As I drove through the streets of San Angelo recently, I found myself feeling a little nostalgic about all that has changed over the years. I was born and raised in San Angelo so there are times when I find myself wishing Shakey’s or Captain D’s was still open so I could go there and feel like a kid again.
However, I also begin to notice the many things that have stayed the same. I love how many businesses in town have learned what makes them special and have made that an enduring tradition.
What worries me, though, is when a business seems almost stuck in time. When it has failed to adapt to recent technologies. This can be very harmful to a small business. By taking time to implement the following small business trends, you can help set yourself up for future success.
There are many small business trends that are here to stay and cannot be ignored. Do you have a website or a strong online presence? Have you updated your marketing and branding in the last 10 years? And last, have you updated your bookkeeping processes as technology has upgraded? There are good reasons to embrace each of these trends and good reasons to not wait any longer.
I am still surprised when I hear of an established business that still does not have a website. Today, with the use of smartphones, laptops, iPads and the prevalence of Wi-Fi and data service, more people than ever are using the Internet first to make purchasing decisions.
New people to town, or even people in town looking for new places to eat or visit, are turning to the Internet to learn about what is out there. Being visible on the Web and through sites such as Urbanspoon.com or Yelp.com can help bring in new customers without much work on your part. Internet store hours, prices, menus and lists of services are some examples of what people will look up before deciding to walk through your front door. Make sure you are easy to find for anyone that goes looking.
“Business Tips” was written by Jessica Lambert, business development training coordinator and certified training coordinator of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at Jessica.Lambert@angelo.edu.