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table with notebook, pen, and lineal, symbolizing how hard or easy it can be to grow small business profitsRunning a startup or small business can lead to many sleepless nights. From coming up with a business plan and raising capital to finding a team that will support and execute ways to increase small business profits.

It is tough finding and attracting customers. There’s a lot to get done, especially in the early days.

Here are some year end tips to increase your small business profits:

Take Control of Your Cash Flow

Cash flow is the heartbeat of small business.  

Managing cash flow properly is one of the most important skills that small business owners can master. It’s important to remember that some of the cash flow pain that entrepreneurs and small businesses face is the result of less than creative cash management.

With some simple tricks in cash management, the ups and downs of cash in vs cash out can be stabilized:

  • Encourage pre-sales
    Hold early-season sales events
    Offer gift cards
  • Invoice quickly
    Negotiate payment terms
    Pay by credit card

Get the Passport to Sell Internationally

Expand your sales opportunities overseas.

PayPal, a U.S.-based company that provides payment services in over 200 markets is no stranger to international business.

The PayPal Passport program has a number of tools to help small businesses sell easier. Taxation, duties, and other fees related to shipping can be complicated, and sellers might not know what exactly is involved in the process of selling physical or digital goods.

PayPal created this program specifically to address these questions and unknowns, and to let startups and small business merchants focus on growing their businesses internationally.

Go Green

Startup companies are in unique position. You are starting from scratch with your physical location. Offices and overhead are a huge part of your expenses, so launching an office with a “green” philosophy can set startups on a cost-saving path from the very beginning.

Include Green Space
Look for office space that features natural light, plenty of windows and a courtyard or patio space. Utilize living plants throughout the office.

Recycling Depots
Make “reduce, reuse, recycle” a core value of your company.

Eco-friendly Furniture
Choosing green furniture made of bamboo or recycled aluminum means less maintenance, no risk of contributing to deforestation and a lower price point than traditional materials.

No Print Policy
Commit to going paperless

Lighting
Compact fluorescent light bulbs should be the norm in your office as they use 66% less energy than standard bulbs

Become a Master of Mobile E-commerce

Mobile commerce has exploded in the past few years thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile technology. In 2016, mobile-ecommerce revenue is expected to increase by more than 43 percent, reaching $116 billion in value, according to eMarketer. Based on trends, smartphones may ultimately replace laptops and desktops as the primary computing device.

How to Master Mobile Commerce

To succeed in this increasingly mobile-first world, small businesses will have to first master m-commerce. This means building a mobile shopping experience that is just as user friendly as the website experience.

At the end of the day, the more available you make your business, and the easier it is to buy what you’re selling, the more profit opportunity your business will have.

Before you do anything else, ensure that your website is responsive, meaning it will adjust to the size of the device it’s being viewed on. If your site is not responsive, you’re losing customers – a lot of them. Additionally, your rank on Google will suffer, and you will be penalized for providing a poor visitor experience.

If you need help in this technical area, I suggest reaching out to Dagmar Gatell for an SEO and website review.

Add Buy Buttons

Buy buttons already exist on many social platforms.  They are included in Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube, but they’re rarely used. This is primarily due to a lack of awareness among consumers.

  • We should see an increase due to the marketing efforts being made by the social media platforms to bring awareness to Buy Buttons this holiday season.
  • As retailers and consumers increase their confidence in the “buy” button, 2017 could be the year this sales tool takes off.

Donate to a Charitable Organization

If you make a charitable donation before December 31, you may be able to write it off on your 2016 taxes.

  • Your donations could be excess product, underutilized office equipment,, excess furniture or even excess supplies.
  • Pick a cause and promote your support on your website and social media.

If you are looking for suggestions for charities in your local community, check out Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

For other ideas that startups and small businesses can execute now to reduce expenses next year, check out the article “How to Reduce Small Business Expenses”

Conclusion

The time to begin preparing for next year’s year-end is right now. You can

  • complete your assessment,
  • prepare a plan to address the most vital changes needed, and
  • implement those changes before the start of new year.

You will gain the benefit of those best practices throughout the entire year. The time to act is right now!

Here’s to you building a stronger company. Good luck!

Happy Holiday’s from the Sozial Monster Team.  We are experienced enough to solve your problem, small enough for you to know you will be a valued client.

Oh, if there’s anything I’m missing in this article, tell me! I’ll be happy to add it in.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions on this article in the comments section.

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