5 Things Retailers and Small Businesses Should Do This New Year (2016)

5 Things Retailers and Small Businesses Should Do This New Year (2016)

New Year celebrations are incomplete without a long, inspiring list of resolutions. As an individual, you might have already written them down on a piece of paper and posted it on your fridge. But as the owner of a small business, it is equally important to jot down a multitude of tasks you wish to accomplish in the next 12 months.


Because all successful businesses—small or big—thrive on improvement and what’s better than the New Year to take a fresh spin on the way forward of your small business?

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Adding to this thought, here are 5 inspiring resolutions that can help your small business achieve absolute success in 2016:

1. Invest In Your Employees

Each year, your company hires a multitude of people from different fields and demographic backgrounds—who work on a range of projects in the firm. In short, employees form the backbone of your small business.

Therefore, it is necessary to speak to them periodically to get to know their thoughts and opinions. Issue a survey to all the employees asking them about how you can help them be more efficient and how the business can up its game. Adjust your efforts to not only mentor them but also provide them job satisfaction.

In addition to this, send them to conferences and seminars to help them grow professionally. Leverage their hidden talents and enable them to take more responsibilities that will not only benefit the business but also them.

2. Strengthen Your Formal Partnerships

As a small business owner, you must think from a 360 degree point of view. While investing in employees is important, you must also be open and communicative with the organizations you partner with, such as your vendors.

When was the last time you had a face-to-face meeting or a telephonic conversation with one of your important alliances? If you are taking more than a second to think of a name, then you should certainly focus on maintaining these integral relationships.

After all, it’s nice to put a face to the people who are making things happen for your organization.

3. Focus More On Customer Experience Than Sales

Customers and sales are two sides of the same coin in a business. While sales are important for a business to produce profits and thrive, expanding the customer base is immensely critical as well.

Today, companies are taking the route of customer experience to distinguish their brands due to increased competition. The thing is when a customer makes a purchase with your business, (s)he wants to feel in a certain way.

This is the reason why your small business must come up with different ways to enhance the customer experience. This can be through gift vouchers, after-sales service or free installation assistance among others.

4. Give Back to Your Community

As the owner of a small business, you must follow the simple rule of not only “selling” but also “giving back” sometimes. If your customer base and community don’t know what your business’ mission is, they are less likely to shop from you.

Therefore, make a generous donation, sponsor a small event, hold a contest to engage the customers or collaborate with and cross-promote small businesses—there are many powerful ways through which you can give back to your community effectively.

By doing this, you will connect with the community on a far more personal level that will certainly benefit your business in the long run.

5. Secure Your Payment Transactions From Fraud

As the owner of a small business, have you asked yourself this question: “Are my customers comfortable making payments to my company? Am I offering them the right payment method?” It is good that you are raising questions on the payment mode; given that not everyone carries cash all the time.

Hence, offering a secure payment method makes the customers more confident about making payments with cards and also gives them the assurance of the fact that their money is not being associated with wrong things.

Onesto Payments, for instance, solve payments and POS challenges for small businesses. With absolutely no risk of being cheated on by technology providers, Onesto not only equips the businesses with the best but also shares knowledgeable information to keep them updated.

Lastly, learn to take time off this year. It is true that as the owner, you don’t get time to relax. But by taking time to rejuvenate, you are only going to focus better and work harder—which will ultimately help you run a more successful small business. Let the New Year inspire you to not only revolutionize your business but your own work ethics.

5 Ways To Give Back To Your Customers This Holiday Season

5 Ways To Give Back To Your Customers This Holiday Season

Your customers play a big role in the success of your small business. From expanding your brand’s visibility to magnifying your company’s revenues – customers have a hand in everything. As the owner of a small business, you must follow the simple rule of not only “selling” but also “giving back” sometimes.

5 Ways To Give Back To Your Customers This Holiday Season

This practice does most certainly establish a vested interest between your brand and the customers – as this will give you the opportunity to truly appreciate them. And what’s better than the holiday season to “give back” and show some gratitude? Here are a few ways to get started right now:

1. Make a donation

Donating a percentage of your business’ profits is an effective way to “give back” to the customer base. How? Well, you can choose a charitable organization or NGO that holds significance to you or to your family. It can even be an association that your business as a whole believes in.

92% of people want to buy products from businesses that support a cause.

(Cone Study)

To start spreading awareness about the same, you can drop an email to the customers—sharing what you’re doing this holiday. Give them proper context and reasons for taking this noble step. Try to strike an emotional chord with them. They will definitely appreciate this charitable activity of the business and even talk about it in their circles.

2. Sponsor an event

Sponsor a local marathon of the city/town, a school sports event or simply a small promotional event where people get the chance to interact with you. This is a great way to increase brand visibility. Identify what kinds of events or interactions your audience likes and go for it!

The truth is that this arrangement works for the other party too—as this will fuel their noble motives financially! If you see the bigger picture, such associations make the customers feel that your business is going beyond the mainstream business events to engage with them.

3. Throw a get-together

Because, why not? When most festivals are celebrated within all organizations, your small business should think out of the box too. Throw a get-together for your employees and customers! This activity is exciting and will create a buzz within the customer base as they get to see who is working on what behind-the-scenes.

Send invites via e-mails or social media. Plan and execute a campaign on digital platforms  to create hype and engage customers from the beginning. For the party, you can order some snacks, serve mocktails and give out goodie bags to all the attendees. Everyone likes to socialize and receive return gifts—no matter how big or small the gifts are.

