With the summer vacation and Back to School seasons in the rearview, many small businesses are turning their attention to the upcoming holiday season to close out the year on a high note.
However, with inflation stubbornly lingering and supply chains still experiencing ups and downs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the status quo approach to generating revenues and cash flow through the end of 2022 may not be enough.
It’s time small business owners and operators take a fresh look at their operations and how they can adjust to not only stay on track financially, but even exceed projections.
Here are a few steps you can take to refresh your small business’ approach to generating revenue and cash flow through the end of the year.
Form or Expand Partnerships
During the pandemic, many small businesses that were geographically located close to one another joined forces to stay afloat and provide customers with the goods and services they needed.
If you partnered with another business, restart those joint offerings or reshape them to focus on keeping your costs, and those passed on to customers, down through unique packages of products and services.
Also look at expanding your partnerships to include online ordering and fulfillment. If you or one of your local partners have extra space, repurpose it into a warehouse-like fulfillment center that can be expanded in scope as needed. The collective efforts and resources can help keep costs down while driving more online sales and revenue, keeping cash flowing for your business and your partners, too.
Incentivize Your Customers
Many small businesses, especially retailers and restaurants, offer gift cards and the holidays are an especially prime time for gift card sales.
Why not start offering deals on gift cards now? Catch early-bird holiday shoppers with deals on multiple gift card purchases, or coupons that are redeemable at your business well into 2023, to ignite sales and revenue now that builds momentum heading into the holiday shopping season.
While you’re at it, implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform into your systems so you can not only capture customer information for future communications, but also track their spending habits with your business so you can offer them appealing deals at the right time. There are many free and low-cost CRMs available that can integrate with or include email marketing, too.
Boost Your Social Media Presence and Ads
To help spread the word about your gift card deals, sales and local partnerships, boost your social media presence in local and regional neighborhood groups, and consider social media advertising on platforms where your customer base is active.
For example, if you have a local storefront and online store, use targeted social media ads based on where you can not only generate foot traffic, but also to geographic areas where you are willing to ship to. Social media advertising can be more cost effective than other online advertising depending on your business type and reach.
Take a Fresh Look at Your Financials
It’s always a good idea to review your small business’ finances, and a refreshed approach to generating revenue and cash flow should also include looking at how you can maximize your business’ assets.
For example, if adding online distribution and warehousing makes sense for your business—also see if your fellow business owners could use space and are interested in renting from you—a commercial real estate loan for small businesses might be an option. You’d have a permanent place to call home for your small business along with potential ongoing revenue streams.
Check with your lending and accounting teams to see what options fit best for your small business to generate cash flow and drive revenue through 2022 and beyond.
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