Having a business or starting one can be daunting. There is so much to do and learn that some people just give up and return to being regular employees. It is easy to think about starting a business with all your ideas constantly running through your mind. You will think that it is doable and with a little tweak here and there, you will be able to start your own successful business.
Running a business though is entirely a different story. You need to come up with a business plan, find a location, name your company, hire employees, and have enough funds. There are a lot of aspects in a business that you have to learn and execute well in order for it to be successful. Here are some tips to help you on your journey to success:
20 Steps to a Successful Business
Constantly work on your business plan.
Everybody will tell you that you need a business plan before you start your business. They are right. You really do need one. A business plan is a document where you write down in detail the objectives of your business, how you plan on doing things, and your goals. It is basically a roadmap of your company.
There are several parts of a business plan that you need to know. However, the most important one is the executive summary which is the first thing you need to write. This summarizes what your business is, who is your target market, your marketing, and sales plan, financial projections, and strategies.
A good business plan is one that you continuously improve as you go along with your business. It is not the be-all and end-all of your business. You can update it as often as you need for a better fit for your organization.
Understand your niche market
A niche market is a segment of a broader market that has its own particular needs, demands, and preferences. Instead of marketing to everyone, you target a specific audience to market your business.
The focus here is to sell to an underserved and unnoticed large market that has specific needs not available in the industry. You should also be accessible to the target niche for you to be profitable.
If you want your business to be successful, you need to set goals and track them. Goal setting will give you a clear picture of what you want, what you need to do, and how you will accomplish them. Be as specific as possible and commit to it.
You can start with short-term goals by figuring out what you want to accomplish in the next weeks or the next three months. Break down each one into actionable tasks and measure your progress regularly. You can also do long-term goals which you plan to accomplish in the next five years or so and follow the same steps as your short-term goals.
Find the right location
Finding the right location for your business involves several factors. The most important question to ask is can you afford it? If you can answer it, then you need to focus on other factors below:
Consider where your target market is located and if you need to be in close proximity to them.
If you are in the retail industry, you cannot be on the 3rd or 4th floor of a building. You need to be on the ground floor where other retail shops are. Consider your employees and clients as well. The building structure must be sound and up to building codes and standards.
Having competition nearby has its advantages and disadvantages. Clients have more choices if the same shops or restaurants are nearby. But if there are too many in the same location, you are better off finding a new location.
Your location must be accessible to your employees, clients, vendors, and suppliers. Consider one with ample parking and loading and unloading space if you need it.
Local ordinance and zoning
Your business must be allowed in the area of your location. There are certain locations where some businesses are not allowed to operate. Make sure that you are updated on the ordinance and zoning of your target area.
Check the foot traffic in your target location. If you are in the retail business, you want to be where the action is. If you don’t need foot traffic, you can find a spot that is more discreet but still accessible.
Check your finances constantly
You should regularly monitor the financial position of your company. Know your day-to-day costs and keep up-to-date records. Pay your taxes on time and control your overheads. Always separate personal and business funds. Time your purchases and have cash reserves for emergencies.
Know the ins and outs of your business
Before you take that leap of faith and start your business, learn everything that is there to know about it. You can hire the right employee for each department but being hands-on is important. Moreover, you should be able to immediately spot potential problems and know what to do about them. You have to be updated with everything about the business every day.
Hire the right employees
Hiring the right team will lead to productivity and harmonious relationships amongst employees. Your company culture will depend on the people you recruit for each position. Before the recruitment process, write down a detailed job description for each position. List the qualifications and skills needed and the corresponding compensation and benefits that each will receive. This will guide you in finding the right person for the job.
Think out of the box. You can use proven tactics but it is good to innovate. Think of something that you can do in all aspects of your business that will give it a boost. Do something that has not been done before. Create the new normal.
Learn to sell
Selling is not just about a product. Learn to sell your service. Learn to sell your company to potential clients. Selling is hard but can be learned. Practice your pitch. Even if you are looking for investors, you need to sell them to your company. Knowing your business well will help you sell better.
Patience is a virtue. When you employ patience, you avoid making hasty decisions. Before you jump into any opportunity that comes your way, take the time to think about it. Do the pros and cons and make a responsible decision to ensure that you will not make mistakes along the way.
Talk to your employees
Be in constant communication with your employees. Be their leader and listen to their thoughts and suggestions. They will be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t because they are the ones who do the job. For example, if you have a clothing store, your front liners at the store will be the ones who can tell you which stocks are selling and which ones are not.
Talk to your clients
Clients are the most important because no clients mean no business. You can show your appreciation to clients by constantly reaching out to them and checking if they are being treated well. You can also learn from them what you need to improve on and how you can better serve them.
Consistency is key. You cannot sell a product or a service that is not consistent. You will lose your clients if you lower your standard of service or the quality of your products. Even in dealing with your employees and clients, you need to be consistent with your approach and decisions.
Reward your employees and clients
Rewarding your employees is a motivational tool that you can employ in the workplace. It increases productivity and helps in retaining your employees. It will inspire them to work harder and appreciate your gesture.
Loyal clients should be rewarded as well to show how much you appreciate them. You can offer discounts, send birthday gifts, or write thank-you notes. Any gesture, big or small, will go a long way.
Spend what is needed but think twice before you part with your hard-earned money. Maybe your office needs a new computer. You don’t need to buy the latest model with high-tech features. Get the one that will do the job and will last you for many years more. Try to spend less without sacrificing your business.
Be your company’s advocate
You are the most credible person to advertise your own company. If you have your own clothing label, wear the clothes you sell. Put the name of your company wherever you can to show people that you are proud of the business you created.
Outdo your promise
Always keep your promises but do not overpromise. You can always do more of what is expected of you. You can keep outdoing yourself to make your clients happy and content with your brand.
Your business can be improved over time. Once you are at a comfortable level with what you have done with the business, you can find other ways to supplement what you currently have. Keep on innovating until you have exhausted all the possibilities.
Develop mutual respect in your organization. Respect your employees, partners, and clients. Make meaningful connections and build the trust that you have for each other. Be authentic and share your values and goals. Treat everyone as friends outside of work.
Protect your business
After all the hard work of building your successful business, there is only one thing left to have a successful business. That is to make sure that it is protected with insurance. You would not want to see your business go up in flames because you did not purchase that extra layer of protection needed for when accidents and disasters strike.
You would also want to protect your employees with workers’ compensation for injuries obtained in the workplace and loss of income. This will protect them and yourself from out-of-pocket expenses.
You will also be protecting your clients if you have liability insurance. Depending on the type of business you have, you can purchase specific types of coverages that will be beneficial for your organization.
To help you with your business insurance needs for having a successful business, check out Advantage Insurance Solutions. You can expect expert guidance from our team of knowledgeable agents. Call us toll-free at (855) 973-1202 or (855) 712-6584 today and get the protection your business deserves!