Alternative types of resources for small businesses

There are many resources for small and medium sized businesses, many of which are free and some need to be paid for.

This article looks at a handful of resources usually taken for granted that can help increase revenue.

Your ears
Listening to customers is an important part of running any organisation, after all they are ones a company is trying get money from.

If we listen successfully, the reward is immeasurable, if done poorly, your time as a business owner would be limited.

So who are the customers and how can we get their thoughts, opinions and ideas.

Well, we are all customers regardless of if you work for a company or you are a patron of a company.

Employees are best placed to offer advice on how to improve current processes that waste time and resources because they are closer to the detail. When employees complain, its usually about something that is frustrating them. These frustrations should not be viewed with annoyance, but as something to use to improve current processes.

Customers who buy from an organisation or enquire about a product or service are best placed to offer an insight on how buying decisions are made, what the competitors are doing and how your business is perceived in the market place.

Your eyes
As a business owner, you are constantly worrying how to keep the business going, how you’ll afford the next round of wages, how you are going to pay yourself each month. Yes there are lots of worries and thinking about them all the time isn’t a good idea.

By observing what is going on in the economy, seeing what your competitors are doing, even watching how your employees interact with customers, you could pick up a few ideas that can be used to improve your offering.

Report running – less is more
Data is needed for any business to run successfully. It is used to assess past and current performance and to shape future performance.

Excel and other software such as Apple numbers, have made it easy to gather large volume of data and collate into something meaningful. For small businesses, this is an invaluable tool and very cost effective.

There are definitely other programs that can be purchased that would do the same job and go even further by allowing you to analyse the data performing 3 dimensional rather than 2 dimensional reporting, but there is a financial price to pay and its one most small businesses can’t afford.

These more sophisticated systems can also detract you from your core investigation as you end up in analysis paralysis. Something no small business wants to be stuck in otherwise there would be no growth.

So for now Excel good enough to use.

Create a healthy work environment
Having a gym at work or providing exercise classes for those who would rather work out than take fat burning pills like those supplied by phen 375, read review at but is an additional expense most can’t afford. So how can a healthy work environment ne created? How about offering flexible working hours, ability to telecommute, encourage helping others performing charitable work.

Meet ups
If you need to speak to someone or get a different perspective on an idea, there a meet ups that happen in cities all around the world where you can meet other like minded people going through the same thing you are.