This post is meant for those people who are thinking about setting up a small business of their own, or already have one that is not performing so well. Either way, it is important that you know these things when running a small business, no matter what industry you are in. I am not saying this just to scare you, but the reality is that over 90 % of small business organizations go under in their first 5 years, and these numbers are truly shocking. The good news is that there is a bright side to this; there is more room for your business to succeed.
If you follow these tips carefully I guarantee you that you will find it easier to bring your business to where you want it to be and to know how to handle certain situations. Still, being a small business owner is a process of constant improvement and you must always keep learning. There is no formula that will guarantee your business will succeed, however these tips will help you get a clearer picture about your business and give you direction for making the right steps.
The saddest part is that this is the biggest reason why small businesses fail, the people behind them are not prepared and they haven’t done their research, nor prepared for all of the things that await them. With a couple of good ingredients and a lot of work, you can almost ensure that your small business will be in those 10 % that reach their goals.
A Business Plan for a Strong Foundation
It is simply impossible to create a business organization that will go on the right track if you don’t have a business plan for it. A business plan is the glue that ties your whole business together and if you don’t have it chances are that our organization will fall apart. Your business plan should be around three to four pages long, and it should shortly describe all of your business goals, means, norms, and organization methods you will use for growing your business.
Apart from writing a copy you will have for yourself, you should make additional ones for the your employees. Why is this important? When you outline all aspects of your business in short lines, you and your employees as well can always remind yourselves of your goal.
Additionally, when everyone has read and remembered your business plan, they will all be on the same page and there will be less miscommunication amongst people within your business organization. Your business will be in line and in case you get sidetracked you can easily remind yourself where you need to go with your business plan.
Try to Come up with Memorable Business Ideas
A lot of things depend on your business idea. If your idea is not well-thought-out and it’s really generic without anything interesting about it, you can invest all of your resources in it, but it still won’t achieve any success. Your general business idea should revolve around the products or services you plan on offering to people. This is the most vital part of your business idea; if there is nobody out there interested in what you have to offer, then it’s a complete waste of time and money to invest in it, as nobody will buy products from you or hire your services.
A lot of small businesses go under because their owners see some business that was able to achieve success with certain products somewhere and he or she tries to copycat their business ideas. This is a completely wrong attitude, as there are a lot of factors that must be considered when brainstorming a business idea.
Some things that might be popular in one part of the world may be completely obsolete in another. The value of your business ideas is quite important. You either have to offer something new, or do something better than other businesses in your market. Even then, if the market is not big enough for your business, there is no point in pursuing that idea.
When it comes to business ideas, you need to understand your niche and general target audience, if you fail to do this you will never be able to grow your customer base and spread awareness about your brand. Create an idea that has value, after you’ve established that it is important to do a thorough research to figure out whether or not that idea has the potential to do well on the market you’ve chosen for it:
- Learn more about your products or services and whether there are any similar in your target market
- If the idea is not good, you should immediately try to change something that is wrong about it or come up with a new one
- Make sure that people love your ideas by performing tests or by asking people what they think about your products/services
Build an Online Presence (website) for your Business
I simply cannot stress on how important it is to build a website for your business. In modern business, no matter which industry you are in, running a business without a website is like a business suicide. The value of an online marketing campaign is getting greater each year, and your foundation for all of your business online affairs is your website. Given the fact that online marketing is the real deal for small businesses it is essential that you create a business website, end of story.
Still, you cannot simply build a website and think that it will all work out. You also have to open up and manage other online channels through which you will be able to spread awareness about your business. One of those important channels include social media. Create profiles and relevant social networks and as with your website, you should make them professional, informative, nice looking, and interesting. If your website and your social networks don’t have these ingredients, you will lose out on a lot of potential clients.
All modern businesses understand how important it is to have a massive and impressive online presence and this is why there is a lot of competition on the web. There are probably already business organizations in your field that have websites that offer things you will try to sell as well. This is one of the reasons why you must do a great job in creating a professional website.
Find good web designers and web developers to create an amazing web presence. People need 10 seconds to see if they like a certain page, and if they don’t they will leave instantly, as they are aware that they can easily find other business websites in a matter of seconds.
Think About Your Employees
It is impossible for an entrepreneur, no matter how good he or she might be, to run a business organization completely alone. Maybe for a brief period of time, but if you want to grow the number of people working for you, your business organization needs to grow as well. When a person is running a business all on his own, especially if they are doing it from their homes, it can easily happen that they forget that this is in fact a business they are running and that they are not just indulging their hobbies.
Additionally, a lot of people think that they can do it all alone and because of this they end up ruining their business growth. Don’t think that you are doing a good thing by saving some money you would use to pay an employee. In the long term, this is a terrible mistake, as that employee can literally earn you his salary and you won’t be losing any money, and you would have greater business capabilities.
Once you’ve decided to hire people, you must set your criteria and choose people wisely. You are running a small business, which means you will be working with these people closely, and you will see them each day. This is why you must make sure that they are the right ones for your business. It is also important to recognize when you don’t need new employees.
For example if you are running a design business, you can check online software reviews and look for good tools that can help you and your employees be more productive.
Work on your Customer Satisfaction
It doesn’t matter how large your customer base is currently, if you don’t take care of them and improve their experience constantly, they will forget about you and look for products or services somewhere else. Additionally, when customers leave you, it will be twice as difficult to get their trust back.
You should also know that when a customer is unsatisfied with your services he or she can leave negative reviews, ratings, and even tell other people not to do business with you, and all of these things are bad for business. Furthermore, whenever you slip up your competition will be right there waiting to take your customers away from you, so there is really no room for bad service when starting a small business.
Customer service does not include only the part when the deal is set and you have to deliver. It is also an important part of someone’s decision to buy something from you or hire your services. You must approach all of your clients and those potential ones as if they were the only person in the world you would like to offer what you have. Make sure that they feel important and that you answer all of their questions. If you add quality services and products to that, you have a good recipe for your business.
I hope these information above can help you better understand where you might be going wrong. Bear in mind that this is not all there is to it. Being an entrepreneur means that you will have to work hard and learn constantly in order to become successful.