February is the month of LOVE and what better time to talk about loving YOUR business. Like most partnerships, things can sometimes be complex. When this happens, we have to focus on the BASICS to get the complex issues ironed out. The credit card processing industry is a mess of fees, regulations, issues and the list goes on. Hopefully these strategies below are useful to you and can help you keep the passion and the love for your business alive. When you are done reading them, please visit our Facebook page (the link is listed below) to share your thoughts and ideas! Together, we can help each other out.
#1- KNOW YOUR WHY
When times get tough (financial barriers, customer issues, vendor challenges, employee concerns, etc.), we always take a step back and remind ourselves WHY we started our business in the first place and WHY we feel so blessed to be a business owner. Knowing why you do what you do makes the obstacles seem surmountable. Focusing on your WHY puts the air back in your sails and puts your brain into a problem-solving mode strong enough to conquer any challenge.
#2- GET BACK TO BASICS
There is so much 'new technology', so many 'new-fangled ideas' and so many 'different' ways to do things nowadays, that we sometimes forget to go back to what we know- back to the basics. Consider the foundation of your business. For many of us those cornerstones are Quality Products, Great Service and Filling a Need. When times have seemed the toughest, I have often found the greatest success by turning my sights back to the basics to make sure I have not lost my way.
#3- TIGHTEN THE BUDGET BELT
A tough economy sure helps to identify the 'holes' in your boat! Review your expenses and make sure you are getting the best combination of pricing and service from all of your vendors. Just like you, your vendors are working to keep your business so talk with them and see what you can work out together. Take a look at your processes and see if they can be streamlined. We have been able to save postage and printing costs by moving some of our information to digital formats and by decreasing the font size so fewer pages needed to be mailed; simple things that shave pennies off of your bottom line can be a big help.
#4- RALLY YOUR TEAM
If you are struggling or if you are just ultra-focused about squeezing as much productivity from your business as possible, why not get some extra ideas and tips from the people who can really help you affect change: your team!! I have been so blessed to be surrounded by a group of committed individuals and it never fails- when I ask for their advice (and even when I don't ), they put their minds to work to help find better, more innovative ways to deliver our products and to be of more service than what our merchants expect. Many times, business owners feel like they have the entire weight of the business on their shoulders- trusting your team can help to lighten the load.
#5- HAVE SOME FUN & GET TO WORK
This sounds crazy- especially when your back is against the wall but guess what? When you are having fun, figuring out how to slay the dragons in business and smiling along the way- the path gets a little bit easier!
So grab that great attitude and employ your strategies for success:
- KNOW YOUR WHY
- GET BACK TO BASICS
- TIGHTEN THE BUDGET BELT
- RALLY YOUR TEAM
- HAVE SOME FUN & GET TO WORK!!
Small businesses have always been the backbone of the American Economy. It has rarely been easy but it has always been worth the struggle!! Please visit our Facebook page to join the conversation and let us know your thoughts! www.Facebook.com/TotalMerchantConcepts