A quick Google search of your business can reveal interesting results. One of the first things that may pop up is your online business listings. They include details about your services, location, hours of operations and contact information. These listings help customers find you, and they can secure your business identity in several important ways.
Help Customers Find You
Your small business grows as customers purchase the goods and services you offer. By participating in online listings, you assist customers in learning more about your business. When you don't claim your online listings, you could lose potential customers to your competitors, so claim all your listings, post pictures of your products and staff, update your office hours and make it easier for customers to find and get to know you.
Protect Your Brand
You've spent time developing your brand, and now you need to protect it. Claim your online listings before a competitor does. Remember that shady operators can also claim your listings before you do and then hold them ransom. It pays to claim all your online listings now and then monitor them regularly.
Secure Your Reputation
Almost every business has disgruntled customers or former employees. Because anyone can edit online listings, these disgruntled people may change information on your listing. Secure your reputation when you:
Include Helpful Reviews
Many customers want to know that you're a reputable business that meets or exceeds customer expectations. Reviews are one way they can find out if you're a good fit for them or not. Be sure to ask your loyal customers to post positive reviews on your online listings.
Maximize Customer Service
Sometimes, your customers are not satisfied and turn to the internet to leave feedback. When you stay updated on your online business listings, you can reach out to any unsatisfied customers and address their complaints. Your diligence could turn a skeptic into a loyal customer for life.
What to do Next
Now that you know how your online business listings help you, learn how to keep them working in your favor.
Online business listings can play a role in your small business's success. Claim your listings today and update them regularly. With these tips, you secure your business reputation and identity.
Every small business needs capital to succeed. You might be making cash flow mistakes, though, that threaten your business's success. As many as eight out of 10 small businesses and start-ups fail because of poor cash-flow management reports U.S. Bank. Take time today to analyze your small business and correct any cash flow mistakes.
Your small business's success depends in part on your cash flow. Stop making these mistakes today as you pave for the way for a positive future. For assistance, contact your business mentor or local SCORE chapter.
Seventy-five percent of the nation's alcoholics are employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration. If your small business employees someone who abuses alcohol or drugs, your business's safety, productivity and your bottom line are at risk. For maximum protection, implement a zero-tolerance policy against drugs and alcohol and understand your responsibility for substance abuse.
Know the Law
According to federal law, only certain companies have to implement a zero-tolerance policy and test employees for substances. Those companies:
Your small business may not meet these requirements, but you are still required to maintain a safe culture and environment in your business. If one of your employees is injured on the job, your business is responsible for the Workers' Compensation claims. Likewise, if one of your employees injures someone else while he or she is working under the influence, your business will assume the liability.
Most substance abusers do not announce their problems. They also may gravitate toward small businesses that don't have strict drug and alcohol policies or regular testing in place. Protect your business when you require all new employees to take a drug and alcohol test and agree to your written substance abuse policy.
Write a Substance Abuse Policy
Protect your employees and small business with a written substance abuse policy. It will:
Find more information about how to develop a legal and non-discriminatory alcohol and drug abuse policy from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Provide Treatment Options
Your small business is not required by law to provide treatment options for employees who suffer from substance abuse. Consider offering treatment options, though.
Join a consortium of other small business owners. Together, you can provide an employee assistance program (EAP) that offers short-term counseling and treatment referrals and assists you in retaining your quality employees.
You should also familiarize yourself with the substance abuse treatment options provided by your insurance company. Share the available resources with employees who are covered by the policy and have a substance abuse problem.
Alcohol and drug abuse can impact your small business in a very negative way. Create a plan to address your responsibility and reduce your risk.
Does your business have a busy season? It might if your industry is retail, landscaping or catering, and that means you may need temporary workers. Here are several tips on how to add those workers quickly to your staff during your busy seasons.
Prepare and Plan
Unless this is your first year in business, you know when your busy seasons fall during the year. Take time during the slow times to prepare for the busy hiring season.
Hire a Temp Agency
Screening employees requires a big chunk of your time and valuable resources. Consider hiring a temp agency.
The temp agency is experienced in finding, screening and hiring employees. In fact, they probably already have a list of potential employees for your business. With their help, you can focus on doing your job instead of on finding and hiring temp workers.
Start a Referral Program
You already have a team of great employees. Why not reward them for referring the people they know, like and trust. Chances are high that your team will only refer quality candidates since their reputations are on the line.
When starting your referral program, determine the reward. It can be cash, a day off when business slows down or other high value prize. Then determine how many referral prizes each employee can earn. Finally, follow through and award the referral prizes as you promised.
Recruit on Local Colleges
Local college campuses are filled with students who need extra cash. They also typically have flexible schedules, so recruit your next temp workers there.
Contact the administration office or student employment office and share your job openings. You can also participate in job fairs or get permission to post job ads on school bulletin boards.
Offer Retention Bonuses
You invest quite a bit of time and resources in finding and trailing temporary workers. A retention bonus encourages them to remain on your staff after the busy season.
The bonus can be as large or small as you can afford. Also, consider giving a bonus to any temp employees who are available as needed throughout the year to fill random large orders or cover staffing gaps as needed.
These tips can help you quickly fill seasonal employment voids. Use them to ensure that your business can fill orders and meet customer demands as you keep your business moving forward.