Starting a small business, no matter how experienced you are, can seem like an uphill battle. There are always unique problems and finding the perfect blueprint is next to impossible. Each situation is different and what may have worked for you in the past or a colleague isn’t going to be the say all be all solution.
With so many tips and recommendations floating around on the web, it can be hard to know when to open your ears and when to simply turn away. Below is a list of what could be the five most vital tips that will help your business get off the ground and be successful.
1. Be An Open Book
Your small business idea may be your first big venture or this could be another project for you. No matter what, it’s important that you’re an open book and listen to what others have to say.
This doesn’t mean you have to hold every piece of advice you receive like a golden nugget dropped from heaven but you should be mindful of what people are saying. More importantly, what they’re saying about your business specifically.
Do they seem excited by the idea? Do they simply nod and smile? What are their reactions? While your idea may seem like an instant homerun, listen to what other people think.
2. The Money Plan
It goes without saying that you’ll be investing quite a bit of money into your business. Making a list of things you’d be paying for might stretch from here to the moon.
With so many costs and purchases coming up, you need to be spending your money wisely. You’ll want to save money but not spend cheaply on vital items. You don’t want to buy the most expensive laptop if all you’re going to be using it for is email and bookkeeping. For big equipment, you can always start out with rentals. You may not need to buy everything.
Lay out a budget and sit down with an accountant. Dive into your expenses and map out how long it would take before you may be able to turn a profit. You’ll also want to look at your personal life and set your own expenses for food, rent and utilities. Get to know your expenses backwards and forwards.
3. Networking, Networking, Networking
Like so many real estate agents saying the three most important things in their business are “location, location, location”, one can say the three most important things in small businesses are “networking, networking, networking”.
This doesn’t mean you have to go to every event in town and rub shoulders with the city’s elite. You should be going to events even if it’s just to get the word out about your business. If you’re not outgoing it’s time to be outgoing.
Networking also means interacting with all your customers. Besides providing friendly service, you’ll want to get to know their wants and needs. How can you serve them better? Is there anything they’re looking for? How can you make your service better?
4. Venture Online
You can find just about anything you want on the internet and you want people to be able to find you as well. That’s why you need to have a solid online presence and plan. This can instantly connect you with consumers in your area to let them know everything from your location, hours, menu, items and more.
Usually, a small business makes a webpage or at least have a social media presence. With over 75% of internet users having some kind of social media page, it pays to be on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll also want to make sure you’re regularly updating your page. If people can see you’re still posting and interacting, they’re more likely to remember your store and keep you in mind.
5. The Mind Game
Throughout all the ups and downs, the most vital constant in all of it is you. Be productive as you can and don’t procrastinate. Keep an open mind and aim for the course ahead. Be firm in your decisions but be willing to listen to others.
Think about succeeding and try to avoid the “what if” moments. As cheesy as it may sound, confidence and a positive attitude can go a long way. At the end of the day, be strong!