If you’re the owner of a small business, you’re probably very familiar with the need to wear many hats and hold the title of many jobs within your company. I’ll be the first to tell you that I know exactly where you’re coming from! I’ve put together this list of things every small business needs for success. I have found these topics to be true not only for myself as a business owner, but also as a consumer. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, if your service-based or product-based, or if you’re brand new or a seasoned owner, you will need to focus on these five ideas to guarantee your success.
In this post...
When starting a business, one of the first things you’ll need is a business plan. You need a clear business plan that lists all of your intentions and projections for success. Often times, banks will ask to see your business plan when financing is needed or if you are soliciting investors. A business plan acts as a guiding force as your business grows and changes, that’s why it is important to have an evolving business plan.
You should update your business plan every year. This helps you look at past goals and ideas to see how your business has performed and direct your focus to where you want to go and grow in the future. Revisiting your business plans helps remind you of why you started your business in the first place. Rather than grasping for success, create it with a well-thought-out business plan. (Helpful hint: a simple google search will give you tons of business plan templates to help you get started!)
Prepare to have your mind blown… Did you know that on average, adults spend 11 hours looking at an electronic screen every day? Your business absolutely needs a web presence. Web presence is available in many forms and they all perform differently from business to business. Do you need a website? Are your customers more likely to use Instagram? Are your clients hanging out on Twitter? Are you seeking employees from professionals that can be found on LinkedIn? Are your followers checking in with you on Facebook? It’s certain that your business needs a webpage that showcases at least who you are, what you sell, and how to contact you. Always be sure that your web presence is up-to-date with contact information, open times, and works well across desktop and mobile devices. There are many easy to use web platforms available with today’s technology.
How are you connecting with your customer base? Without them, your business wouldn’t exist. It’s important to convey the value of your services or products to existing and potential clients. They need to know that you have a passion for the things they are buying. Here are some ideas for customer engagement:
A marketing plan can help you fine-tune your sales objectives and helps you reach customers intentionally and purposefully. Rather than trying to grasp for every potential client, an intentional marketing plan will help you find customers that share your values and appreciate your attention to detail. Having specific marketing plans also help you measure your return on investments which will later help you find which marketing tactics create the most success for your business. I find it best to complete a SWOT analysis of the business by taking an honest look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
How well do you keep track of your business transactions? Do you know which expenses cost you the most or where you could decrease spending? Do you know how your expenses compare to your income? It can be tricky to keep track of these things without the help of accounting software. There are many programs available that help you keep track of finances and produce endless reports to help you measure how you are earning and spending money. Keeping accurate tabs on your profit and loss statements also help with other aspects, such as marketing and forecasting, that in turn help you be more intentional with the future of your business. I personally use Quickbooks Desktop for all of my businesses and bookkeeping. I have found that their software is the most robust and compatible with many other helpful business applications.
Let me know how you implement these ideas for your business. Is there one of these things that you could improve on for your business?
I'm a South Georgia girl making strides in the world with big dreams and a heart to serve others! I'm the champion of planning, organization, and being a perfectionist (hello, type one ennegram.) I'm really glad you're here!
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