3 P’s Drive Small Business Success in 2010

In the coming months, the healthcare debate, business
incentives and changes to the tax code will be at the forefront of
local and national debates. Though important, these are issues in which
the individual small business owner has minimal say. Instead of
focusing on these larger issues, entrepreneurs should focus their
efforts on enhancing small business productivity, prudence, and profit
as we move into 2010.


Productivity

In the last few years, many companies learned to do more with
less as cuts in spending and employment left many small businesses
demanding more out of their employees. In 2010, small business
productivity will remain vital as employees continue to carry a heavy
workload. For companies to succeed, they need to arm their employees
with the right small business productivity tools.

By identifying and implementing the right small business
solutions, entrepreneurs can get more out of their employees and save
money. Increased productivity among full-time employees can result in
more sales, the development of better products and services, faster
completion of tasks, and improved customer service.

Regardless of the industry, many companies will turn to small
business communication solutions that can improve productivity. For
example, a doctor’s office may select an Interactive Voice Response
system (IVR) to more efficiently handle and direct calls during and
after business hours. Companies with hourly employees, like field
service repair companies, may use location-based services to track
field technicians and redirect them based on cost drivers like fuel
consumption. Or, many companies may look to deploy BlackBerrys to their
staff to help them stay connected anytime, anywhere helping fuel better
small business productivity. Finding small business solutions that
improve productivity will greatly impact a bottom line.


Prudence


While the economic freefall has halted and the economy even had some
bright spots in 2009, most companies are not popping celebratory
champagne. And as much as we’d all like to see 2010 herald a recovery
of small business productivity, many economists and so-called
“financial experts” are predicting only a slightly stronger economy in
2010. Next year, prudence will be the name of the game when it comes to
small business solutions.

With a sharp eye on spending, small businesses will need to be
prudent in their decision making and ensure they are making the right
investments. Finding employees that have the right skill set, investing
in developing or marketing your best product, and selecting small
business solutions that will help your company grow will all demand
prudence.

But this careful decision making will not only focus on
spending, but on all aspects of small business productivity. Many
companies may reexamine their niche market or how they “have always
done things” to find new and better small business solutions. Just as
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “…a little rebellion now and then is a
good thing,” a shake-up of how your small business operates may be in
order.


Profit

One consequence of the downturn is that many companies
unfortunately closed their doors. As a result, those who survived the
recession now have fewer competitors vying for customers. As the
economy stabilizes, banks begin to loan more money and businesses are
more comfortable with spending money, the small businesses that
positioned themselves correctly will have a stronger opportunity for
market penetration than they’ve likely seen in recent years. By making
prudent decisions and focusing on driving small business productivity,
companies will be well-positioned to profit in 2010 and beyond.

If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that no
amount of economic forecasting is completely precise. But, let’s all
look forward to 2010 with a focus on small business productivity,
prudence, and profit, as well as the promise of what a new year will
bring to small businesses.


This story first appeared in Corp! magazine Dec. 3Article Submission, 2009.