All small businesses have the potential to succeed. Most big, successful and renowned businesses today started off as small businesses. It may seem rather daunting starting and running a small business but if you take the leap and manage to run it successfully, you can accomplish great things. The following are a few tips on how to successfully run a small business.
Have a clear vision of the business you wish to run and what you intend to do.
Vision gives you a vivid picture of what you want to accomplish. In order to ensure that your business runs successfully you need to have a clear vision which embodies your goals and drives your business in the direction you need to go in order to achieve them. Throughout the course of the business journey, this vision will illuminate and motivate your mind.
Define your product or service clearly and know your target market
It becomes a whole lot easier to manage your company going forward if you know what you’re in business to do and why you are in that business. Ultimately this comes down to having a clear understanding of your product or service and the value proposition for your customers. In addition, this enables you to explain your business clearly, without ambiguity, to investors or partners when the need arises.
Source for funds security and sustainability
A financial backbone, prudence and efficiency are all requirements for running any small business. There are a variety of ways to source funds including and not limited to: family, friends, business associates, banks and investors. Banks today have been known to offer small business owners opportunities for building businesses. If you decide on a bank as the source of your funding it is vital that you choose the correct bank that best suits your business’ financial plan. Banking with the right institution that gives you the best deals will help you stretch every rand and make for financial prudence in the way you run your venture and manage the financial side or your business.
Get business information and technical input from Small Business Development Consultants
Consultants can assist your business by providing a variety of professional services such as legal advice, consultation, business development and strategies, recruitment, management of staff, business psychologists, and many more. These professionals provide help, sound business support and solutions services during all stages of the business life cycle. They should assist with strategically positioning your business for success in the long term.
Create a workable business and marketing plan
A detailed and workable business plan is one of the keys to running a small business enterprise. This plan should outline your objectives, goals, target market and projected growth. Along with a solid business plan, you also need to have a detailed marketing plan to go with it. The marketing plan needs to be properly geared to attract your target market and generate sales.
Build a strong brand identity
The moment that you articulate and conceptualize your business idea, the branding of your business should begin. Branding is all about appealing to your target market by creatively building a business identity. Building your brand identity is a never ending process. Creating your identity begins with choosing a business name and logo. Your business identity should embody the personality of your business. The way that people approach and interact with one another is very similar to how they interact with a business. If your business is approachable and friendly then people will be more likely to approach and interact with it.
Everything must be organized and attractive to the customer. It is vital to target customers with easy identification by tailoring the personality of your business brand. By doing this you ensure an emotional attachment with your customers that would bring about more sales and continued business patronage.
Prioritise making profit
The major reason almost all small business are started is in order to make a profit. When a business is not generating a profit, it becomes difficult to sustain and grow the business. The golden rule of making a profit is ensuring more money is coming into the business than is going out. Although this may seem like a simple concept, many businesses and individuals just don’t seem to understand how important this basic rule is.
Prioritising profit also involves prioritising cost management. Ensure therefore, that you run an effective cost management system in your business that minimizes waste and maximizes productivity and profitability. Increasing the cost of doing business should be highly limited and when you are having trouble with getting this right you should consider hiring or consulting an accounting professional. They will help you get and keep your books in order and manage your finances properly and professionally to ensure your profit stays profit.
Network and connect with other businesses and business minded individuals as much as possible
Networking is one of the keys to helping grow your business for a wider reach and greater approachability. A good way to network is to attend regular business events and meet ups in your area. Networking helps build useful relationships with people of interest in your field that may have useful information and resources.
Never leave a single customer dissatisfied
In business it is a fact that it is very difficult to keep every one of your customers happy. Although this may be the case, you must try keep all of your customers happy. Your business’ orientation should be pro-customer, whether you are running the business by yourself or if you have any number of employees. A satisfied customer is crucial to your business as if they enjoyed their experience they are likely to return and recommend your business to others. Your business must place emphasis on customer satisfaction through effective customer service and relation. Make use of positive and negative feedbacks from customers to help you improve the quality and desirability of your products or services.
Advertise your business
It is important to let your target market know about your product or service and the best way to do this is through advertising. No matter how good your product or service is, if your target market does not know about it’s existence, then there is no point being in business in the first place. There are many different advertising strategies one can adopt and businesses should not limit themselves to using only one.
Commit to continuous improvement and be passionate about your business
In order to continue to thrive and growth your small business you need to commit to continuous improvement which goes hand in hand with being passionate about your business. Never settle for less and always go for more. Push your boundaries, beware of comfort and avoid complacency. All of the iconic businesses that we know today (for example Microsoft, Coca Cola and Amazon) started off as small business and thanks to hard work and dedication they grew to the large well know companies that they are today.