Have you heard the good news? The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® (say that 5 times fast) has reported that consumer confidence in the US is at its highest level since 2008 – that’s 6 years if you’re keeping track. According to the report, published on Business Insider, the report’s headline index jumped from 78.3 in February this year to 82.3 here in March. Which was significantly higher than the projected level of 78.5. Now, you may be wondering what all that means for you. If you’re a small business owner, it means that happy days might indeed be here again. Or at least might be right around the corner. If you live in the United States, you’ve been dealing with a slow economy for years now, and you might have been discouraged most recently by the slowed growth thought to be caused by recent abnormally bad weather. In January and February of this year, as The New York Times confirms, severe weather across the country held back the growth that was projected for the last couple of months. But with today’s good news, it seems we might be getting back on track. So how can you make the most of economic rebound? As consumers’ confidence comes back, so does their tendency to shop small. When people sense that they are in lean times, they are more likely to bargain hunt at big box stores. However, in better economic conditions, people can look beyond the price of goods and think more about quality, service, local-ness, etc. Here are 3 ways you can be ready to sell when shoppers are ready to buy again: 1. Optimize your website for search. You can have the most attractive website in the world, but nobody is going to shop with you if they can’t find you. Make a list of all the keywords people might use in a search that would lead them to you. Be sure that the text on your website contains those words (in a natural way, no keyword stuffing), and that the meta tags on your site contain your keywords as well. Other things like a custom domain name are also great for search. 2. Stand out from your competition with promotions. As more consumers join the market for your industry, they are more likely to buy your products. But they are also just as likely to buy from your competition. So make sure you stand out by offering incentives and extra reasons for people to shop with you instead of a competitor. This might be a coupon, a contest, a holiday sale, or even an in-store event like a trunk show. By creating these promotions, you give yourself something to talk about on your social profiles, and something for your followers to share with their friends. If you don’t have a graphic designer on hand, try our free Post Designer tool to easily create graphics that you can share right to your social profiles. Check out the example below from Pagemodo user The Crazy Cucumber in Ocala, Florida: 3. Offer online shopping, if you don’t already. Setting up a web store is easier than you think. Whether you sell exclusively online, or use e-commerce as a complement to your brick-and-mortar shop, it can offer big benefits. Not only does it make it simple for people to buy from you wherever they live, it’s also a great way to get more search traffic, since people might be searching for individual product names too. You can do this on your website if your hosting service offers web stores, and you could even offer your products on Facebook. In fact, you can easily create a custom tab to do this with Pagemodo. Here are two options: You can show a sample of your offerings, like The Change Initiative: Or you can sell products directly through your Pagemodo custom tab, like Detail Evolution: Do you have other business-driving tips for your fellow small business owners? Share them in the comments below!