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New Year's Resolutions for Small Businesses

As 2020 comes to close, it’s time to start looking ahead to the new year. It has been an unprecedented year, to say the least, and while there are still many unknowns concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, there are steps that small businesses can take now to prepare for whatever the new year brings.

While it can be difficult to predict what lies ahead, there are some small business goals that never change. For this new year, it’s no different: reducing operating costs while enhancing your profit is the name of the game.

But how? Here are a few New Year’s Resolutions you should make for your business to help ensure a happy and profitable 2021.

1. Let’s talk about fraud (again)

Forgive us for sounding like a broken record, but fraud is the quickest way to close the doors of an otherwise successful business. There are countless ways to fall victim to a scam, especially during and after the pandemic, so be sure you and your employees remain vigilant, especially during a holiday season that’s expected to be virtual.

2. Go contactless when you can

During the pandemic, consumers have gotten used to contactless everything. Contactless deliveries, curbside pickup, and yes, payments. Make sure your business can accommodate new requests and that you are equipped with the latest payment technology. Touchless payments are not just a trend – they are the future of credit card payments (and are already the standard in Europe and other parts of the world). Plus, updating your merchant processing equipment kills two birds with one stone: matching customer expectations AND mitigating fraud.

3. Save on fees

Speaking of the latest technology, you’ll also want to be sure that you and your employees are following best practices to minimize your credit card processing fees. First, you’ll want to understand how merchant pricing works, including transaction types and their associated costs. Then, you might consider new policies, such as limiting manual card entries or setting a minimum spending threshold for card transactions.

By paying special attention to these minor details, you can end up saving a ton of money every month on credit card processing. Make sure your merchant services provider is helping you determine the right payment schedule and policies for your unique business.

4. Stay focused on your customers

After all, they’re the reason you have a business! Be sure to maintain open communication channels with your customer base, whether through email blasts, social media, your website – or all of the above! Your customers should always have a direct line to your business, whether you’re a brick and mortar or exclusively online.

In some cases, it may be worth implementing a rewards program or offering loyalty discounts. If more stay-at-home situations occur or you need to temporarily close your doors, you’ll need customer loyalty more than ever. There are countless programs that can help you implement a customer-first solution, so be sure to explore your options.

What will 2021 bring?

It’s a strange reality to face, but small business owners should simply expect the unexpected in 2021. Set your business up for success by implementing processes, best practices and technology that will allow you to pivot quickly without losing business. Your partners will be key. Make sure your vendors, merchant processor, financial advisors and marketing partners are helping you manage the nitty-gritty details so you can focus on the bigger picture. As long as you continue to be flexible with your business model, compassionate with your customers and diligent about your business operations, you’ll be prepared for a happy new year!

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