Tis' The Season For Small Business Optimism
According to the latest release of the National Federation of Independent Business’s small business optimism index, November saw small business owner’s reported optimism increase by less than a full point. In a holding pattern for the past few months, small business hiring also increased, if only marginally. Economic fears caused by issues including the Government Shutdown and the costs associated with Obamacare compliance have spooked small business owners, who continue to play their cards close for fear of more economic issues down the road. While there is still plenty to look out for as the year comes to a close, small business owners should also strive to take stock of their triumphs and take the time to go over what went well, bringing their own optimism levels up.
December could see optimism increase, if the Holiday shopping season goes well. In December, the most prime shopping days of the entire year take place. If small businesses are able to profit from the season and hit their goals for revenue creation, it could have a positive effect on small business optimism. This would be great as the ensuing Winter sees a lot of seasonal businesses enter into their leaner months, which is a time for strategic planning and reevaluation in order to make the most of the following year. The brighter the outlook going into the Winter, the better, although the aforementioned economic fears looming over the small business sector may see a more gloomy mood take hold.
Take the time to set some goals. Setting a few goals for your business can help preserve a sense of optimism for your team, and give you something to focus on after the holiday rush dies down. For business whose key operations pick up during the Winter, now is a good time to double check that your processes are working effectively and that your inventory is stocked enough to meet expected demand.
Look over your financials and identify sales trends. Use the data that your business has gathered over the past few months and use it to determine what went well and what went poorly. Constant revision of key processes is a must if your business is to continue evolving in efficiency.
Photo Credit to Cliff on Flickr