How Small Businesses Can Take Advantage of Boxing Day Sales

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Sales and discounts are everywhere this time of the year as businesses gear up for the shopping spree. For many small businesses, this could be their chance at getting more customers, boosting sales, and reigniting old customers. Customers who missed out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday would certainly be scrambling for Boxing Day sales, so take the time prepping up for the holiday frenzy.

Gear up for the Occasion

As a small business owner, this could be your chance to reengage customers who haven’t bought from you in a long time. What better chance than to entice them back with a nice juicy Boxing Day Sale?

Try to be competitive with your pricing. Finding the sweet spot is a fine balancing act which requires some knowledge in marketing and managing your cash flow. However, since every store in the city will be dropping prices as much as 25 to 50 percent, you might want to consider a sale if nothing more than to stay competitive with your competition. Think of price cuts (also known as “loss leader”) as part of your marketing expenses.

Freeing up your store from old inventory and putting them on sale is also a good way to beat the competition. Make sure they’re still in good condition, though, to avoid hurting your reputation.

Maximize Customer Engagement: Online and Offline Sales

Small businesses don’t usually end up having “blockbuster deals” like you see in big chain stores because they can’t beat them on price so don’t even try to compete with them. Instead, the more successful small businesses have their own signature product, speciality goods, or service not found at any other place.

You might have the perfect several items sitting on your store for some time. A Boxing Day sale is the perfect time to mark them down to attract sales volume.

Having an e-commerce site or a Facebook Page for your business can also help maximize customer engagement if done correctly. Alternatively, you can set an email autoresponder to notify your customers a day ahead when they subscribe to your newsletter. Small Business Dream suite of tools can vastly improve shopping experience by engaging with customers on multiple channels such as phone, SMS, social media, email, landing page, sales funnel, and so on, whichever method they prefer.

Follow up on Your New Customers on Boxing Day

Aside from being a great way to maintain customer loyalty, one of the great things about the holiday season is the amount of information you’ll get from new customers. You’ll need a tool such as CRM to collect customer information (online or in-store visits and purchases), manage your customer database, and maintain customers’ interest through customer communication (email autoresponders and newsletters subscriptions) long after the shopping frenzy is over.

Shoppers are in the holiday spirit so they are more likely to sign up for newsletters to be notified for the latest deals to make sure they never miss out on anything. They want to know which products will be on sale and when. CRM makes this all possible for you, at little or no expense to your business.

You should also collect new customer information even before Boxing Day starts by using CRM to conduct customer surveys or newsletter subscriptions via social media. Small Business Dream puts all the information from your Survey Page or Sales Funnel straight to your customer database, segment your customers right off the bat and send them on to your email autoresponders.

You can do it the old way and let Small Business Dream take it from there. Have your in-store customers fill up a short survey or ask for their business card and quickly add them to your database using Small Business Dream’s Card Scan feature, or you can do it yourself on your spare time.


Take this opportunity to grow your business and get noticed this holiday season. Use technology and your creative flair to your advantage, but most importantly to bring joy and satisfaction to your valued customers. So go ahead and make this Boxing Day an unforgettable shopping experience!

Learn more on how you can successfully build your small business through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.

What Small Business Can Do In a Depressed Market

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The Economy is extremely volatile at the moment and if it becomes a bear market, it can have severe consequences for a lot of small businesses. For some, it meant cutting back on expenses, downsizing, or even bankruptcy. However, during these times businesses can give real value to their customers and stand out from their competition. Your ability to adapt, shift priorities, and look for opportunities during a downturn can help you stay afloat and gain a decisive edge above the competition.

We’ll be focusing on three main areas considered to be the most vital during this phase.


Customers tend to be more price-sensitive during tough times. Buying habits change, as well as their priorities. But despite all that, you need to keep a steady flow of income for your company. Getting enough customers to keep the ball rolling should be high on the list of your priorities. There are at least 3 ways you can achieve this:

  • Cross-sell/up-sell
  • Be more competitive
  • Focus on Customer Service

Although it seems counterintuitive, cross-selling or up-selling when most people are trying to stay on budget actually works. In retail business, this could mean offering bundled items, a discount, or selling them in bulk. Services like salons may offer one or more complementary services at a slightly lower price than if customers were to avail of them on separate occasions. Customers will take every opportunity to get the most out of their dollar whether it’s through discounts or storing up for the rainy days.

