2014 is drawing to a close and even though they’re working their way through the Holiday frenzy, businesses should step back and look at what worked, what backfired, and what it will take to improve in the New Year. After all, a fourth quarter review is key, to ensuring that the door will remain open year after year.
Economists tell us we’re rebounding, but for small business owners that may seem a little vague. There are many components tied up in that statement, e.g., is the boost in the marketplace a result of a recovering housing market? Or is it because of better accessibility to small business loans? In any case, according to the Small Business Administration, for the past 15 quarters, small businesses have led the charge in regard to employment growth, nearly 80% in job gains. Those are impressive statistics, indeed.
On a local level small businesses may take an optimistic breath, but at the same time they should define goals that are measurable, attainable and relevant. That may include making tough decisions like reducing staff size, cutting expenses and changing suppliers and agents. It may also be as simple as re-vamping an existing marketing plan to dovetail with prevailing advertising trends. The upside can be a company that offers its clients or customers, a product that is germane. And what better way to gain a clearer picture of overall company performance and health, than a satisfied customer?
Many of Mukilteo’s small businesses have found a way to redefine themselves, focusing on ways that they can continue to provide value of services:
The Scotsman Bistro is a good case in point. Formerly Wine 101, this establishment has unabashedly taken on the flare of its owners George Black and Marvella McCammond-Black. With George’s management experience in both Europe and the United States, and Marvella’s extensive background in the hospitality industry, it is no wonder that The Scotsman Bistro holds a two-year-in-a-row rating of Top 5 Best Wine Bars in Western Washington. Mukilteo’s hidden gem offers an intimate but lively atmosphere for guests who come to partake of hearty meals and flights of beer or wine, and stay for the live music and “everybody knows your name” atmosphere. The Scotsman Bistro has three clubs (wine, beer, and scotch) and if you are 21 or older and would like to periodically join in a tasting, membership is free and interested persons may sign up: www.mukilteorestaurant.com.
Strong successful businesses know that they need to be responsive to their customers, provide quality services and products, and when necessary, evolve and reinvent. In what many would call a fickle environment, it is a fact that businesses, (small businesses in particular) must continually find ways to creatively and productively meet the needs and wishes of those passing through their doors.
As we move into the New Year, the Mukilteo Chamber remains committed and responsive to its business members, and the area at large. We are looking forward to an ongoing and successful partnership with our business community.
Written by Kim Voetberg. Originally published in the Mukilteo Beacon.