Starting a business is tough; it takes incredible levels of planning, commitment and passion. Whether it’s your passion for a product, an innovative idea or a certain lifestyle that’s driving you– there are a couple of things that can help your business get off the ground. At the end of the day this business is a huge investment of your time and finances so avoid easy to make mistakes by following our top tips below.
Start small and build up
It can be all too tempting to ‘dive in at the deep end’ so to speak. However, this can cause cracks to form early on and you may find yourself in over your head before you know it. This approach amplifies any mistakes and can be very unforgiving. If you start out small, keep your costs down and learn from any errors or mistakes you make as you go you will find business growth is a natural progression. You can apply this concept to every aspect of your business from the number of employees to the office equipment you invest in. For example, finding a photocopier lease instead of outright buying a photocopier will not only save your business considerable cash but will also allow you to upgrade in the future with ease, avoid large deposits and keep up with the latest technology.
Plan, plan, plan
In order for your business to be a success you need to have a thorough plan that pulls every aspect of running a businesstogether in one place.It allows you to actively review your current operations, identify any weak spots and put in place a plan of action to achieve your goals. A sound plan will help you to stay focused and keep track of what needs to be done, it may seem obvious but lack of planning is the downfall for many of the 80% of businesses that fail within the first 18 months. A good plan is ESSENTIAL so do not skimp on this.
Know your competition
This comes hand in hand with listening to the experts of the industry you are in. Find out what’s been going on in the industry and consider how this knowledge and information can help your business. Having information and understanding of the industry will help increase your confidence and conviction. You need to have an edge on your competitors so do your research to help your business stand out from the crowd.
In everything your business does from customer interaction to product delivery, make sure you don’t leave people waiting. Don’t wait toreturn phone calls or respond to enquiries – do it now! The longer you leave something the more likely you are to forget about it altogether and that definitely doesn’t look good. Customer satisfaction is essential so make sure you are building those relationships with each interaction.
Have an online presence
Social media is an invaluable marketing tool that can bring new customers through your door. An online presence allows you to reach a wide variety of people and build a name for yourself without paying any substantial marketing fees. You can use social media to gain the trust of your customers and people who are interested in your business making it more likely for them to use your services. The content possibilities are truly endless with social media as you can share the latest industry stories and trends, promote your products and interact directly with customers. In fact, you’ll probably find the more you post online, the easier content creation will be so don’t wait.
Getting your small business off the ground requires a healthy mix of planning, flexibility and strong customer relations. Keeping your customer happy will ultimately keep your business healthy and growing. But, as many businesses find out early on, keeping your customer happy is easier said than done. Follow our advice to steer clear of some of the most common causes of business failure and don’t forget the passion that made you start this journey to begin with as it is this that will drive you to your goals. Avoid letting yourself be burnt out or overwhelmed and instead put pen to paper and look ahead.