Staying in touch with your customers is a lot easier these days because of sales and marketing automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Small Business Dream helps business owners acquire new customers and maintain customer loyalty through email autoresponders, survey forms, inside sales tools for salespeople (Action List, phone script, notes, etc.), landing page templates, and sales funnel.

Cash Flow

Maintaining a positive cash flow can be tough for businesses during recessions. People tend to be more conservative with their finances, and businesses might have a hard time finding more capital to run their businesses. This often results in drastic measures like downsizing and outsourcing certain tasks, while others may try reducing their workload through automation. Check your cash flow and see if your business spending gives the best possible output.

Identify important areas in your business. If you are to strip down your business to its core, which ones would likely stay and keep you in business all throughout? Is there any task that hasn’t been automated, and is taking up too much time to accomplish? How effective is your marketing, and does it justify the cost? In many cases, business owners find themselves spending too much on things that don’t have significant impact on their bottom line. You could be hiring more people when you could have just spent a fraction of the cost using sales and marketing automation. We want our business to be as lean as possible and still be able to maximize our gains.

Reallocate your resources as needed. Technology has come a long way towards improving our efficiency from customer acquisition to maintaining good customer relationship. In fact, some businesses are already moving towards inside sales using CRM because it allows them to save up on gas, meetups, business trips, and other related expenses doing outside sales. This strategy greatly reduces business costs and helps them stay cash flow-positive when most businesses are barely making it.


When the economy is bad, most people turn to cash. Savvy investors and business owners use this opportunity to acquire more assets and properties as many of these will go on sale during recession. This is where businesses with enough cash stored away can benefit the most. If you are able to stay cash flow-positive, this can be your chance to grow your business significantly.

Foreclosures and auctions are pretty common during economic downturns. Take some time looking for opportunities to buy assets properties on the cheap which include real estate, office equipment, vehicles, goods, and raw materials. Some of these normally cost a fortune, but you might be able to acquire them for your business at significantly reduced prices. Market downturns allow you to grow your own business by picking up the pieces from what is left of other people’s businesses.

Final thoughts

You can succeed with any small business regardless of the present economic conditions so long as you have the mindset, skills, and the right tools to get the job done. You can always achieve more by working smarter, not harder. Use technology to speed up and automate your tasks, and be prepared to step up your business when opportunities present themselves.

Learn more on how you can successfully build your small business through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.

Creating Systems for Your Business – Grow Your Business by Working ON It

“Work on your business, not just in your business.” We’re all familiar with the phrase. But what does it really mean?

Getting your business off the ground is no easy task. As a business owner, you need to be able to transform your business from a fledgling startup to a more stable, self-sustaining source of income.

What it means to work ON your business

If you’re in the habit of checking on your employees and micromanaging every single task, you’re working IN your business. However, if you devote most of your time planning and implementing changes to maximize your profitability, then you’re working ON your business.

Small businesses usually start off by working in their business during the first two years, but ultimately, they should be able to work on their businesses on a strategic level. We can tell if a business has already matured if the CEO spends most of the time growing the company instead of getting invovled in the day to day operations.

To put another way, if you can take a month off on a holiday without fear of losing your business, then you’ve already succeeded working on it. As simple as it sounds, the process of getting there doesn’t come easy. Most business owners start out working in the business before getting off the ground.

The Two Levels of Leadership

There are generally two levels every CEO must lead and manage his or her employees. The first is necessary but the CEO should strive to spend most of his or her time on the strategic level.

  • Operational Level – deals with routine tasks such as maintenance and upkeep, customer engagement, production, distribution, and sale of goods and services.
  • Strategic Level – deals with the higher level of managing your business with some long-term planning. Strategic level planning usually includes such activities as marketing strategies, customer acquisition, customer retention, brand awareness, promotion, ads,  allocating resources, and acquiring new assets, all of which are geared towards expansion or getting ahead of the competition.

