The first half of 2022 certainly presented challenges for small businesses, from rising inflation causing increased costs to high gas prices and lower consumer spending, impacting many industries.
Whatever industry your small business operates in, now is a good time to evaluate the first half of the year to create a guide for the next six months and into 2023.
Here are some areas to focus on to drive revenue and keep cash flowing.
Adjust and Protect Your Cash Flow
If your business is experiencing cash flow crunches, now is the time to ensure you have the capital your small business needs. From an operations standpoint, are you wasting too much time (and money) on bookkeeping instead of selling? Enroll in online and mobile banking for your business to access reporting on revenue and expenses, and to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity on your accounts as fraud is on the rise. Also, consider outsourcing payroll and setting up ACH payments with vendors which can free up time to run the revenue-generating side of your business.
Consider Your Financing Options
Even with interest rates higher than previous years, there are great lending options available to you that can help your business maintain the cash flow and operational capital it needs to thrive. Remember, the Return on Investment (ROI) should be your primary driver for borrowing, not the rate.
Talk to your banker to see what options are available and make the most sense for your business, from small business loans and lines of credit to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans that can help infuse cash into your business when you need it.
Beef Up Your Online and Social Media Presence
Online shopping and sales continue to grow worldwide, including for local small businesses. Make sure your customers can easily find what they need when visiting your website, make check-out as easy as possible, and ensure your security certificates and other security measures are up to date. Additionally, use your social media profiles to join local groups, offer coupons and deals, run contests, and find other fun ways to engage current and potential customers.
Expand Your Payment Options for Customers
Whether customers are buying your products and services online or in person, make sure to provide multiple payment options. Flexibility in how consumers can interact and transact with your business helps cultivate repeat customers, so expand your payment options beyond cash and traditional credit card machines, including “tap” POS terminals that also accept mobile payments that are connected to your customers’ bank and credit card accounts.
Review Your Vendor Costs
Now is a good time to evaluate how rising vendor costs could be affecting your small business long term. In the short term, inflation is likely having an impact, but knowing how your vendors’ costs impact you long term is critical. Have candid conversations with them about their expectations and your own, and if needed, shop around for better terms.
Adjust Your Own Pricing
Whether you are selling products or services, the cost of doing business has likely increased for you this year. Take a look at how this affects your bottom line and consider making needed pricing adjustments to ensure your business can provide the level of quality and service your customers expect without emptying their wallets.
As a small business owner, you know the importance of continuously adapting to change. In today’s business environment, lean on these tips, what you’ve learned over the past couple years, and your financial and accounting partners to keep your business on a path to success.
Jeremy Shackleford is senior vice president, director of small business sales for WSFS Bank. He joined WSFS in 2018 after nearly 20 years working in banking and financial services, and was most recently senior vice president, regional manager for WSFS’ Greater Philadelphia Market, where he oversaw 15 Retail Office locations. He also served 10 years as a member of the United States Air Force (AFSOC).