The New Year is just hours away, and if you’re like most business owners, you’ve been doing a lot of thinking about your goals and plans for your business in 2015. How are women business owners investing in their companies for the coming year? Improving efficiency, managing cash flow and delivering a great customer experience will be the focus, according to the PNC Women Business Owners Survey.
Overall, women business owners in the survey, which asked owners of small and midsized companies about their outlook for the next six months, are cautiously optimistic. Forty-four percent expect their sales to increase, and 35 percent believe their profits will rise, while 47 percent expect both sales and profits to stay the same.
Apparently, women business owners are feeling more confident in their own businesses than they are in the U.S. economy—43 percent feel pessimistic about the national outlook.
Even though 75 percent of the respondents say they won’t be hiring full-time employees, they do plan to increase their companies’ efficiency by using technology. One-third say they’ll be doing more work with fewer employees, while 29 percent will use technology to boost their online presence and 23 percent will employ it to enhance the customer experience. The number-one action women business owners plan to take in the next six months is to improve their cash flow–68 percent will focus on this area.
How can you follow these women entrepreneurs’ lead?
- Investigate marketing automation tools you can use to simplify business marketing. For example, email autoresponders, customer relationship management systems and other technology can save you time while also boosting sales and enhancing your customer service.
- Pay close attention to cash flow. Use accounting software that enables you to create reports, view dashboards and visualize your cash flow on a daily basis. By staying on top of your cash flow, you’ll be ready to act when opportunity presents itself.
- Keep up with the times. Is your business website outdated? Does it load too slowly or not show up well on mobile devices? The New Year could be time for a new look so your online brand reflects your business reality.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.