It’s the dream of every business owner to see their efforts paying off as they achieve their goals and even exceed expectations. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter if you’re starting out or not, you have to gather your strategies and water the ground around which you expect your business to grow. This includes thinking outside the box and implementing ideas that your competitors might be overlooking. It means being ahead of time and taking essential, but fast baby steps towards the future that awaits.
So if you have already started a business, here are the fundamental success-secrets you should have in place.
Updating Your Financial Report
There is no doubt that finances play a very important role when it comes to the success of any business. Therefore, nothing shouldn’t be left to chance when it comes to this. Make it a habit to work on accounts at least weekly if not daily. This way you can easily detect any misappropriation or mistakes and get to correct that on time. Cumulative financial errors can be hard to correct and take-up a lot of resources. And if left for long, they end up pulling down what you’ve worked hard to build.
Unlike in established big businesses, this is very essential to every small business as knowing the actual amount of cash at hand, will guide you in making decisions concerning the next appropriate steps.
Having A Task Managing System In Place
Most business owners tend to assume this tip because it’s easy to carry out tasks when the business is still picking up. But don’t be fooled into the same trap, the mess you cause and tolerate today will surely haunt you in the future. If you decide to operate freestyle without a task management system in place, it would be more difficult to sort things out when your business progresses. This will cost you so much time and money that you could have used to achieve other objectives. You definitely don’t want to lose clients, suppliers and even worse your sanity.
What Profit Margin Does Your Products Or Services Provide?
If you’re working with various products and services, then its better to understand how they complement each other. Many small business owners admit it’s very easy to combine the contributions of everything and assume they are all the same than work on improving the strongholds. It, however, shouldn’t be that way. As a business owner, you should have a clear idea of what each product brings to the table.
Are the sells so well? What’s the profit/loss margin? Can your business still do better without it? Or is it the major source of income. Knowing all this will help you decide where to channel most of your investment. And in case you want to trim out on your product/service line, you will know what to let go. Your aim should be to achieve the best profit margins within a reasonable timeframe to allow expansion.
Looking For Talent In Your Employees
With the rising level of unemployment in almost every part of the globe, it’s very easy to locate job seekers. But be careful in whom you let into your company. Some people can bring your business down just as fast as others can uplift it. So take advantage of the fact that you’re still growing and aren’t overwhelmed (at least not yet) with tasks, to source out the best human resources in your line of work and of course essential disciplines.
That said, ensure you select individuals based on other beneficial attributes other than their academic qualifications. Look at their talents and hobbies and see how they relate to your company’s vision. This way, it would be easy for them to adjust to the new environment and assimilate into your workplace beliefs. Your hiring decisions shouldn’t be far apart from your organization’s culture. Remember, it’s not easy to change people’s beliefs, so it’s much better to work with someone who is already inspired.
Making The Internet Your Second Office
Yes, ,you’re operating from an office somewhere and have to look-out for the turn out of daily events. But that doesn’t mean your work should begin and end right there. There is a different set of audience you have to address if at all you want your business to grow at a desirable rate. And that’s the online customers. If you already have a website( which is a must-have by the way) You should ensure your computer displays timely updates on any form of communication you receive. Call them pop-up messages. This is actually one area that you wouldn’t want to lag behind.
Additionally, dedicate a section of your day for an online tour. Here gather as much information as possible about your online reputation. What are your customers saying about your employees, products or services? Is your customer support system meeting expectations? Remember individuals online don’t sugar coat things, they say things the way they are. Knowing all this will give you a clear picture of who you’re as an organization. So you better take those comments/reviews seriously.
Also, don’t forget to invest in SEO. Your business might be young, but an active online presence can turn things around faster than you expected. Your website should at all times remain visible to attract traffic and achieve substantial conversions. You can check sites like https://goldminddigital.com/small-business-seo/ to learn more about the benefits of SEO to your business and get to hire the best professionals.
Analyzing Your Competitors
Who are your most direct competitors? Are their products promising? Which strategies do they use to deliver their products? How much are they into promoting themselves? Do they offer incentives? Know their present move and if possible what their future plans are. If they had launched a product into the market, know how the masses are reacting to it and seek ways to improve your products to match the standards they set. Take advantage of any loophole in their product or service delivery to gain more customers from their side. You, of course, have to indulge in all this professionally. Business ethics matter a lot to engage in fair competition all the time.
Remember your focus shouldn’t be solely on direct competitors, you might have a few or none at all but indirect competitors will always be there. Keep a close watch on those ones, they might seem innocent but can be a hindrance to your prosperity. These are the people that you get to crush with outside your primary market margins.
Creating A Connection With Your Customers
There must be a reason as to why a customer is referred to as a king. They are the primary reason for your existence, otherwise, you couldn’t exist if you didn’t have to meet a specific need(s), right? So aspire to treat them like the kings they are. Contrary to what many business owners believe, treating clients well hasn’t only begun and end at providing them with quality goods/services. In fact, it stretches far more than that; seeing them as the business-friends they are.
So what crosses your mind when you want to serve a king or a very important person for that matter? You have to know what they like, their preferences and of course opinions pertaining to specific matters. Apply this criterion with your customers. Engage then personally at least once a week and find out what they like/don’t like about your services/products. Let them suggest the areas they would like you to improve. You can have a feedback box strategically placed at the end of your retail shop for that purpose. And of course, guarantee their confidentiality.
Having A strong All-time Marketing Plan
Having a marketing plan seems easy for most small business. They enter into the market fully psyched up to succeed. So in the first few months, they do everything according to the book and the results are truly impressive. They beat targets, shake-up their competitors and create a place for themselves among other business gurus. Then, boom! They feel satisfied, relax and then fall! Did you know it takes more time to reach the top, but only a few minutes and probably seconds to fall to the bottom?
These are the kind of problems that come with focusing on marketing only when it suits your needs (lean times). Don’t fall victim to this as rising up again might take much longer than it took the first round. In fact, it might never happen at all. Instead at all times, focus on drafting a marketing plan that will always sustain your marketing activities and help you to constantly fish-out new clients and maintain the present ones. This way, you can be sure to never fall-short even in the driest seasons. Remember your business will only give you back what you instill into it. Have you ever seen a shoddy work being paid with lump-sums?
Filing Taxes On Time
First things first, no matter how small and less-profit making your business is, you shouldn’t even be thinking of absconding paying taxes. In fact, you should plan all the necessary details on time and file your returns way before the deadline. This will give you ample time as there won’t be any rushing and the systems are pretty fast. It even makes a lot of sense if you plan on doing this by yourself without the help of an accountant. You would want to avoid simple mistakes and start off your journey smoothly.
If you tend to be forgetful or too busy to keep checking your calendar, use a digital reminder to alert you of all the important tax deadlines. Have a collection of all important forms ready and your expense records within reach. Also, ensure your employees file theirs on time to avoid unnecessary penalties.
What Kind Of Staff Do You Need; Long-term/ Short-term?
Yes, you have decided to hire as a way of boosting your business activities. But do you really need permanent employees? If yes, how many should you start with? If no, what’s the best alternative; freelancers or short-term contractors? Your decision should be based on your budget, new season objectives, the customer demand expectations, etc.
If for instance, your busiest days tend to be twice a week, then you can consider getting people to help with deliveries during only during those days. And if you receive some expertise related projects from time to time, partner with freelancers who would be coming through during those times. This way you will save up so much more on the amount you would have used as weekly wages. The same case applies to small business owners running on a limited budget. If there is a way you can earn money without spending too much on labor at least for the first year in business, then embrace it by all means. You will need more savings to cater for additional headcounts as your business blossoms.
Having A Business Plan
You must have planned for your business adventure way before the onset of your business, but you still need a tangible business plan. It might not be so formal as those ones meant for presentations, but even in its informal state, it shouldn’t lose its meaning. A plan is what will guide you throughout your journey as a business. What do you want to achieve in the first quarter of the year? What about the second and the third? Who are the most important players in your business?
This will help you keep track of all the vital milestones and metrics of your success. We all need a map to know which direction to take in life and so does your business.
Laying a solid foundation for your business is a sure way of starting off successfully. Yes, businesses are different and that means they all have different needs, but if you take a closer look, you will realize that they all run on similar concepts. Therefore, you should always consider implementing decisions that can only take you a notch higher. Remember, whatever your line of work is, you will always have competitors; either direct, indirect or both. So equip yourself with all the resources you need to withstand the test of time, by considering some of the above tips.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.