The first half of 2022 certainly presented challenges for small businesses, from rising inflation causing costs to increase 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 increase revenue and maintain cash flow.
Adjust and protect your cash flow
If your business is experiencing cash flow problems, now is the time to make sure you have the capital your small business needs. From an operational perspective, are you wasting too much time (and money) on accounting instead of selling? Sign up for online and mobile banking for your business to access income and expense reporting and 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 manage the revenue-generating side of your business.
Consider your financing options
Even with interest rates higher than previous years, there are great lending options that can help your business maintain the cash flow and working capital it needs to thrive. Remember that return on investment (ROI) should be your main 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 with the infusion of cash into your business when you need it.
Increase your online and social media presence
Online shopping and sales continue to grow globally, including for local small businesses. Make sure your customers can easily find what they need when they visit your website, make checkout as easy as possible, and make sure your security certificates and other security measures are up to date. Also, 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 buy your products and services online or in person, be 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 touch POS terminals. which also accept mobile payments that are linked to your customers’ bank and credit card accounts.
Review your provider’s costs
Now is a good time to evaluate how rising supplier costs could affect your small business in the long run. In the short term, inflation is likely to have an impact, but it’s critical to know how your supplier costs affect you in the long term. Have frank conversations with them about their expectations and your own, and if necessary, shop around for better terms.
Adjust your own prices
Whether you sell 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 the necessary price 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 constantly adapting to change. In today’s business environment, rely on these tips, what you’ve learned over the past few years, and your financial and accounting partners to keep your business on the 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 in banking and financial services, and was most recently senior vice president, regional manager for WSFS’ Greater Philadelphia Market, where he led 15 retail offices. He also served 10 years as a member of the United States Air Force (AFSOC).