Street Survival: Bringing Back Small Business
Emily Washcovik from Yelp and Mike McDerment of FreshBooks spoke at the Survive and Thrive Summit and discussed some hot topics for small business. Hosted and produced by Ramon Ray of Smart Hustle Media, the first two Summits were held earlier in 2020 and the next one will be the spring of 2021. It’s free to register. If you don’t want to miss when registration opens up, sign up for our newsletter.
This conversation is exactly what small businesses need to learn — how to make money during a time of economic difficulty. All hope is not lost, but part of the success some businesses are seeing is from shifting how they make money. Is your business able to do this? Absolutely. Keep reading to hear advice from the experts.
Create Unique Revenue Opportunities
Both Emily and Mike have similar ideas about how businesses should function during this unprecedented time. The discussion started with the idea of creating unique revenue opportunities. Emily talked about how some of the businesses on Yelp are creating new streams of revenue from their current business. Also, you have to make sure you communicate to your customers how they can support you. Maybe it’s buying gift cards for future use, or sharing their offerings on social media. Whatever it is, they are more likely to do it if you can communicate what you need.
For entrepreneurs, cash is everything right now, and there are seven places where you can look for cash in your business: price, volume, cost of goods sold (COGS), overheads, accounts receivable, inventory, and accounts payable. It is crucial that you work out -given your current revenue and funding (equity + debt) availability- your scenarios, and establish a path forward to optimizing cash. Without knowing your runway, the rest of what I am about to say falls flat. – entrepreneur.com
How a Small Business Should Invoice
Freshbooks works with mostly service-based businesses, and Mike informed us that they’ve seen the slowing of sending invoices and also payment times are starting to be extended. This is no shock, but there is one good tip that Mike was able to share — businesses that collect money electronically have been better off than people who are waiting for checks. This means that continuing to digitize and automate your business is very important.[Tweet “Businesses that collect money electronically have been better off than people who are waiting for checks. This means that continuing to digitize and automate your business is very important.”]
Electronic Payments are Key
We know that consumers are looking to spend money for services and products online. So, having them (or vendors) be able to pay electronically is also important. People are hesitant to go out and mail checks, and with some mail being delayed, this can hurt your business. Online collection is easier for the sender and the receiver.
Collaboration and Community
Emily suggested collaborating with other businesses to help each other promote services. This doesn’t necessarily take away from your business, it shows that you are collaborating within the community. Which brings up the next point — utilize your community. There are tons of associations and chambers that have created lists to point consumers to the right businesses during COVID-19. With so many being closed or having different operating standards, consumers can be confused or not know where to turn. Ensuring your community supports you is important and shouldn’t take that much effort.
Trade Growth. The shaded area indicates forecasts. Trade is the average of import and export volumes. – weforum.org
Small Business Tips
Emily and Mike shared some simple but solid business tips that all business owners should utilize. Keep these in mind now and always, even when there isn’t a pandemic.
- Know your customer: Make time to speak with them, send surveys, and build the relationship because this time will pass and you will want the strength of the relationship for when things start to shift back to normal.
- Recurring revenue helps start the month: Mike said that setting up recurring monthly payments in FreshBooks helps businesses automate payments. This saves time and also ensures they are paid on the first of the month, setting them up for better cash flow.
- Take advantage of free tools from Yelp to get business info online: Yelp has free tools that help you get your hours, business category, description, and more online for people to find.
Plus. there are now COVID-related resources to let people know what you’re doing differently and how to prepare before working with your business.
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