Did you know that, on average, about 50% of all small businesses fail after five years? The Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, reported this in 2018. We know that you and your company don’t want to fall into that statistic, so what should you do?
When it comes to creating a business of your own, it takes a lot of time and work. Being committed to your company is the most important thing you can do. However, you have to put your money and focus on the right areas in order to succeed.
We’re going to tell you the essentials all businesses should have to be successful now and in the future.
An Accounting System
When you start your own business, you’re going to have to file taxes at the end of the year. If it’s your first time doing taxes this way, it can be confusing. The best way to keep yourself organized is by having an accounting system. There are many low-cost software packages you can install on your computer.
These accounting systems keep track of expenses, business checking accounts, inventory counts, bills, create reports, and track orders. Then, when you’re filing taxes, everything is there for easy access.
Having these files is even more critical if you get audited by the IRS. “A business owner should always be aware of possible tax challenges,” stated the experts at Rotfleisch & Samulovitch. This can be a stressful time if you don’t have everything prepared.
Accounting systems can also be used to understand where you’re spending the most money, and how you can cut costs. If you have less spending, then you’ll make more profit. You can utilize accounting systems to understand how your monthly or yearly growth is.
There are many things you can do with an accounting system, and this is why it’s an essential part of any business.
We’d like to imagine that everything with our business is going to run smoothly, but that isn’t always the case. You never know when a natural disaster might hit, or a customer injures themselves while in your store. These things and more can create a substantial financial burden or, even worse, cause you to close.
It was reported by the National Safety Council Injury Facts that the average slip and fall injury can cost up to $46,592. If you have to pay that out of pocket, that’s a significant amount of money for any business, not to mention a smaller one! Having insurance will protect you from things like this and more.
You’ll go to work every day with the peace of mind that if an accident happens, you won’t be in a difficult financial situation. Your insurance company will provide you coverage for these things, and you can continue running your business.
We live in a world now where everything is done digitally. It was reported that 4.57 billion people are active on the internet, which translates to 59% of the world population. Having a website for your business is a great way to reach more than half the people in the world.
However, merely having a website isn’t enough. There are some factors you need to consider when designing your page. First, you want to make it as organized as possible. Create tabs or a dropdown menu for easy navigation throughout your site. This will get your clients to the information they want easily and quickly.
Next, you should think about the color scheme for your website. You should stick with neutral colors, with hints of bright colors to add highlights to essential things. Also, make sure the font and size are easy to read!
Another thing to consider is that your website has a mobile-first design. What does this mean? It means creating a site that’s compatible with a mobile screen before a full desktop-sized screen. This is important because mobile devices have smaller hard drives and smaller screens.
If a website requires a lot of loading and looks unorganized on a smaller screen, people using a mobile device will likely leave your site. It’s been stated that 72.6% of internet users access the internet with their smartphones. You don’t want to lose nearly three-quarters of potential visitors because of a website that isn’t compatible with mobile devices.
A Social Media Page
Social media has changed how businesses can market to their customers. Many social media platforms have created sections for creating business pages and selling items directly through the platforms. A great way to reach your clients and new ones is by making business social media pages.
It was reported that 3.8 billion people worldwide use at least one social media platform as of January 2020. The most popular social media pages are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Snapchat. When thinking about which social media platform you should create pages on, you should think about what age group your target audience is.
If your target market is in the age group of 39 to 49, you should look into creating a Facebook page. It was reported that 79% of people in that age range that are social media users are active on Facebook more than other social media sites.
However, if your target market is a little bit younger, you should consider using Instagram. 72% of social media users in the ages 13 to 17 and 67% of users 18 to 29 are active on Instagram more than other platforms.
Once you’ve established your social media pages, you need to be active. Post your weekly sales on your pages, discounts for followers, or events you’re hosting. Also, posting people’s personal stories with your business or positive customer’s comments can build your pages.
Data is a critical factor in understanding many things about your business. Google Analytics is a great system to use to collect data regarding your website. Some of the data it collects is how you compare to your competitors, where your visitors are coming from, how quickly visitors leave your site, which areas your visitors are more interested in, and more.