Steps on how to start working on your business

Some of the best practices to ensure your business is successful include hiring the right people, delegating tasks, creating systems for your business, managing cash flows, and using technology and innovation to fast-track your business and keep up with a constantly changing environment.

Hiring and training the right people. Getting the right people on board can be very difficult and costly, particularly during the initial stages. You’ll probably start off with just a handful of inexperienced undergrads doing mostly clerical jobs and other minor tasks at minimum rates. Some start-ups cut the cost even further by outsourcing some of these tasks offshore, usually from developing countries. As your business gains momentum, you can start hiring and training the big guns and take bigger steps onwards.

Delegating and managing tasks using the 80/20 rule. Business owners are often amazed at how much tasks they can get rid of using a simple technique also known as the 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle). List down all the tasks in your daily routine and cross out the ones that can be done by people other than you. In most cases, you’d be left with only 20%, or less, of all the tasks, usually the ones you alone can do. Identifying these tasks is the first step in delegating and managing most of your routine activities. Hiring and training the right people will take up all of the tasks you’ve left out.

Creating systems for your business. Standardizing your business process in such a way that anyone can run the business in your absence is the real essence of working on your business. Your systems serve as the “blueprint” on how to properly run your business. Think of it like a franchise where licensed owners can run the business using the company’s playbook.

Attention to detail is key, from job descriptions, assigned roles, workflow, timetables, product specifications, the whole nine yards – everything must be properly documented and serve as your company’s operations manual.

Managing your cash flow. Careful use of resources is vital to business growth and survival. Most businesses, even the big ones, go out of business for putting their money in the wrong places. Cash flow management should be part of your business plan at the outset, and continuously work on it as you grow your business. As a general rule, you should aim at speeding up the inflow while slowing down on your outflow. Running out of cash can quickly put you out of business.

Using technology and innovation. Technology enabled businesses to automate most of their routine tasks, hence cutting labour costs and speeding up the process dramatically. In today’s highly competitive environment, it’s the only way you can have hope of growing your business. Much have already changed on how we do business nowadays, and we need to innovate our strategies more often.

Take your business to the next level through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.

How Cash Flow Can Make or Break Your Business

Managing cash flow is one of the critical aspects of business success and survival. As much as 82% of businesses crash and burn because of poor cash flow management. The smaller the business, the more crucial and challenging it is to maintain a steady income and pay the bills on time.

But what exactly is cash flow, and why is there so much talk about cash flow management when it comes to business? Let’s go through some basic concepts, understand how it affects our businesses, and find out solutions to improve cash flow.

Understanding Cash Flow

Cash flow is the movement of cash into or out of an account. This is known as the inflow or outflow of cash in a business organization. When more money is coming in through the sale of goods or services than the actual cost of running a business, it is said to be cash flow positive; cash flow negative if it’s the other way around.

Businesses will experience cash flow positives and negatives throughout their lifetime. Start-ups are the most difficult to manage for having low cash reserves and susceptibility to undercapitalization. However, they’ll have better opportunities to accelerate their business through loans, stocks, or bonds after demonstrating their ability to handle cash flow properly (known as cash flow statement).

Operational cash flow is the movement of cash during its regular business activities, e.g. receiving payments from customers, settling monthly dues, and paying out employees. Investment cash flow applies when a business acquires properties to further its goals. For instance, acquiring a vehicle through a financial institution can help boost inflow by speeding up delivery and reducing logistical cost.

Difference between Profit and Cash Flow

Some financial experts use the metaphor of looking at a still photo and watching videos clip to differentiate profit and cash flow. Profit is usually regarded as stationary data, which is determined by comparing the opening and closing balance of a company’s primary account or by its total net worth by the end of the year.

Cash flow provides a better picture of how businesses performed over the course of time. It tells us where the money is coming from, where it’s going to, and most importantly how fast. Without cash flowing in and out of the business, the whole system will come to a grinding halt. All gains in the form of assets, products, or inventories are of little consequence at this point. Having no cash to work with, businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy.

