As entrepreneurs, we’ve all been there – starting a business is HARD. Here’s some personal advice on key focus points to help you when you’re starting out.
The most challenging aspect in any small business is turning your great idea into a successful business, and how to work out problems you encounter along the way.
Success depends a lot on you personally, and how you handle these challenges. Right from the start, it helps to know – and prepare – for what you might come up against.
There are several areas you need to consider before your start and managing your focus will help. Prioritise your list, and start with the most important ones.
I’ve started a few businesses in my life, and each time there’s been something new or different to work out. But there are a few things that have remained common practice for me throughout my journey. Having solutions in place for these challenges will help with other obstacles that may arise along the way.
Here are my eight top tips to help you focus.
- Build a business plan and look into the future
Before starting your business, draw up a business plan, and think ahead about how you’ll expand. A business plan gives you a brief description on how to execute your business.
Write down all the possibilities of your successes and failures, how much you are investing and how much staff you will require running your business.
Create a professional business plan document to show to bankers and potential investors.
- Diversify your products or services
A diversification strategy provides opportunity to grow the business by increasing sales to existing customers or entering a new market. Analyse whether you have the resources to develop new products in the future or modify existing ones.
- Customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is key to the success of a business. Treat your customer as if you were them. Also, have a plan in place to deal with your customers and any issues that may arise.
- Future planning: open a new location
If you are thinking of ways to expand your business quickly, open a new location. This is one of the best strategies to help grow your business. The location should be well- researched and planned; research client and staff opportunities within different areas. Keep up-to-date with economic and consumer trends, as this will help decide if your business can flourish in that location.
- Go online
Digital marketing is the optimum way to promote your products and services. Social media platforms from where you can reach your customer and interact on a daily basis. Great content on your website can attract the customer and also make your website stand out.
- Build great products and services
The products and services your company provides must be best, and fill a role in the consumers’ life they never knew they had. Your company service must always hit above the mark of excellence. Statistics shows that many companies service level or product quality declines over time, which in turn affects the company’s overall success. Keep hitting for the best.
- The bottom line
Maybe this should be number one on the list – can you make a profit? For any small business, you need to know when the profit will come and how much. If you launch and then find that your business is no longer making a profit, then it would be a good idea to seek advice from a financial advisor that can help improve your company’s perception. Hire an accountant to review your cash flow and provide some objective feedback.
- Reward a loyal employee
Keeping your employees happy will reduce the risk of liability and encourage customer satisfaction. Keep supporting your employees, as it ensures loyalty towards you and your company. Always try to acknowledge your employees for their hard work, with a simple ‘thank you’, bonus or gift. Find out what motivates your employees. Great employees grow sales.