All of this information can be used to create your target audience profile, your marketing strategies, and see where to improve. These things will keep you in business for the long run and can give you an edge that other companies lack.
For example, if you know where most of your visitors live, you can use that information to open a new store location or hold an event near there. This is a great way to know how you can expand.
Another example of why Google Analytics is useful is with how you create sales. If you know that more visitors are looking at a few particular items on your website more than others, those are the ones you can advertise for discounts. This will likely create a boost in sales.
There are many other things that you can do with the data as well that will overall keep your business successful now and in the future.
Marketing is a huge factor in what makes a business stand out among the rest. Marketing can be done in many different ways, so you can use a few methods and see what works best for your business. The most basic way to reach out to your customers is by email. You can send them weekly newsletters or new promotions available at your store.
It doesn’t have to stop there. Reaching out to people can be done with your social media pages that you’ve created. Really anything that you post on there is a form of marketing and giving your clients information. The more people that see your page, the more they’re going to want to come in and shop.
Another great marketing strategy is to post tutorials on your website or other pages. You can sneak your products into the videos, and by the end, your clients will learn something. They might be more likely to go out and buy your products because they saw how to use them.
Using the information from Google Analytics can drive marketing as well. You can use multiple tools to get your brand name known to as many people as possible.
Nothing’s worse than being on hold for a long time or having no response to an email for days. Having effective communication is a must if you want your business to stay around. People want to feel heard when there’s a problem and how you communicate can contribute to your business’s reputation.
It was reported by American Express that 90% of Americans, when deciding if they’ll do business with a company, use customer service as a factor. You should have an active email and business phone number that will be checked regularly throughout the business day.
A live chat feature on your website is also a great addition to your customer service. With this, people who visit your site can ask questions right away. It’s only useful if you reply immediately or quickly. You should have notifications on your phone or computer when someone writes to you.
Also, allowing people to contact you through your social media pages is beneficial for your customer service. Users won’t have to go anywhere else to ask questions. It’s easy and convenient, which is what customers love.
It’s not enough to just be responsive; there’s a specific way customers should be treated. When talking with them, always try to use their names and speak with respect. Never blame the customer and always try to be as helpful as possible. The person who’s responding to customers should be trained on how to do so.
Although technology is taking over our world, it’s still essential to have business cards. It’s the easiest way to give out your contact information when you’re talking with someone face to face.
They’re likely to remember your business more than adding your number to their contacts because it has a personal touch. When they see your card, they’ll remember the conversation they had with you and remember you can help them.
Business cards also offer a quick first impression. Your business will seem more professional with a card, and based on the design, the potential client can form their impressions. When designing your cards, you want to make sure that you’re giving the right idea about your business.
Make sure you have your logo on there, the right colors, and clear contact details. Don’t add too much to your business card because with this little rectangle, less is more. A tasteful business card can make your company stand out from others.
Don’t be hesitant only to give out one card. When you give someone a few, it’s a perfect way for others to make business referrals. Hopefully, then, you’ll get more new customers and increase your sales!
It’s evident for customers to see that you care about your company. When you’re starting a business, don’t think about what’s going to make you the most money. Choose a business that you find exciting and enjoy working in.
When there’s a passion for continually improving your business and providing customers with the best products, it shows. If you enjoy your business, then working every day won’t even seem like a chore anymore.
Clients will see you as a happy individual that’s always bringing them the next best thing. They’ll trust you because your clients will know that whatever you’re giving them has been thought about and is up to your business standards. Being passionate about your business is the backbone of all successful companies that keep everything progressing for the future.
The Bottom Line
Owning a business is a big commitment, but usually pays off. Maybe you’ve dreamed about being your own boss your whole life, and now it’s your reality. To keep your business running now and for more years to come, these are essentials!
Your company needs an accounting system, insurance, a website, social media pages, Google Analytics, marketing strategies, effective communication, business cards, and passion. Continually visiting these aspects and improving them will ensure a successful business.