4. Hold a contest for the customers

Ask your employees to host contests on both offline and online platforms for the customers. Keep a prize for not only the winner(s) but also give out small vouchers to those who participate in them. This encourages massive participation and engagement.

In addition to this, you will gain lots of traction (and support) from your customers. The thing is—it is the holiday season and everyone is in a celebratory, festive spirit. Such activities will only spread more cheer amongst them and give your small business ‘positive results’.

5. Collaborate and cross-promote local businesses

Why not collaborate with another small business for a campaign or an event? This way their customer base will also gain visibility of your brand and vice versa. Go for a local business that compliments what you offer and does not sell products/services that are similar to yours.

Nothing works better than cross-networking. Your brand will get more exposure in lieu of some exposure that you get for the other business.  In addition to this, your business can then open up in different markets and understand diversified needs that you can make a part of your offerings.

6. Ensure a secure mode of payment to customers

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to make sure customers are comfortable making payments to you. After all, not everyone is carrying cash at all times. Offering a secure payment method removes the hesitancy of making payments with cards and gives them an assurance that their money is not going to be associated with wrong things.

Now given the fact that most small businesses aren’t aware of such payment solutions, we at Onesto solve payments and POS challenges for them. With absolutely no risk of being cheated on by technology providers, we not only equip you with the best but also share knowledgable information to keep you updated.

Successful businesses are rewarded for making the effort to “give back” to the community. Charitable acts, social activities and casual events or simply making their customers feel comfortable with the entire purchase cycle—making your intention to sell “subtle” during the holiday season is the key to giving a boost to your business!

Small Business Marketing Tips To Help You Stand Out

Small Business Marketing Tips To Help You Stand Out

Are you in the process of starting your own business? Or, do you run a small-scale business? If your answer to either of the two questions is a ‘yes’, it’s important that you read this. The journey to making a business successful is certainly tough. There is a palpable need to get noticed and be taken seriously within the community and by target consumers and of course, get lots of opportunities to develop and thrive.

Fortunately today, this issue can be resolved not only through offline mediums but also online platforms. As a businessperson, you have to be skilled at providing answers to several questions like these in a jiffy – “Who are you? What services does your business offer? What does your company represent?”

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And, this is why it is necessary to take note of the marketing aspect of your business from the beginning. To help you get started, here’s an indispensable list of small business marketing tips that will help your business stand out everywhere:


1. Pick An Appropriate Social Media Platform

Firstly, your business doesn’t have to be exist on those social media platforms that are not only irrelevant but also hard to keep up with. Don’t confuse yourself, your clients and consumers with an armful of social media accounts that you are not able to manage properly.

Depending on your business’ industry and target market, select specific mediums. Usually, Facebook & Twitter are most preferred platforms on social media by any business to gain maximum traction. Therefore, always make sure that these two accounts are maintained with utmost professionalism.

2. Give Your Blog/Website A Makeover

Having a powerful online presence of the business has its own set of advantages. In fact, it is a necessity for any small-scale business. You have the liberty to not only promote your services but also showcase business achievements and display contact details in whichever you want. Having a blog or website increases the value of your business in front of potential clients manifold. Therefore, make sure you work relentlessly on the website/blog regularly.

3. Connect, Communicate & Flourish

Your website/blog is live. The wheels of your social media strategy have been set in motion. What’s the next eventual step? Networking. As a businessperson, you must join online professional communities (on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter) to not only acquaint yourself with the latest trends in your industry but also connect with fellow competitors, potential clients and business associates. This is important to let other businesses and industry-people take notice of your small business and its services.

4. Respond To Online Feedback & Queries

The essence of online marketing is lost if it is only one-way. This means that publishing a website or a blog and starting social media accounts isn’t enough. It’s important to respond to customer or industry queries, complaints and feedback in order to transform into a powerful brand. This is impossible if you choose to keep mum online!

Whether it is a small tweet or Facebook post regarding a new service or a comment published on a community forum, learn to give polite and prompt responses. Even a tiny online footprint would help your brand expand exponentially.


1. Word Of Mouth Works

This is, at times, the greatest lead generator for a small business. Therefore, offering quality products and excellent services that people can’t stop talking about is critical. Even if you are the most outgoing and smart small business owner, your brand is not going to retain consumers or grab eyeballs of potential clients unless it not only delivers but also exceeds expectations. The key to trigger positive words of mouth is to keep refining the brand. This process may cost lots of money and time but it will definitely fetch results in the long run.

2. Provide Promo Offers To First-Time Consumers

Offering promo offers to first-time app or website users is the latest marketing gig. Needless to say, it has proved to be quite useful in engaging customers and get them start talking about the services your company provides. Most Food & Beverage startups and cab service providers have done well for themselves using promo offers.

3. Organize/ Host Small-Scale Events

Open a kiosk at a mall on a weekend or participate in a trading event—there are so many ways to help your business be visible. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend lots of money to do this. In fact, many successful small businesses thrive on offline community building through partaking in local events, charities and fundraisers and organizing 2-day workshops, collaborative fests and tea parties to name a few. This will allow your customers to know about you and your brand on a physical level.

Brainstorm, plan and execute – if you want to stay in the business and grow. Creating the perfect brand (both online and offline) is not achievable without putting continuous efforts. There is no need to rush. Start with baby steps and you will eventually get there.