Starting a business is not difficult, at least for developed countries. It’s just filling business forms, getting the permits, advertising for some time and it would suffice to be called a business owner. Running a successful business is different .There is an interplay between both internal and external factors which together determine the trajectory and the level of success of your business. In this article, we take a deep dive into ways of running small and medium businesses which are just starting out.
1. Have the right tools for business growth
The number of business tools and apps have tripled in the last seven years. Choose the tools that are helpful towards growing your business and stick to them. Moreover, the cost of technology is gradually decreasing .Have you taken advantage of this? Choosing the right marketing platform may present yet another challenge. Before choosing the right platform, consider the following;
- Choose a platform that performs a specific task. It might be tempting to go for all the platforms, this may render your goals vague.
- Compare the impact each tool is providing. If for instance, you have chosen social media marketing, familiarize yourself with all the techniques in doing the same. Moreover, they also provide options of making yourself and your business known if you don’t have an audience already; you can buy YouTube subscribers if YouTube marketing is your cup of tea.
2. Understand Your Market
Failing to understand your market is like trying to force yourself out of the business. You should have data on your customers, existing competition and the associated market trends. These are the key to making business decisions. You should have clarity on your product, pricing mechanism, methods of promotion and the location. For a service business though, unto the four Ps, you want to add people, process and performance. Even so, it is the values of the founder which are plugged into the business. Apple is a reflection of Steve Jobs, Virgin is a reflection of Richard Branson. Even with the business goals, it’s imperative to have your personal goals. Remember, as a business person, you are not only responsible for making profit but taking care of your employees as well. But how will you take care of others if you cannot take care of yourself? On the same breadth, how will you supervise otherwise if you cannot ensure fruition of your own goals? Lead by example. Role model the way.
3. Hire the right employees
A team is not just a group of people working together. It is a group of people who trust each other. Do your employees believe you have their best interest at heart? Do you believe your employees are giving their all? Do you have an all-inclusive system for measuring results? There are so many things that transpire in the office that aren’t really of importance to the business. To accelerate the rate of expanding, have systems in place .Most of entrepreneurs try to do so much. As Warren Buffet would say, Focus is saying no to a thousand things. Have a clear vision of where you want to take the business. For instance, don’t have full time experts when you only need them for an hour. One of the simplest things to purchase is productized products as you can only have them when you need them.
Remember, a business culture is created during the inception of the business. Most businesses don’t take good care of their employees. If you draw the pyramid showing their priorities, at the top is shareholders, followed by customers and finally employees. Some employees even work overtime without pay. For some, it involves working in a disgusting environment while for some, it’s emotional abuse at the work place. How do you want to have good returns while there is no fuel to run the engine? Else how would you travel for a long distance without fueling your car? Take care of your employees and they will help you achieve the vision you have for your business.
4. Motivate your staff
Do your employees feel motivated to come to work each day? Do they feel like contributing towards something bigger than themselves? Even as you hire, be sure to note what it takes to take good care of the employees. Once you have the budget, have some ways of motivating your employees. Here are some ways of motivating your employees
- Time off voting, jury duty, and active military service. This helps in taking care of the welfare of employees. Happy employees make a happy working environment which in turn leads to happy customers. Happy customers become loyal to your business. When launching a product, it’s important to have early adopters. With the right employees, this will easily be easy as there will be friendship between customers and employees.
- Compliance with family and leave act. Do you give maternity leave? Studies have revealed that its women employees who frustrate expectant mothers. How unfortunate. How do you ensure that employees do not abuse their fellow employees?
5. Set revenue and profitability goals
The key to any business growth is its ability to make enough profit to sustain its operations while allowing s part of the profit to be reinvested for future growth. Do you have a pricing structure? This is one of the salient features that gives business advantage over their competitors. How many units will you have to sell to reach your goals?
Do you have your strategies outlined or laid down? Failing to have a pricing mechanism will adversely affect your business. Let’s think of this. You have started a business in a busy street with several other competitors. Along the way, you realize that your competitor’s goods are overpriced though they still have customers. Do you copy their pricing mechanism or stick to yours? Knowing what you want and aligning your goals to it is really important.
Even with all these, running a successful business requires dedication .Invest some time in studying some of the successful businesses around you. With your business plan template, take what you have learned and package it to help you achieve your goals.