Small and medium-size businesses have been remarkably resilient over the last several years. They’ve learned, they’ve endured, and many have thrived. As the year progresses, business owners are balancing caution with innovation and looking at how they can grow into the future.

This cautious optimism is the predominant sentiment that our teams hear from customers. While businesses are slightly anxious about their immediate future, they are also leveraging lessons learned to weather disruption and proactively taking steps to stay the course.

“Many customers we are working with recently have been agile and made smart decisions that have strengthened their business. We’re advising on strategies to help them be more efficient and manage costs so they can focus on boosting productivity. We are also helping them to strengthen customer connections through payments,” said Carolyn Anderson, Senior Vice President, Digital Sales, Elavon Canada.

In support of customer demand, we have honed our payment services to supercharge merchant cash flow and optimize payment acceptance for cost savings. Further, we have also introduced affordable cloud-based payments software that efficiently connects front and back-of-the house operations and provides deep data insights.

But what else can small businesses do to position themselves for the future? Here are three ideas.

1. Revamp your business’s brand, products and customer strategy.

Consumer needs and wants have changed drastically over the last several years – from the indulgent retail purchases of the early pandemic, to travel boom in 2022, to recent pullbacks in discretionary spending. Small businesses should spend time reassessing their offerings, how they present themselves to their customers – in-store and online – and make sure they still meet the expectations and budgets of their target audiences. It may be appropriate to update branding and products to be positioned for ongoing success in the rapidly changing economic environment.

2. Invest in employee engagement and retention.

Weathering the pandemic and the subsequent economic landscape has caused high rates of burnout for many small business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s important for small business owners to find their own work-life balance, but also to advocate for the well-being of their employees. From prioritizing empathetic, transparent relationships with employees to investing in training/career development, there are numerous opportunities to make employees feel welcomed and supported in the small business workplace.

3. Research new tools and technologies to enhance customer experience in your business.

Rapid advances in business technology make it possible for small businesses to do more than ever. Business owners should spend time researching software and digital tools that can alleviate administrative workloads and free up time/resources to devote to customers. Consider ways to automate inventory tracking, track expenses, analyze sales data, and more – solutions like talech Register may be the right fit for small businesses in the retail, restaurant, and service industries.

Small businesses have much to be optimistic about in 2023 – especially those who spend time and resources optimizing their operations and staff for the future.

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