In other words, a company can increase its net worth but may actually lose the business if it doesn’t generate inflow through sales, and utilize these resources to pay the right people working for the company and acquire the best technology to improve business.

How Cash Flow Affects Your Business

Managing cash flow can be a tough balancing act for small business owners. Increasing inflow and keeping outflow at a minimum on a shoestring budget is especially challenging for small business owners.

Consider the following aspects of cash flow management:

Cost of running a business. The initial cost of starting a business is just a tiny part compared to the actual cost of running it. People can get this information through research and interviews with successful business owners. Operational costs make up the outflow including lease, water and electricity bills, fuel and maintenance, inventories, employees’ salaries and commissions, monthly amortizations, taxes, insurance, contingencies, penalties, and surcharges (if you’re not careful), and the list goes on. Expenses are either fixed or fluctuating. Some experts suggest putting a little extra and exaggerate the cost at the planning stage. The purpose is not to deter you from starting your own business, but to prepare yourself mentally and financially for eventualities. Running out of cash and borrowing only when you needed one sets you up for business failure.

Real and potential income. How much money can you realistically make with your business? Some businesses, especially new ones, can be overly optimistic and assume they can strike it rich too quickly. We need to consider other factors as well, such as the competition, supply and demand, sustainability, market value, what the trends are and where they’re headed for, and so on. Unlike the previous one, we need to be a little conservative on this. We cannot expect our chosen industry to follow the same trend all throughout the year. Our businesses should be flexible enough to adapt to changes. If the demand for a certain product or service drops, what are your other options? Do you have a method in place that allows you to get more customers and build relationships with them? The key is to maintain a specific number of customers to keep the ball rolling in order to stay in business.

Method of payment. Your business may receive payments either on a cash basis or receivables on a weekly or monthly basis – or you may have both. Cash-based transactions allow businesses to have a steady inflow of cash, whereas receivables carry some risks due to some customers not settling their dues or paying too late, costing a lot of money to your company. You can mitigate the risk by imposing penalties for late payment or encouraging them to pay early by offering rebates and discounts for settling their dues early on. Just keep in mind that any delay with the cash will cost you money. If your business needs to pay out employees on the 25th of the month and you still have a lot of receivables unpaid, you might have to borrow on interest just to get your employee’s paid (this justifies why you need to penalize late payments).


Steps to Improve Cash Flow

With these in mind, let’s look at some of the ways to improve cash flow in your business.

  1. Forecast your cash flow. From your research and interviews with business owners create a chart of your projected inflows and outflows for the whole year. Make sure to include all the small details and make it as comprehensive as possible. Use this to benchmark your progress when conducting your business.
  2. Identify your key performance indicators (KPI). This answers the question where most of your resources should go to keep your business running. Some businesses failed just because they didn’t use their resources on things that would help improve its overall performance. For instance, not having enough inventories to cater a large number of customers or not investing in technology or equipment to speed up delivery and enhance customer experience will have consequences in your cash inflow.
  3. Manage your inventories. Too much, or too little, can make your business cash flow negative over time. You need to be able to predict customer orders to keep a steady flow of cash going into your business, but at the same time, we want to avoid excess or unwanted inventories sitting on the shelf for too long.
  4. Faster inflow, slower outflow. Perhaps the most important principle when it comes to cash flow management is speeding up the inflow of cash and slowing down the outflow. To increase inflow, obviously you need more customers. But more importantly, you need to develop good customer relationships, and have a loyal customer base to keep the money flowing in. Customer referrals from loyal customers could increase the inflow even more, which is why we put a strong emphasis on customer relationships with our Small Business Dream mini-CRM. To minimize outflow, you’ll just have to keep the money in your primary account for as long as you can. If you have to invest in technology, property, or equipment, acquire them through a financial institution instead of paying out in cash. The longer the amortization period, the smaller your monthly dues are, and the bigger your potential inflow will be.

Take your business to the next level through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.