Helping Small Business Thrive In Today’s Economy
Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy and the Peace Region. Small business owners can take a number of steps to deal with inflation, rising interest rates, and staff shortages.
Revamp Your Business Plan
Interest rate hikes can significantly affect business growth and profitability. Consult with an adviser to discuss your financial situation, identify your business objectives, and help you refine your business plan. This will help you meet your financial goals with wealth management solutions that include setting an overall budget, cash flow requirements, as well as tax planning.
Financial planning includes:
- Prepare for possible future interest rate hikes.
- Access capital for innovation and reinvestment activities to support growth.
- Invest surplus operating funds and reserves.
- Pay back debt. Assess debt levels to help make good borrowing decisions and develop a repayment plan.
If you’re like many other small businesses and acquired debt during COVID-19 lockdowns you may still be dealing with the repercussions. If your business participated in the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program in 2020, repayment is due Dec. 31, 2023. Developing a repayment plan is a critical step in your financial planning.
Staff Retention Strategies
Post-pandemic, small businesses are facing staffing challenges. With a continued high demand for workers, especially in the services industries, laying people off isn’t advisable, even with high interest rates and inflation.
What is the best way to retain staff and recruit new workers in the midst of inflation and rising interest rates? Here are some recruitment and retention ideas:
- Some small businesses are introducing workplace perks to help maintain staff loyalty, including insurance for mental health and physical services.
- Some businesses may consider increasing wages or introducing benefits, such as matching RRSP contributions. The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association offers workplace plans for small businesses as part of a staff retention strategy.
Grow Your Business With Social Media
A significant amount of marketing today is done via social media, allowing you to connect on a human level with your clientele. You can chat with followers and respond to queries, comments and suggestions. These interactions boost brand perception and word-of-mouth recommendations while nurturing loyalty and brand recognition. It also provides insight into target market data to help you plan future marketing efforts.
Social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat.
Guidelines for promoting your business via social media:
- Give your customers and audience value by offering promotions and providing information that they enjoy, benefit from or find useful. This increases customer traffic.
- Content is still king. The type and length of content should align with business goals. If you want to increase online sales, then promoting deals is one way to cultivate new customers. Post engaging content that users can only see more fully on your website.
- Monitor how effective your social media initiatives are. Metrics include increased sales, traffic or followers to your website from social media platforms.
North Peace Savings & Credit Union has the right tools and advice to support and help grow your business.
Talk to one of our North Peace Savings & Credit Union Advisors today! 1-877-787-0361
Ted is passionate about Credit Unions, having served within the co-operative system across Canada for over 25 years. Ted’s longstanding career began front of house serving Members, as a financial services representative with Island Savings Credit Union on Vancouver Island back in 1994. Ted furthered his education and experience within the credit union system laddering into leadership at Kootenay Savings in Trail, B.C. where he served as the senior regional manager of retail sales and…read more