4 months ago

IN A year that has seen almost no economic growth, many small businesses have to make the most of the festive season to build cash reserves for the year ahead.

This year has tested many entrepreneurs. The lack of growth, rising petrol prices, ongoing drought and the third of four rating agencies sliding Mzansi into junk status has strained business confidence.

Mags Ponnan, head of customer value propositions at FNB Business, reckoned that small business have to “box smart” to stay ahead this festive season.

“Consumer spending will not go away but people will spend more selectively than in previous years. To stay ahead, entrepreneurs must go into the festive with a clear plan.”

Tips for December

Communication: Make use of social media platforms to let consumers know your season specials.

Small businesses do not have to spend an arm and leg to reach the consumer using ad agencies but they can freely use of social media platforms to reach people.

This not only allows a cost-effective form of mass communication but it also opens a two-way conversation where the small business is able to receive feedback from consumers on what they think of its services and products.

Keep your outlet open longer: Many people are on leave so they will be spending more hours shopping. Being open for longer extends the possibility of a higher foot traffic into your store this season.

Your online presence: More and more consumers search for product offers online, they do price comparisons, endorsements and even purchase online. To not be available online in the digital age is to cut off the a chunk of potential sales.

“Small businesses must remember that the competition for a share of consumers’ spending power intensifies in tough times. Businesses that have prepared long in advance are bound to profit over the Christmas holiday season.”

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