How To Navigate Small Business Hurdles When Consumer Optimism Wanes

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Apr. 16 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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A new report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses shows that confidence in small businesses is the lowest it has been in more than 11 years, as survey respondents cite rising inflation and higher costs as causes for concern.

According to the report, 25% of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operation their small business. A net 28% reported raising average selling prices for the month and 33% said they were planning additional pricing hikes.

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As optimism about the success of small businesses wanes, we pulled together some tips for small business owners to help attract customers, use social media to reach new audiences and overcome small business hurdles.

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1. Focus on the “Six C’s” of credit.

When you’re seeking funding for a small business loan, lenders will assess your application based on the “Six C’s” of credit: capacity, capital, collateral, conditions, creditworthiness and character. Evaluating these six items will help determine whether you will be approved for a small business loan, which can help you get your business off the ground or to the next level.

Learn more about the Six C’s and how you can make sure you’re putting your best small business foot forward here.

2. Protect your small business from risk.

Small business owners put their hearts and souls into their companies and often invest everything they have into its success, which can open owners up for uncertainty and risk. You can protect your small business – and yourself – from risk by hiring an accountant to help assess financial needs, purchasing small business insurance to protect against claims that can arise from business operation, and always starting off with a solid contract.

Learn more about how to protect your small business from risk here.

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3. Take steps to ensure growth.

Once you have passed the threshold where you are happy to have a client – any client – sign a contract and hire you, you will want to start thinking about the steps you can take to ensure safe and successful growth for your small business. Establishing a clear vision that includes what success looks like at every stage is a great place to start. Growth also happens when you can outsource tasks to experts who can utilize the best tools to get the job done. Pair that with motivated employees, and you’ll be sure to see your small business grow.

Learn more about the four key things that can ensure your small business grows here.

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4. Embrace the power of social media.

A new report shows that small businesses – especially minority-owned small businesses – benefit greatly from having a social media presence on TikTok. According to the report, 64% of Black-owned businesses and 60% of Hispanic-owned businesses said TikTok is a meaningful or critical part of their business’s success. There are several benefits to leveraging TikTok as a business owner, including the high growth potential for reaching your target audience. 

5. Build disaster preparedness into your business plan.

Business disasters can – and probably will – happen, so it’s important to build disaster preparedness plans into your business plan. There are a number to steps you should take to prepare for disaster, including backing up all of your data on a regular basis to ensure continuity, even if the worst happens. Your preparedness plan should also include steps you will take to inform your customers when something has gone wrong, and building in time to recover and get yourself and your business back on track.

Learn more about how to build disaster preparedness into your small business plan here.

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By: Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith is a professional communicator by day and night, leveraging more than a decade in the news industry to share stories that have a positive impact on society. Gillian believes everyone has a story worth telling, and she has made it her professional mission to tell those stories in a responsible way. Gillian received a BA in journalism from Ithaca College and a Master's in Journalism Innovation from Syracuse University. She is currently the director of external communication and media relations at Suffolk University.

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