It takes more than a good idea and cash to start and grow a successful small business; it takes an owner with guts. Here you’ll find some useful tips that will help you focus your courage and passion to build your business and successfully grow it.
Your ability to honestly face facts and adjust to new realities will strengthen your firm and grow your entrepreneurial expertise. No matter what industry you are in, you can be a highly effective leader if you follow these brave actions, which many owners won’t.
Some owners are unaware of the need for these activities, or are dangerously too sure of their own knowledge or are hyper-focused on the daily running of their business. Some are too busy hugging the trees to take the time to view the state of the forest.
These actions will help you discover the true pulse of your business. Smart business owners want to know the truth about their business situation, so they can adjust and capitalize on their findings.
7 Tips to Build Your Small Business
1 – Review Cash Flow Statements Regularly
Cash flow is as vital to your company as blood is to your body! As such, you MUST prepare, or have cash flow statements prepared by your bookkeeper or your accounting software, weekly (monthly at the most) and review them carefully.
If prepared properly, the report will show you when you could have negative or low cash on hand. Then you can make plans to delay purchases and increase sales to manage your cash flow better.
Consider scheduling your review at the same time every week. As a business owner, I do mine on Tuesday mornings. Review the projections at least 90 days forward or up to one year, dependent upon the size and volatility of your business.
Always remember that the lack of cash and poor flow management is the top reason for small business failure.
2 – Work in the Store or Answer the Phones
Get close to your customers to both build good working relationships and to see what really happens with your buyers. It’s no secret that a solid network of customers is the key to build your business.
If the majority of your sales are online, answer the customer service phone or run the live chat. Restaurant owners are encouraged to become a waiter for a few shifts, where you will learn volumes about your customers and employees.
This is the best way to get a real education about how your business is functioning, well or not, so you can mend problems early.
3 – Calculate ROI for Marketing Campaigns
Marketing costs are a major expense and the fuel that drives your sales, so it is vital to know exactly where your marketing dollars are spent and which activities are producing sales and which are not.
Some business owners fall in love with their own ad campaigns and think, or even worse “feel” in their gut, that they are working well. However, until you run the numbers and calculate your ROI (return on investment), you cannot know for sure.
4 – Read Online Reviews and Social Pages – Especially the Bad
Be brave my entrepreneur friend, and go online and read all, yes the good and especially your bad, customer reviews, comments, and questions.
You will learn a world about how your company is perceived by the public, and you can often spot problem areas that need correcting before they cause irreparable damage to your business.
On many social sites, you can respond directly to customer complaints and save a customer plus show your online public your active commitment to good customer service.
5- Ask For Honest Feedback – Online and In Person
In fact, it is good practice to include on your website and social pages a virtual complaints box in the form of a short, 1-2 minutes max, online survey asking for customer feedback to improve.
Also, have a physical box in your office for employees to submit anonymous suggestions and concerns, often this is the only way you may learn of troublesome internal issues.
6 – Examine Your Ego Spending
Be ruthless and study your expenses and remove any that are “ego-based” such as your fancy office and snazzy car.
Many business owners fail because they treat their business as their personal bank account. I am not saying you cannot buy yourself luxury vehicles but not on the company dime.
In addition to over stressing your balance sheet, these type of purchases sends a bad message to your employees that overspending of company funds is fine. It is a corrosive and negative attitude that will not support your firm’s long-term growth.
7- Challenge Yourself to Keep Improving as a Businessperson
As a successful business owner you know you must improve continually to build your business; learn new skills, study their industry, experiment with new technology and boost their leadership expertise.
Overconfidence is the enemy of solid business growth because it prevents us owners from seeing our own inadequacies so we don’t take action to eradicate them.
Every day entrepreneurs are called upon to perform tasks in unknown territory. Recently I needed to improve my writing and editing skills, so I signed up online for a series of courses at Udemy and found them very helpful. Find your knowledge gaps and fill them to become a better business owner.
Now that you have learned about these tough fact-finding actions that separate the business winners and losers go ahead and implement some of them to your firm’s betterment so you can build your business and see it thrive. Good luck!