The first five years of any new business are critical to that business’s future survival. That’s why it’s essential to have a carefully crafted plan for not only achieving but also maintaining success. Thankfully, there are several ways to get your business in line to help it stay productive and fruitful.
In order to achieve success with your business, you must place a solid effort into keeping an efficient office. This is especially true if you are a sole proprietor. Many startups first operate at home and then, once they become established, move to a separate location. During the first year or so, maintaining accurate records is important.
Having a sufficient workspace with a desk, a computer, and a filing cabinet are just a few of the things that are necessary to keep your office organized. Having easy access to your important documents is also key to making your life easier. The good news is that you can use tools like the document scanner provided by companies like Evernote to help you achieve success in this area.
A Skinny Budget
In many cases, newly formed businesses don’t have the same luxuries as those who are well-established when it comes to an advertising budget. Since this is an essential component of any successful business, you’ll need to find creative ways to cut costs. Luckily, you have several options. First, you can use social media as a way to attract new business without breaking the bank. Another way to bring in new clients is through the tried and proven methods such as email. All you need is a list of the names of people or businesses within a chosen mile radius and then you simply send out a mass email. The cost is low and the outcome can prove plentiful.
Use What You Have
Some business owners still don’t understand the potential for new business that can come from existing loyal customers. If you want to enhance your sales, draft up a letter to your existing base and offer a small monetary reward as a token of appreciation. Word of mouth to a family, co-workers or friends will give your business a positive boost that lasts.
Become a Member
People tend to go use businesses that they are familiar with. One way to bring your business into play is to become a true and active member of your community. Sponsorship of a local team, hosting a summer music festival, or simply opening your doors to the public are just a few examples of how you can make your business a familiar name.
Stay One Step Ahead
Let’s face it: competition is stiff and, unless you’re willing to invest the time to find out what your competitors are doing to achieve success, you’re missing out. Visit other businesses and trade shows to find out which services they provide. This will give you insight into what they do right and into their weaknesses.
It goes without saying but it is definitely worth repeating, you need to have excellent customer service skills to achieve and maintain a successful business. Unfortunately, word gets around quickly if you falter, and recovery is difficult. To avoid this, welcome customer feedback and take care to review each response from the customer’s point of view. While pleasing everyone is impossible, doing everything you can to appease the majority will work in your favor.
The Value of Employees
If you’re a small business owner and have several employees, make sure that you treat them well. A good employee is hard to find and, if you have a few, your business will grow. However, if your staff feels mistreated or unappreciated, their work efforts will reflect that.
Making it beyond the first few critical years for any business is challenging. However, with the right tools, ambition, and a clear plan of action, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.