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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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Paving the road to a more profitable 2013

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Most of us can probably agree that so far, 2012 has been a better year in most business sectors than the two years prior. In general, although we still have a long way to go before the economy reaches a full recovery, we business owners are feeling less paranoid about spending than we did only two or three years ago. I have noticed that small businesses are now more willing to invest in marketing and other areas of their business that they feel need improvement. Many, if not all, of our clients tell us that they have been significantly busier this year than they were in 2011. The 2012 economic comeback may be slow, but even these small improvements mean that we can start laying the foundation for stronger growth in 2013.

In the past three years, most small businesses have found themselves in very tight predicaments, forced to cut down on costs, labor force and revenue margins. Most B2C businesses made wide use of coupons and discounts to attract more sales and remain afloat. Many B2B firms offered more value for less - bringing significantly less revenue to their businesses while working even harder for what they did bring in.

As we become more optimistic about our nation's economic recovery, we become more inclined to concentrate on business growth and expansion, rather than simply staying afloat. Many organizations can once again focus on innovations and technologies that will lead to their next strategic long-term opportunity. Just in our small agency this year, we've invested significantly more in new equipment (some was even purchased twice due to our unfortunate break-in during the summer).We have also begun to offer new services - which, as expected, required software updates and additional staff training.

As Lucius Annaeus Seneca once said, 'Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.' Now is a great time for businesses to prepare for the next big move. During tough times, most customers are looking for the cheapest option just to get by. There has, however, been a recent trend towards higher quality services and products, rather than a focus solely on price. This means that we can tighten up our discounting policies and generate more revenue, which can be wisely re-invested in our businesses whether that means hiring more personnel, purchasing better technology or even investing in additional marketing to keep the growth cycle on the move.

Now is also an excellent time to contact the portion of your customer base that wasn't able to spend for a while. Chances are, they'll be willing to re-consider past proposals or even new products or services. The bottom line is that the economy is slowly but surely getting better, and this is a great time to pave the road for a much brighter and more profitable 2013.


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