15 small business tips for 2024

Editorial Team

7 min read
Kitchen retail store owner looking at laptop

Ask small business owners what their main goal is, and most will tell you that they want to grow sales. Planning ahead can help increase the likelihood of achieving that goal.

Below are 15 actionable small business tips for 2024 and beyond that can help you boost sales, cut costs, and accomplish so much more.

1. Join the paperless movement

Going paperless isn’t just about saving the environment. It’s also a savvy business decision that can help save you time and money. Buying, managing, and storing paper entails a host of hidden costs that can eat into your profits and your employees’ productivity.

2. Accept all popular payment types

Did you know that different age groups prefer to pay in different ways? Make it easy for all of your customers to purchase from you by allowing them to pay for their items or services in the way they prefer, whether that’s via credit card, debit card, mobile wallet, cash, check, or even gift card. Giving your customers more payment options helps provide a seamless shopping experience and increases the likelihood that they’ll return.

3. Update your POS system

While you may think that a point-of-sale (POS) system is just another name for a cash register, most modern POS devices can do much more than process payments. Using the latest software, a POS system can help you manage your business from end to end, all in one dashboard, whether you’re at the store or on the road. Track sales, schedule employees, monitor inventory, and process payroll. Enhance your system’s functionality by customizing it with the apps you need to manage your business, streamline your manual tasks, and grow sales.

4. Offer flextime and work-from-home options

Many managers prefer having their teams on-site during normal business hours. For some businesses, like retail stores, this type of schedule might be necessary.

If your operations will allow it, consider offering your employees flextime or work-from-home options. Studies have shown that doing so can boost employees’ morale, mental health, and productivity. In today’s tight labor market, this could be an attractive benefit to potential new hires.

5. Protect your payment environment

Accepting electronic payments comes with the added responsibility of preventing and detecting fraud within your payment environment. A data breach can not only burden your business with out-of-pocket losses, legal fees, and punitive damages, but it can also result in diminished customer confidence and lost sales. You can help minimize your fraud risk and secure your payment environment by maintaining PCI compliance, implementing fraud management tools, and keeping your devices and systems up to date.

6. Compete for business awards

Competing for local, state, or national business awards is a great way to boost your enterprise’s visibility and increase brand awareness. Yet most companies either don’t know what award programs are available to them or don’t make time to submit the applications. Learn four ways winning awards can help your small business grow and discover how to search for award programs in your industry.

7. Discover the sharing economy

What if you could have the best tools, equipment, and talent for a fraction of what you’re currently paying? These are the benefits of the sharing economy—a world in which you pay for access and not ownership.

For entrepreneurs, this means hiring freelancers, renting business-critical equipment on a short-term basis, or using coworking spaces. With this approach, you always have access to the latest and greatest without having to commit to employing, buying, or long-term leasing these resources outright.

8. Launch a loyalty program

Most business owners intuitively understand the value of loyalty programs. With the right setup, you can generate a steady stream of repeat business from satisfied customers. The main hurdle is getting started. For Clover merchants, setting up a loyalty program is simple and free with the Clover Rewards app. Be sure to read our guide on launching a loyalty program

9. Educate yourself

Countless available resources can help you learn more about building and growing a business. From watching a Netflix documentary to listening to a podcast to reading a blog post, studying the challenges and successes of other entrepreneurs can help you figure out what strategies will work best for your business.

10. Mitigate the effects of inflation

While inflation continues to impact the economy, small businesses can use certain strategies to help minimize its effects on their operation, aside from raising prices. For example, increasing employee retention and cutting unnecessary expenses can help mitigate cost pressures. Read more advice for small business owners on overcoming inflation.

11. Explore new markets and business models

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that businesses may need to pivot quickly during uncertain times in order to stay afloat. You may be surprised how many opportunities can surface after some minor tweaks. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, consider expanding your business online. Another way to establish a stronger online presence is to implement a “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS) model. If you’re already an eCommerce merchant, it may be worth exploring physical pop-up stores as a way to test new markets.

Spend some time this year thinking about ways in which you can expand your reach, modify your business, or target new customers.

12. Reduce your tax bill

Most business owners are constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce their taxes. While you prepare for this year’s tax season, it’s a good time to discuss ways your business can save on taxes with your accountant or professional tax preparer to help you get a head start on making those adjustments sooner rather than later. 

13. Optimize your site for mobile

Recent research shows that more than 60 percent of online traffic comes from mobile phones. If your goal is to convert as many online users as possible, redesign your current site to be more user friendly for consumers on smartphones and tablets. 

14. Make SEO a priority

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting your website and blog content to rank well in Google. When someone types in a keyword related to your business, you want your website to appear at the top of the search results.

There’s a lot of online advice for small business owners about how to succeed at SEO. To help increase your chances of ranking well, you’ll need to optimize existing content with the keywords your users are searching; produce high-quality educational content on a regular basis; and ensure the technical health of your website. Learn more about improving SEO for your business’s website.

15. Embrace video

Did you know that YouTube is the second most popular search engine globally after Google? People love watching videos. Research shows that adults spend over two and a half hours per day watching video content both on TV and on their mobile devices.

As a business owner, consider catering to this growing demand. You don’t need a huge budget to get started. If you have a camera phone and a compelling offer, that’s often enough to create your content.

Cheers to 2024!

These are just some examples of small business tips and tricks that can help you in the new year. Realistically, you may not be able to implement all of these small business tips. However, tackling even four or five of them could have a positive, measurable, and lasting effect on your business.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Clover can help you run your business easier and smarter, contact a Clover Business Consultant today.


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