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Pandemic-related headwinds impacting small business profits

The last two months of the year can be important to the bottom line of many small businesses. However, after a nearly two-year long pandemic, they are facing a lot of challenges.
After examining how a business operates, experts say it’s important to make sure employees are doing what they were hired for – and not handling distracting, unrelated tasks.
Experts add that it is also critical for small businesses to have a presence across multiple social media platforms.
Posted at 1:10 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 13:10:20-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid the holiday shopping, comes an end-of-the-year reality for many small businesses.

“November and December are basically our make-or-break months,” said Jen Foley, who manages the Apothecary Gift Shop in Holland, Michigan.

However, after a nearly two-year long pandemic, “making it” can be a tall order for many businesses.

“I think the pandemic didn't really do anything to change the environment that was already coming. It was really just an accelerant for things that were already here,” said Robert Nickell, CEO of Rocket Station, which helps small-to-midsize businesses figure out how to operate more efficiently.

He said there are a handful of steps that business owners can take now to help them become more profitable in 2022.

“The first step for that is just to document every step of every task that's happening in the day to day,” Nickell said. “And are those processes efficient? Have we taken the time to review how we actually get things done?”

After examining how the business operates, Nickell said it’s important to make sure employees are doing what they were hired for – and not handling distracting, unrelated tasks. To make that happen, he said it’s important to set specific goals.

“We have a client who was spending so much time prospecting, chasing leads, trying to set appointments that she really didn't spend very much of her time actually on sales calls,” he said.

It’s also critical for small businesses to have a presence across multiple social media platforms.

“We live in a social media world today, and whether you like that or not, it kind of is the truth,” Nickell said. “So, from Instagram to Facebook and Google to LinkedIn and everything in between, it's important that you have a verified social media page with great credibility.”

Finally, Nickell said it’s important to build trust with customers, who have the ultimate say on your bottom line.

“It's not just promotion, but trust,” he said. “It can also be things as simple as great Google reviews. You really want to build that authority, that trust, and then be able to promote that trust out into the marketplace.”

It’s a marketplace where now, more than ever, every dollar counts.