Small Business Archives - Netlines

Support Small Businesses this Holiday Season

Buying from small businesses is a great way to support your local community all year round – but as we approach the biggest shopping season of the year, it’s even more important to keep small businesses in mind. This year, small businesses are struggling more than ever due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, so showing support by buying gifts from your local shops, boutiques and restaurants will help them stay in business through the pandemic and continued lockdowns. 

Even if local businesses in your state are closing up shop due to the rising cases of COVID-19, you can still support those businesses and get your holiday shopping done all at the same time. Here are some ways everyone can shop small and local this holiday season, regardless of the restrictions in your state.

1. Shop online

Most businesses these days have an option to purchase their items online. Even if they don’t have a website, they might have an Instagram account to showcase their items so shoppers can see what they like and contact the store about purchasing details. With the internet, there are endless ways to support small businesses near and far – even in the midst of a pandemic. So look online to see what options are available for shopping at your favorite local boutiques, and find the perfect gift for your loved ones that will help keep those small businesses alive.

2. Purchase digital gift cards

Whether you want to treat your significant other to a wine tasting at your local winery once the pandemic subsides, or surprise your mom with a gift certificate to her local spa, purchasing gift cards online is a great way to support small businesses this holiday season, even if those businesses aren’t open right now. Visit the website of the business you want to support and look for an option to purchase a digital gift card, or contact the business for more information. 

3. Order in from local restaurants

Restaurants have been heavily affected by the pandemic, so it’s important to keep your local restaurants in mind while enjoying family time at home during the holidays. Consider ordering in some nights rather than cooking every night – maybe even dedicate one or two nights a week to ordering from your favorite local spot or visiting the restaurant to safely dine-in. Even when you do decide to cook at home, you can still support local businesses by purchasing ingredients from your local farmer’s market or family grocer. 

For small businesses that are switching to a more digital-based system, find out how NetLines can help streamline communication among your team. 

Categories: Small Business

Financial Planning Tips for Your Small Business

It’s Financial Planning Month – which means it’s the perfect time for small business owners to set their business up for financial success. Whether your business is just getting off the ground or is already well-established, it’s essential to set a financial plan every year in order to see success and growth in the long-term. If you want your business to flourish this next year, here are three important action items for you to take this Financial Planning Month.

  • Set a budget

If you don’t already have a budget set for the upcoming year, now’s the time to set one. It’s important to have a plan for how you will invest in your business and set it up for steady, long-term growth. By setting a budget, you’re avoiding reckless spending and can keep yourself and your business accountable throughout the year by cross-checking your actual spending with your budget to see where you’re tracking. It’s okay to give yourself some flexibility because there will always be unexpected events that may throw off predictions, but try to keep to your budget for the most part in order to build an upward trajectory of growth.

  • Look for money-saving opportunities

There are plenty of ways to save money in all aspects of your business – but it’s important to understand where you can save money and where you should invest it. For example, a small flower business getting off the ground would benefit from investing more ad dollars on social media platforms like Instagram, but it can probably save money by ordering delivery packaging from a budget-friendly company.

Switching to our cloud-based business phone app is another way small businesses of all kinds can save tons of money without sacrificing convenience or efficiency. In fact, businesses can improve efficiency and convenience when they switch to NetLines because employees can use their own mobile devices for business communication without revealing their personal number. It’s an easy switch, and it starts at only $9 per month, whereas a traditional business phone line can cost upwards of $30 per month. Learn more here.

  • Plan for the unknown

With an election coming up and the world still facing the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a lot of uncertainty right now that could affect your small business. Make sure you have a plan for what’s to come and consider giving your business a cushion or extra savings to dip into just in case the country faces more economic hurdles in the coming year. It’s a tough time to get a small business off the ground, but if you play it smart, your business can still be successful. Check out our tips for successfully launching a small business during the pandemic.

Categories: Small Business

Tips for Success When Starting a Business During the Pandemic

If you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re just starting to get your business off the ground during this very challenging and uncertain time, we have some advice for you.

Starting a business from ground zero is a difficult hurdle in any situation, but the current landscape is piling on additional, unprecedented challenges. Here are some of our tips for navigating through those challenges and setting your business up for success.

  • Use technology to your advantage

It’s no secret that technology is a helpful tool for reaching an audience, especially right now when there’s been a significant rise in screen time because of the pandemic. 

With people spending more time online now than ever, it’s a great opportunity to get the word out about your business through social media and other online tools such as webinars, blogs, podcasts, etc. The internet is a powerful way to spread word quickly, so use it to your advantage and do some research to understand which platforms are the best and most effective at reaching your target audience.

  • Make a flexible business plan

It’s essential to have a plan in place for your business, but during this time when the future is more uncertain than ever, leave some room for flexibility in your plan. Consider the various different scenarios that could play out depending on how soon life become closer to “normalcy” again, and the best ways to pivot for each scenario.

  • Start small

When starting your own business, it can be easy to get in over your head. But try not to bite off more than you can chew –  take things one step at a time. It’s better to do things right and at a steady pace than trying to rush the process too quickly, because you may end up failing as a result. Once you establish a business plan, lay out a timeline that coincides with your goals, and try to stick to it.

  • Learn from others

One of the best ways to learn how to help your business succeed is by learning from those who have already found success. Do some research to see what other companies have done in order to reach success, especially those that overcame the added challenges of the pandemic and recently found success.

  • Communication is key

During a time when you may not be able to interact with your employees and customers face-to-face, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a reliable communication system. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are switching to NetLines because it’s affordable, easy to use, and conveniently accessible in one app, so there’s no need to have a separate business phone. It’s the best way to keep your employees and customers talking from anywhere in the world, at any time.

To find out how to get started with NetLines, click here.

Categories: Remote Working, Small Business

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