A Message from the President: Looking Ahead at 2023
Happy New Year, or not?
With all the positive developments in the area, businesses of all sizes are still struggling in some arena. It may be lack of sales, supply chain issues, outdated technology, not enough workers, viruses, blizzards and leadership burn out.
Luckily, business people are resilient!
I have been working in and around business most of my life. In this position, I have had the privilege of working with the best in business and non-profit leadership. Now is the time to take advantage of local resources.
Here is a list of what the successful businesses recommend you do right now.
- Talk to your advisors, especially your accountant. A good business accountant can help you sort out your costs and help figure where you can save money. With this up and down economy, every dollar counts.
- Your advisors include your suppliers. They don’t want you to fail! If you fail, they lose a customer. They know what your competitors are doing and they might have business tips, special pricing or terms and sales ideas for you.
- Promotion, promotion, promotion. Use any creative means you can think of to promote your business. Use social media, drop off samples, consider coupons or specials. You must step it up during a challenging time even if it sounds exhausting. If you are engaged with a marketing firm, see if they can come up with more options or new affordable option. They are creative by nature. Use their talent.
- Look for partnerships. I see many businesses co-branding, sharing shelf space, office space or warehouse space. Share employees to keep your top people employed.
- Pay your taxes. The government late fees and fines can be brutal. A supplier might help you out, but the IRS will not.
- If you can save a few dollars by doing it yourself right now, just do it. This won’t last forever. Business will pick up so you can get back to leading instead of doing it all.
- Raise prices strategically. Businesses hate to raise prices on loyal customers. Yet, if the product isn’t making you money, raise the price, lower the cost or drop it!
- Let the world know you are open! This fall out from COVID has confused the market place. Customers stop trying to reach you when they get confused. Use lights, flags, sandwich boards, media posts. Enter your business from the front door, not the back! See what the public sees.
- Educate your self and your employees on your neighbors or related businesses so you can make great referrals. I overheard a customer ask an employee where they could meet a friend for lunch. The employee replied…”I don’t know, I am not from here”. Ouch! Let’s help each other.
- Reinvent, tweak, stop, start. A famous entrepreneur quote…Don’t work in the business, work on the business!
The Muskegon Lakeshore has access to resources for every stage of business. This includes free consulting, online Q and A, workforce training opportunities, commercial property listings and more. Between muskegon.org and developmuskegon.org you have access 24/7 to business resources at the local, regional and state level.
Let’s take on 2023 and make it the best year ever!
President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce