Did you know that 20% of small businesses fail within the first year? Getting the ball rolling is hard when starting a new company. Do you know how to get it right from the start, so you can survive in a competitive market?
Luckily, we can help you get the push you need. Read on as we give our nine must-know tips for small business success.
1. Believe in Your Business
Firstly, you have to love your small business and what you do. It will become your life, and if you don't believe in it, then you can not expect anyone else to do the same. Create something you would be proud to show family and friends.
If you start up a business you have little interest in, even temporary success will be fleeting. You will soon grow bored, tired, and disillusioned with the product. Make sure you love what you do and others will follow.
2. Set Goals
Setting objectives is an essential part of your business. It helps you move forward and grow, building profit and expanding.
Your goals do not simply have to be to increase profit. In fact, they should be much smaller and more manageable. To help, always make S.M.A.R.T. targets.
These are specific, measurable, achievable, timely, and realistic. For example, increasing profit is not a smart target. Increasing website traffic by 20% within a month is, as it embodies all the elements.
3. Establish Loyalty
Making sales is no longer the sole focus. This is a short-term strategy and in today's competitive marketplace, sales alone will not help you last. Instead, you need to establish loyalty so customers keep coming back.
If you have a lot of customers, then others may be offering better discounts and incentives. Once people are tempted away, you will find it hard to get them back.
On a basic level, use incentives and loyalty schemes to keep people coming back. You should feed this into your digital marketing strategy, setting up social media and interacting with customers so they develop loyalty.
4. Utilize Social Media
Social media is a fantastic tool for a physical or online business. It can let you reach millions of people all around the world. However, all of this makes it slightly intimidating.
The trick with social media is to start local, and think global. Use it to reach out to people in the local area, creating business pages and posting regularly. Gradually, your influence will start to spread.
5. Monitor Trends
Trends can impact your business both positively and negatively. To prepare for both eventualities, you need to stay on top of them. Even things that may seem as if they will not impact you could have an effect.
Trends should be monitored on local and global levels. For example, locally, you need to be looking at local business plans. If someone is planning to build a shopping mall next door, how is it going to impact your business?
Globally, need to be looking at social and business news. Perhaps certain trades are falling out of favor, while others are coming into fashion. How can you adapt to benefit from them?
6. Get Financing
There are two situations when you will need finance. It will either be to get your business off the ground or to increase your capacity of an existing business. In both situations, getting a loan is often the only option.
Make sure you maintain great credit history. Shop around for the right banks and lending firms, making sure their terms are favorable to you.
If you are denied a loan, there are a few other options. You could ask for another party to serve as a guarantor. Small business loans work on this principle, which is a good option but competitive to apply for.
7. Motivate Staff for Small Business Success
If your staff is motivated, you can expect higher performance and better levels of customer service. This gets you better value for money in terms of staff wages, and it increases customer loyalty through good service.
Listen to what your staff has to say. They are often on the front line and can see problems before they occur. Keep them well trained and informed, so they are able to deal with a number of skills and situations.
8. Get Help Online
Moving a business online or creating an online business from scratch is a lot of work. There are so many different facets to juggle, that you would need to hire a large team to do them all correctly. As well as maintaining a website and optimizing it, you also need a digital marketing strategy.
Start by hiring companies to do this for you. They will have the correct tools and expertise. There are a number of excellent, reputable e-commerce services that can help you out.
9. Keep Improving Customer Service
Letting your customers know they are valued comes back to increasing loyalty. Customer service should not just be about resolving the issue. It should be about going one step further and making them feel wanted.
If you set up the right protocol, you can help customers without them even having to call you. Set up an FAQ question on the website, or live chat functions. Make sure they know that even the smallest query is not a problem and that you will strive to resolve it.
Keep Revising the Plan
Small business success is not just a set of goals that you accomplish and forget about. You must continually revisit these tips, improving and making sure each is being implemented. If you do, you are sure to get the success you deserve.
If you enjoyed our article, then visit the rest of our blog. With everything from marketing to finance, we can help your business grow!