Preparing for the Fourth Quarter

By Stefano Tromba
September 21, 2020

There are roughly 90 days to prep your business for a strong 4th quarter finish. Due to the coronavirus, the last 2 quarters of 2020 have been like no other.  For small businesses that have managed to survive the pandemic, these final months of 2020 will be critical.

Even with lower rates of COVID-19 infections, it’s still a challenge. The pandemic has changed many of usually spending habits and protests throughout the country have made not helped make things easier.  But with any luck, history has proven that at this time of year. Approximately 40% of shoppers have begun to search the web with the intent to buy.

But what if you don’t have an online store and rely on foot traffic? Well, in that case, it’s time to get creative. So, here are three quick and simple strategies to help your small business make the cash register ring before the end of the year.

Reward Loyal Customers

Whether you have an online store or not, determine the top 20% of your social media followers and/or email subscribers that drive the most traffic to your business. Research their demographics, locations, and interests and create a specific marketing campaign around that. This can be a special sale, or other promo offer exclusive to that audience that could boost sales in the 4th quarter.

Automate as Much as Possible

Keeping on top of your customer’s buying habits and interactions isn’t easy. That’s why automating responses based on actions, such as making a purchase, calling customer service, or engaging with a social media post is so important. Automating email responses keeps your company top of mind and engages customers. The more quality responses they receive from you, the more likely they are to keep coming back.

Cut Costs

The key to any successful quarter (for any small business) is not only raking up new sales – that’s a no brainer! But it’s also knowing where you can cut costs or identifying areas where you’re spending needlessly. Inventory where you spend most of your time and seek out ways to cut that time down.

Payroll is an excellent example. Most companies pay employees twice per month and get charged a fee on each pay cycle. Fingercheck, for example, charges one, single fee regardless of pay cycles so you’re saving money instantly. Also, switching payroll providers (as scary as that sounds) is easiest at the end of the year.

How so? Changing payroll providers in the New Year lets you operate on a clean slate. There are no carryovers from the previous year to file or rectify so your switching at the end of the year is as smooth as a baby’s…. well, you get the idea! And if you have hourly employees, using a time clock software that allows you the flexibility to track hours, automate rules for breaks and shift changes is also a great way to save time and money.

So, consider these ideas to make a strong, final push of the business calendar year!

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