I know this only too well, as in the early days of Edens Secret I used to pay about £600 per month for a regular advert on our local radio station. That didn't work and I know it didn't because I would get them to add a coupon code, so if anybody heard it they could use it when buying from us. It only happened once. I say never pay for advertising if you can get away with it, we are very lucky to have free advertising with social media these days and I know it work. Seek out low-budget, high-impact marketing strategies to improve your small business. Test one or two new tactics and see which perform best before adding them to your marketing mix. Youtube, Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook (I'm not keen on Facebook but I think it's the best of the bunch, so I really should do more on FB) Twitter, LinkedIn (which I think is old fashioned nowadays but you will find very high end businesses are on LinkedIn, are a few good tools to build a social presence and attract attention to your business. Downside is, it's very time consuming to do them all, so I suggest to choose a couple and work hard on both of them, rather than trying to do all of them. I know when I do not do them, my sales drop. 4. Monitor Trends We've had Unicorns, Tiger King, Rainbows, what will be the next trend. No business operates in a vacuum. Events and changes in the global landscape have an effect on your business. Stay current on trends and issues happening in your industry and local community. Even things that don't seem relevant on the surface might have an impact on what you do, so consider all possibilities. 5. Sharpen Your Selling Skills A high-return area for business improvement is the sales function. Whether you're a one-person operation or managing a sales team, you must focus on sales improvement. To start, clarify your business mission. When you determine areas where you excel and who needs what you do, you will have a greater sense of vision and purpose. I'm a big believer in selling what you love, I find it very hard to sell something that I don't personally like the smell of. 6. Find Best Practices Keeping everything transparent is an important underpinning. That means breaking down silos, communicating effectively, testing, and monitoring and approving your processes in order to keep everything running smoothly. Another example is documenting your processes to avoid any miscommunication. 7. Motivate Staff if you have them. Talented and motivated staff members can bring on big improvements in business. People love to be praised, if they feel good they will want to do well for you and gain more praise. Putting them down will only destroy their self worth and they will not want to please you if all they get is put downs or nagging the bad stuff. Learn what motivates your employees to higher levels of performance. Part of this is being willing to listen to input and insight from everyone on staff, regardless of position or seniority. Some of the best ideas come from those closest to certain problems. 8. Know Your Limits Successful business owners have a clear idea of their limitations. By knowing your entrepreneurial personality type, you can manage your resources and find help in areas of weakness. This is a key driver to success. For example, if you're great at sales but less experienced with bookkeeping, focus on sales and hire someone else to handle the books. 9. Take a Break Running a small business is hard work. Sometimes the best way to improve your business and reignite your passion is to take a vacation. Don't underestimate the potential value of spending some time away from your work. Just that small amount of time off over the Christmas period is enough to get me motivated again and get excited about the future.

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