Our weekly roundup of the most relevant articles this week in the small business world.
With the New Year right around the corner, many small-business owners are likely wondering what to expect in 2019. After all, spotting or failing to recognize an important trend can be the difference between a banner year and one we’d rather forget. Many of us are wondering, for example, how the U.S. economy will impact business. Will hiring finally ease up? How will younger generations change our workforce?
Every year, businesses the world over spend a significant amount of time and money ramping up for the holiday season, and then, just like that, it’s over. As quickly as Halloween seemingly rolled into Thanksgiving, the New Year is here, and the holiday rush is a mere memory. But what about your business efforts? After weeks, if not months, of running at max strength, what do you do once the inevitable Q1 lull hits? As you close our 2018 and dig your feet into 2019, it’s important to address the unique needs of this slower period, and in doing so, prepare your business for not only the first quarter, but for the rest of the year. Not sure where to start? Here are six tips to help you decelerate business and make the most of down time.
30 million small businesses nationwide face revenue losses and limited access to certain loans. Because the Trump administration and Congress were unable to reach a long-term funding agreement that includes President Trump’s proposed $5 billion border wall, any small business owner who was banking on quick assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be out of luck.
“Due to the lapse of government funding, SBA will remain inactive until further notice. We apologize for any inconveniences and we look forward to assisting you when we return,” the agency posted on Facebook. Without a spending bill, nine of 15 federal departments and dozens of agencies are closed or reducing some operations, according to a fact sheet released by the Democratic staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
While December has been a lousy month for the stock market, 2018 has generally been a good year for small-business owners. Over half (55%) of owners or decision makers at small businesses in the United States said that their business is better off today than it was a year ago, according to a new survey from Fundera. Another 33% said their business has remained steady, leaving only 12% that saw their fortunes decline in 2018. Those are very strong and encouraging numbers, but that doesn’t mean it should be assumed the good times will continue to roll.
“While market conditions are strong now, it’s important small businesses use this time wisely to set themselves up for growth and success with the resources required to do so, regardless of potential economic shifts to come,” said Fundera CEO Jared Hecht in a press release.
Text message marketing is one of the more effective ways for small businesses to reach a targeted audience of interested consumers. It is also referred to as short message service (SMS) or Group Texting, and it stands as one of the most cost-efficient ways for a small business to strengthen the bond with its customers. Group texting is extremely effective, but it is more effective for certain types of businesses. For example, retail stores and restaurants can get an immediate response from text messaging out coupons or special offers. If you can find a way to benefit from text marketing for your business, then you will see results that will grow your bottom line.