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We all know that it takes a lot of work for a small business to succeed. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. Additionally, only about 50 percent of businesses make it past the five-year mark.
While these statistics may be discouraging, the good news is, there are plenty of things you can to ensure that your small business succeeds.
Check out this managing a business guide to discover the top ways to ensure that your small business succeed.
1. Make Customer Service Your Number One Priority
Even if you have the best product in the world, you won’t succeed if you have subpar customer service.
In fact, according to a recent study, 51 percent of customers say that they won’t do business with a company again if they experienced poor customer service. Additionally, 66 percent of customers say that they do more business with companies that offer exceptional customer service.
Creating a better customer service environment all starts with examining your current customer service and making the necessary changes. You may need to revamp your return policy, invest in better staff training, or outsource your customer service so you can offer 24/7 support.
2. Treat Your Employees Right
A small business is only as successful as its weakest employee. Therefore, it’s very important that you make sure you’re hiring the best team and treating them right.
Before you start hiring employees, make sure you have all of the logistical details ironed out in terms of health insurance, payroll services, and benefits. Obviously, you can adjust these things as your business grows, but it’s important to have these things set up from the start so that future employees know what they’re walking into.
Additionally, here are some other things you can do to ensure that your employees feel appreciated and stay on top of their game:
- Encourage your employees to take time off (studies show that taking vacation time helps to improve workplace productivity)
- Streamline the hiring process so you’re only bringing in the best
- Provide your employees with the right tools (software, electronic equipment, etc.) to get the job done
- Provide training, coaching, and opportunities for advancement
- Ask your employees for feedback
- Give rewards and recognition for a job well done
You should also be encouraging your employees to get to know each other outside of work through happy hours and volunteering events.
3. Build Your Online Presence
No matter what type of business you’re running, having an online presence is crucial to your growth.
Creating an online presence all starts with building a professional-looking website. Your website should be complete with:
- Contact information
- An “about us” section
- Client testimonials
- Blog posts
It should also include any other relevant information that will help customers learn about your business. For example, if you own a restaurant, your website should include your menu as well as photos of your food.
Depending on your target market, it’s also a good idea to get your business on social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great platforms for growing your business.
4. Cut Down On Costs
One of the biggest reasons small businesses fail is because they don’t have enough money to keep going. This is why cutting down on business expenses is so important.
Here are some simple things you can do to cut down on costs:
- Use a mobile app or hire a bookkeeper to keep track of costs so you can figure out where you can cut back
- Ditch your landline and instead use cellphones or invest in a VoIP phone service
- Go paperless
- Focus on low-cost marketing efforts like blogging, social media promotions, and word-of-mouth
- If possible, downsize your retail location, go fully remote, or encourage telecommuting
- Buy refurbished equipment
- Cut back on software
- Cut back on utility costs with smart thermostats, LED lightbulbs, light-blocking blinds, and double-pane windows
- Power down non-essential appliances, machinery, and lights after hours
- Use contract labor or freelancers for non-core work
- Reward responsible spending
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to reduce your small business costs.
5. Go Mobile
Did you know that Americans spend 51 percent of their time online via mobile devices? For this reason, it’s very important that your online presence is mobile-friendly.
By making your business website mobile-friendly, you’ll be able to attract a wider range of customers. There’s also a wide range of mobile marketing strategies you can take advantage of to reach your target market, such as text message marketing and mobile display ads.
If you sell products or services online, make sure you offer a range of payment options such as Paypal, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and Venmo.
6. Update Your Business Plan
When you first started your small business, you hopefully created a business plan that outlined your goals, course of action, and financing plan. It’s important to understand that as your business grows, you’ll need to update your business plan.
We suggest updating your business plan annually, as this will help keep the financial health of your business in check.
Managing a Business: Are You Ready for Your Small Business to Soar?
Now that you’ve read this guide on managing a business, it’s time to put these tips into action. Before you know it, your small business will be booming.
For more tips and tricks on running a small business, be sure to check back in with our blog.