How Small Businesses Can Reinvent Themselves for 2013
December 11, 2012
The New Year is a great time for small businesses to strive for new goals. Faced with a challenging and competitive climate, economic uncertainty and problems stemming from the looming fiscal cliff, more owners are reinventing the way they do business for 2013.
In mid-2012, 43 percent of small business owners indicated that they considered business conditions "as positive," according to a Citigroup survey
After the presidential election, as uncertainty over the fiscal cliff
Meanwhile, 34 percent expect to decrease capital spending in the next 12 months. Unlike larger businesses that have greater brand awareness and bigger budgets, small businesses are getting creative to thrive in 2013
Faced with a tough outlook for the coming year, small business owners - including manufacturers - are attempting innovative strategies to boost performance. These new methods include overhauling products or services, increasing sales and marketing efforts and adjusting technology and staffing infrastructure, according to the Citigroup survey.
"Small-business owners are especially adept at reinvention - whether because of obstacles or new visions for growth," Maria Veltre, managing director of Citi Small Business, said.
Many manufacturing firms are also working to reinvent themselves at a time when numerous jobs are going unfilled
A key part of keeping a competitive edge in the industrial sector is researching and implementing different business strategies and leveraging new manufacturing technologies. "[The U.S. government needs to begin developing coordinated policies to support R&D, public education and further investment in this new approach to manufacturing," according to Techonomy
Yet small businesses owners without such immediate aid can reinvent their current strategies. Here are a few approaches to consider for 2013:
Set a Business Culture Standard: Cross-training employees and creating a "learning-culture" is an effective way to create a more knowledgeable workforce. Programs such as the recent knowledge building seminar
Re-evaluate Customer Communications: Of the 750 small business owners surveyed by Citigroup, 70 percent indicated that they increased their face-time with customers to keep business thriving. To do this effectively, business owners should consider the entire consumer base, and develop a deeper understanding of their customers - even those who represent lower profit margins, Intuit
Pursue a Solid Business Plan: Once a small business lays out a plan, whether it involves upgrading tech and computer systems, marketing through new channels or cultivating a knowledge-sharing team, the next step is to set actionable deadlines for it and share them with other business owners for valuable feedback, Entrepreneur