Why is Customer Feedback So Important to Your Small Business?

Small businesses should focus heavily on customer feedback. Small businesses do not have as much brand awareness compared to large corporations and chains. Customer feedback brings new customers to your business. Customers are the most valuable source of information when planning customer experience, products, and services. 

 

Customer Feedback

 

Helps Customers Find You

Potential customers are constantly researching before making a purchase. Customer feedback is a huge part of their research. For example, when looking for a new restaurant, people check out Yelp and Google reviews. E-commerce websites should have an option to leave feedback about purchased products so that new customers have something to help make their decision. 

 

A person is more apt to buy from a business with many reviews over somewhere that barely has any. People typically search through reviews and determine which ones are the most useful. Never delete bad reviews or leave fake reviews. It is easy to spot if your business has done that and the person will be less likely to purchase from your small business. 

 

Aids in Product and Service Changes

Customer feedback is a sizable factor in changing how your business runs. Sometimes a new idea does not work out as planned, and the only way to know this is through feedback. If your construction business gets customer feedback about the quality of work, you can make changes or level up what you are already doing. 

 

How to Get Customer Feedback

High-quality feedback is not always easy to collect. Emails are a great way to follow up with customers. You can send an e-mail shortly after they purchased to see how satisfied they were with the purchasing process and their initial thoughts. Send another follow-up e-mail as more time passes asking if they still enjoy their purchase.

 

Social media is an inexpensive way to gather customer feedback. First, build a following that trusts your small business enough to interact with its account. Then ask questions or post surveys that your audience would like to respond to. If customers comment on posts or leave a review saying that they had an issue with your business, message them or encourage them to call you so you can fix it. 

 

Give customers an incentive to respond to surveys. This could be a percentage off or the opportunity to enter into a drawing. Sometimes these surveys take too long, so encourage the customers with something valuable to them. Send the survey links through e-mail or print them on receipts.

 

PL Consulting is Here for Your Small Business

PL Consulting offers a diverse range of bookkeeping and budgeting services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. Our services are customized to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

If you have questions about receiving customer feedback, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

 

 

4 Ways to Promote Accessibility in Your Small Business

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law 30 years ago. It protects anyone with a physical or mental impairment. This includes more than just people that are deaf, blind, and in a wheelchair. Physical conditions like diabetes and mental conditions like bipolar disorder are also covered by the ADA. 

4 Ways to Promote Accessibility in Your Small Business

There have been huge steps towards change in accessibility and inclusivity in businesses, but there is still more work to be done. Your business must be ADA compliant if it has 15 or more employees. If your business has fewer employees, still consider creating an accessible business structure. Here are four ways that your small business can promote accessibility. 

Website

Web accessibility is typically one of the biggest issues for small businesses. If a customer cannot complete their purchase on your website because of their disability, your website is not ADA compliant. Web accessibility includes screen readers, text that is clear and easy to read, hierarchy, and keyboard navigation. This ADA compliance checklist breaks down many ways to have a compliant and accessible website. 

Signage

If your business creates its signage, it must be accessible. If your business outsources signage design, double-check that they comply with ADA standards. This includes text that is big enough to read and easy to understand. The colors that are chosen need to have enough contrast for people that have low visibility or color blindness. 

Business Accessibility

Provide accessible parking at your business. Make sure there is a wide ramp to get into your business if there is a step up. If there are tables or isles in your business, check to see if there is enough maneuverability space for people to get through. Businesses that have an up or downstairs need to have another way for people that are physically impaired to get around. This could be a ramp, elevator, or lift. 

Employees

Ensuring that your business is accessible to your employees is just as important as your customers. The ADA covers employees with disabilities that are qualified for their position. Keep your employees’ medical information confidential. Ask employees if there are any reasonable accommodations that they will need to be successful in their position.

Accessibility in Your Small Business

Making accessibility changes in your small business might cost money and take time, but it comes with added value to your small business. PL Consulting strives for accessibility for everyone, and we encourage your small business to do the same. Do not forget to check the ADA Compliance Guide for Small Businesses for further information.

 

PL Consulting offers a diverse range of bookkeeping and budgeting services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. Our services are customized to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

If you have questions about managing a successful small business, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

 

6 Tips For Family-Owned Businesses

Family-owned businesses start small, then grow into successful entities. Each family member has their vision of the business’s success. These owners work hard daily. If your family-owned business has been around for years or you are just starting, these 6 tips for family-owned businesses will keep your business running efficiently and prosperously. 

business man at desk

Networking

An important tip for small businesses in any industry is to make connections. These connections lead to strong relationships and loyalty. Relationships take time and effort to build. They can positively result in collaborations, discounts on materials/services, or shared experiences with suppliers. 

Trust

Trust goes beyond building strong relationships with your connections. Continue to trust your family members that you work with. If you hire employees outside of your family circle, make sure they are someone that the team believes in. 

Communication

Effective communication is key to a small business’s success. Find a way that works best for everyone to communicate. This could be weekly meetings, email, or phone calls. Since a small business can make decisions much quicker than a corporation, use that to your advantage. 

Unity

Families are brought together through unity, so keep the same unity when running a business together. When making a big decision, do it as a team. If that is not possible, consider how everyone will feel about it. It should not be hard to agree. Ensure that everyone is on board with how the business is running. 

Values

Every business needs core values and standards that they believe in. Many family-owned businesses base these values and standards on how their own family runs. These will make an ethical decision-making process involving customers, employees, and vendors. Values and standards entice customers to buy from your business.

