Get Ready for Fall

While the days remain long and hot, we all know that fall is just around the corner. For the small business person, that is not insignificant. Aside from all of the spending that goes with kids heading back to school, fall is also the time when people’s attention turns back to work.

Plans are made, budgets are solidified, change is in the air.

So the question is, will your business be ready? If indeed it is true that people and businesses spend more in the fall (it is and they do), then it behooves you to get on the ball now. Here’s how:

Mix it up: The same ‘ol store décor and the same ‘ol office layout signals business as usual. So consider switching things up. A fresh coat of paint, a new display, or simply a rearranging of furniture is an easy and inexpensive way to kick-start things. Customers notice the difference, and your staff will too.

A new environment is a great way to shake off summer lethargy and get people thinking anew.

Give them what they want: Given the state of the economy, what is it that customers want these days? You know the answer: Lower prices. Indeed, if they are not shopping around and looking for a better deal, then they are asking you for one.

Am I right or am I right?

As such, if you really want to catch more customers this fall, the savvy thing to do is to give them what they want. Discount your prices or fees. Have a sale, offer something for free, cut your prices.

After all, it should not be a surprise that two companies who saw strong sales this past year were Wal-Mart and McDonalds. If discounting works so well for them, it sure as heck can work for us.

Spruce up your website: Too many small business owners seem to think that this is 2003 or so by the looks of their websites. In this Web 2.0 world, if your site is still nothing more than an e-Yellow Page ad, you are making a big mistake. People judge you by your website, and more and more they go to your site before they go in your business.

By doing some simple things like adding a blog or some video, you immediately begin to make a better impression.

Keep your overhead low: One secret to small business success is to keep your overhead low. The fall is a great time then to make sure you are on track in this regard:

  • Can you get a better deal from your landlord?
  • What about shopping your insurance?
  • What about finding some less expensive vendors?

And insofar as labor goes, now is also the time to get your fall internship needs in order. Students will soon be back in college and so it would be smart to get ready to hire an intern or two. They can help you grow and save you some money in the process – not a bad deal at all.

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