Preparing for 2019: The New Year and your Independent Business
Can you believe the year has gone so quickly? Plenty happened last year that has made the lives of us with independent businesses tougher, namely Brexit negations (with Brexit set to actually happen early this year). Needless to say, there’s a lot for small independent businesses to prepare for in 2019, and what better time to start than now? Here are a few aspects of your business that you’ll want to consider addressing going in to the New Year:
Your CRM Situation
Are you using a bespoke CRM solution to meet your business needs? If not, and you’re looking for a change, it might be time to consider going bespoke. The bespoke vs. off-the-shelf discourse has proven time and again that for most small businesses with a variety of needs, a bespoke CRM tool is the way to go.
Particularly with so much uncertainty still looming as we roll in to 2019, you want to ensure your business is future proof – that includes your CRM solution. With a bespoke option you’ll; have the freedom to upgrade your CRM as and when needs arise with third-party support, save on the usual costs of expensive servers thanks to the cloud, have 24/7 access and robust tech support. Most importantly you’ll have a CRM solution fitted to your needs.
Digital January Sales
Particularly if you’re a service based business, rather than retail, then you may have experienced a shortfall in December. In fact, even retail has seen a third year of decline in spending over the festive period.
Whether you’re selling a product or a service, January is the time to make that up by offering attractive sales and offers. If you’re in retail, the options are quite clear – product discounts are easily everyone’s favourite thing about a new year coming in. As an independent business, you don’t have to set your rates to match anyone else – valuable customers will understand that unlike big business chains, making ends meet is more difficult for small business and profits are still important.
For a service based business things might be a little more varied, but not necessarily complicated. You could offer your service for a period of months at a reduced rate, a tactic often used by streaming services like Spotify. Other options could be; a reduced sign-up fee (or none at all during January), free access to a helpful whitepaper or blog (great to encourage leads and newsletter sign ups), or any other alternative you think may be suitable to both your business and customers – so long as you’re not running yourself in to the ground. Once again, valuable customers will understand if you can’t offer a January sale like big businesses can.
If you’ve got warm leads waiting to be converted, January is the perfect time to give them a little extra something tempting. Whether that’s a discount or something else, January is conversion time.
If December has been a difficult time of year for you, now is probably the best time to start planning for next year’s financial fallout. Examine your business holistically – what are you offering your customers? What tools do you need to offer that? What don’t you need that’s currently costing you time and money?
A bespoke CRM solution could help cut the costs of unnecessary and expensive tools that only supply one demand, by offering everything in one cost-effective package. With a cloud-based CRM you could also remove the unnecessary cost of fixed office-space, server hosting and hiring a maintenance team.
With all that in mind, the Lunar Team wishes you and your business nothing but the best for 2019.