Community

Family-owned businesses are more than just their own family. They include the community that surrounds them. This community includes new employees that are brought onto the team when the business starts expanding. The community also includes the area that the business is based in. People want to see your business support the city they live in. The purpose of a community is to keep unity with people that are both inside and outside of the family. Share your objectives and mission with everyone in your community to develop a cohesive business model. 

Success

Building a successful business with your family has trials and errors, but it is well worth it. This article covers some basic tips, but we know there is so much more to running a family-owned business. 

 

PL Consulting offers a diverse range of bookkeeping and other financial services. We customize our services to each of our clients and their business plans. Our one-on-one interactions are a valuable resource for both your team and ours. 

 

If you have questions about running a successful family-owned business, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

 

3 Tips to Maintain Credit Score During & After COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic may impact your small business credit score once the PPP program ends. A good credit score qualifies you for a better interest rate. The less money spent on interest, the faster debt is paid off. You will have more money to pay for your business’s expenses. Maintain your business’s credit score with these 3 tips. credit card for tips to maintain your small business' credit score

Take Inventory of Debt, Expenses, and Current Cash

Before you think about your credit score, determine what your debt and expenses are. From there, calculate your incoming cash flow if you do not have those numbers already. Keep tabs on these amounts every single month. Check your credit report for errors. Mistakes or errors could bring your credit score down. Many companies will give you a report for free. 

Cut Costs

After making a list of what your expenses are, you can see where your money is going every month. Decide if these costs are worth paying for. An easy way to go through your list is to ask yourself if each cost provides value to you or your customers. 

One way to cut costs is to reduce traditional marketing and increase your activity on social media. Customers and clients are more likely to support your small business if they recognize and feel a connection to it. They are less likely to choose you because of traditional advertising. That is why networking and interacting on your business’s social media platforms is important. 

Another way to cut costs is by narrowing your focus. Limit what you offer instead of offering everything in terms of products or services. By doing this, you will produce higher quality work. 

Last, minimize your outsourcing costs by utilizing your current employees. Give responsibility to in-house employees that possess skills and efficiencies in those areas. 

Continue Making Payments

Some essential, online, or delivery businesses continued operating during lockdowns without losing their regular income. These businesses should continue making payments on time like normal. If they cannot make a full payment, a partial payment is better than not paying at all. Interest payments make up 35% of your credit score, so it is important to pay attention to making payments on time when possible.

Many other businesses have lost money because they were shut down or lacked consumer spending because of the unknown. If your business cannot afford to make a payment on time, talk with lenders and insurance companies. Speak with these companies as soon as possible because many of them are helping by making payment plans or deferring payments. 

PL Consulting Is Here For Your Business

PL Consulting offers a diverse range of bookkeeping and other financial services. We customize our services to each of our clients and their business plans. We consider one-on-one interactions a valuable resource for both your team and ours. 

Our team can help you with budgeting, which directly impacts credit scores. If you would like to set up an appointment for our services, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc

How COVID-19 Has Changed the Future of Money

COVID-19 has spread across the world and closed down businesses everywhere. There have been changes to the world in ways that we never could have imagined. It will have a major impact on the way businesses and individuals handle money.

credit card changes the future of money due to covid-19

Consumer Spending

Spending is low in most industries because of lockdowns and limited locations being open. Some particularly low industries are travel and transportation, apparel, and services. Consumers are expecting lower household incomes for the upcoming months, so money spending is focused on necessities. The uncertainty causes irregular buying behaviors. These behaviors have businesses scaling back on production. 

Industries that have been thriving include grocery stores, house supplies, and at-home entertainment. This is caused by the increased amount of time people are spending indoors. Consumer spending drives economic growth. Although it is positive that these industries are still doing business, it is vital to the economy that other industries pick back up again. 

It is unknown if buying behaviors will go back to normal or not. Gyms may not completely recover because of the increase in at-home workout equipment and virtual fitness subscriptions. Restaurants have lost tons of money from canceled trips and lack of orders. Without a steady income, many of these businesses have had to permanently close their doors. 

Retirement Plans

The CARES Act made three changes to certain retirement accounts. These changes have increased the number of early withdrawals to people’s retirement plans.

  1. It doubled the amount a person can take out as a 401(k) loan. 
  2. It allowed people to take early hardship withdrawals of up to $100,000 from 401(k)s and IRAs in 2020 without paying a 10% penalty before the owner turns 59 1/2.
  3. It allowed retirees and those who have inherited IRAs to skip taking a required minimum distribution (RMD).

This may cause people to feel more comfortable taking out extra money when the CARES Act is not in place. There are rules and restrictions on that you can find here. 

Cash Payments

Many stores started to only take plastic cards and virtual payments like Apple and Samsung Pay. This is one way to reduce the spread of germs. There might be a shift in some of these places to only accept these payments over cash permanently. Some people have opted out on using cash on their own for the same reasons- to flatten the curve.

Other businesses have completely reduced contact with payments. Their solution to this is mobile payment applications. Venmo and Cash App are two increasingly popular examples of this. These apps are easy to download. After the pandemic, people will be more likely to use this form of payment after they feel more comfortable and trust that it works. 

Future of Money

Businesses need to adapt to the changing world. Changes in spending habits, retirement plans, and cash payments are some ways COVID-19 has affected money. We can help you navigate the future of your business’s money. Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized services to fit each one of our client’s unique needs. 

Please contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/ for questions or to book an appointment.