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Five Under Five: This week’s list reminds us of what we may be overlooking.

Sometimes we forget the basics of being a small business owner. Make sure you have them covered, or your hard work and long hours may not be enough.

  • Have a website. Even if it’s just one page. List your products, services, location, hours, and phone number…..minimum. An online presence is not just suggested anymore. It’s a given if you want new customers and if you expect returning customers to not eventually go with a competitor. If consumers look up your business online before they decide to buy from you, but you don’t have a website, many will suspect you’re not trustworthy. And these days, you can create and host a website for $20 per month or less.
  • Respond to emails & phone messages. Nothing turns a prospective customer off more than being ignored. Set aside an hour each day and get back to people, even if it’s to say you can’t help them right now. One of those unreturned calls may have turned into a big sale, a long-time customer, or an income source during a slow time.
  • Know “Marketing 101”. Have a logo, a quality printed marketing piece, a professional headshot, and be able to say what your business does in one minute or less.
  • Be professional & polite. Have a voicemail box that is not full and with a pleasant message. Don’t post signs, inside or out, “yelling” at people with rules, what not to do, what you don’t accept or what they shouldn’t do. Stay off social media with personal and political commentary. Train your employees in customer service. Don’t assume they know it or don’t need ongoing reminders.
  • Be humble. No business is immune to hard economic times, unexpected scenarios or bad luck. The novelty will wear off. A dry spell will happen. Just because you’re booked for six months, doesn’t mean that will always be the case. So don’t let success go to your head. And give back when you can, whether it’s time, money, product or expertise.

If you’d like assistance in any of these areas, contact the Chamber offices at 740.282.6226.