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Entrepreneurial

There are about 30 million small businesses in America today and these companies are as diverse as the American economy as a whole. Ranging from restaurants and auto-body shops to construction and renovation firms, hair salons, and home repair businesses, they account for 48 percent of all U.S. jobs. You might say that small business IS big business. But even though they employ fewer workers and often focus on a local or regional customer base, small businesses are subject to the same forces as large corporations. Large businesses usually have an established customer base and steady cash flow to keep them afloat during periods of change. Small businesses often do not. They need to be nimble and responsive when it comes to marketing their company, developing customer relationships, and keeping records. Here are some of the best practices for small businesses entering 2020.

Think about the last few purchases you made. How many of them were purely impulse buys? Where you hadn’t done any research on the manufacturer/provider, the product/service, or even spoke with someone who had? The fact is that 90% of people believe in brand recommendations from friends. Word-of-mouth marketing has never been more critical than it is today. In addition to the bump it provides in conversion rates, a huge benefit to utilizing word-of-mouth is that there’s no cost. Word-of-mouth isn’t the only cost-effective way to reach potential customers in a targeted way. The rise of social media has also given small businesses the type of publishing platform that used to come with a pretty expensive price tag.

Conventional wisdom often suggests that while large corporations grow more advanced and sophisticated, small businesses retain a more old-fashioned identity. This may be true in some cases. Small businesses often operate on local or regional levels. As a result, they don't have to win customers in a national competitive landscape. Many rivals pour millions into new technologies and cutting-edge strategies for boosting profits. Further, their own rivals sometimes aren't especially forward-thinking, either. This eases the pressure on them to pick up on the latest business trends and evolve with them.

Many businesses have peaks and valleys, but few understand the gravity of these swings like those in a seasonal market. For instance, a landscaping company in a cold climate doesn't have the same type of work lined up in late January than it does in late July. If you’ve been racking your brain for a few ways to increase awareness during your downtime, we've got some ideas to help you. Here are three ways for your business to stand out in a seasonal market.