It’s been a tough year for everyone, but Florida’s small business community has been hit especially hard. With COVID-19, our state has seen a massive drop in tourism and economic activity, and small businesses are suffering more than most.
If you run a small business in Florida, then you may be just getting by during these lean months. You might be in survival mode and looking for anything you can do to earn a few extra dollars and stay in business until tourism and the local economy recovers.
You’re definitely not alone, even if you feel like it right now. Many, many small business owners are trying everything they can to bring in more business. There are lots of tools and resources you can take advantage of to help you survive and even thrive during this tough time. Here are some to get you started!
Resources for Making the Most of Tourism
Florida’s economy runs on the engine of tourism. During most years, about 70 million people visit theme parks in the Orlando area alone. Add on the beaches, wildlife, and cultural draws of other areas of the state and you get a robust tourism economy that continues to bring in over 124 million people a year.
This year, of course, tourism is down significantly due to the pandemic. Many areas are seeing just a fraction of their normal tourism levels, and small businesses aren’t getting much revenue from out-of-state visitors. Still, there is still some money to be made from tourism, even in 2020.
To make the most of what little tourism there is, businesses need to get creative with marketing to tourists and leveraging their online presence to create new processes for operations. For example, a tour company might offer “contactless” bookings and other services to minimize risks and give visitors peace of mind.
Florida offers entrepreneurs growth mentorship and tax credit help to boost the success of small businesses, which could help businesses make the most of tourism this year.
Data Analytics Tools & Resources for Small Businesses
Small businesses can’t afford to waste money, especially at a time like this. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to monitor your online success with data analytics solutions. There are lots of inexpensive and powerful tools and analytics resources you can use to monitor your progress and learn more about your customers.
Data analytics for small businesses is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge. Any data you can collect right now will be extremely valuable. Your customers may have different habits at the moment than they did before, and any new information you can collect will provide insights that will guide your business strategy in the coming months.
Diversity Resources for Florida Small Business Owners
Florida is wonderfully diverse, with motivated and dedicated entrepreneurs from a huge range of backgrounds. Latino-owned businesses, in particular, continue to flourish and enrich local communities all over the state.
If you are not part of a minority community, you still need to think about how to encourage diversity within your business. It’s good to have a mix of perspectives among your employees and to recognize the diversity around you in your hiring practices.
Lack of diversity and racism has come under the spotlight once again recently, prompting many small business owners to think about how their businesses fit into these conversations. The good news is that if you’re unsure of how best to encourage diversity within your business and create a welcoming environment for customers and employees, there are resources to help.
Employee Development Resources
Even as a small business, you rely on your employees. Whether you employ two people or twenty, those employees will help to determine the success or failure of your business. It’s in your best interests to help them to succeed and to grow. Employee development is part of the growth process for small businesses, and it’s something you should think about from the very beginning.
To develop your employees, you need to work with them individually. Provide constructive feedback and educational opportunities, encourage curiosity, and work together to develop a growth plan. Not only will this improve the skills of your workforce, but it will also help to develop loyalty within your workforce.
Small businesses in Florida are resilient, but you don’t have to figure out everything on your own. Take advantage of the free resources available online and think beyond survival to growth. Communities rely on small businesses, just like businesses rely on their communities.
Interesting remlated article: “Don’t mistinterpret your marketing data.”