“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
It takes a lot of work, time and dedication to start a business, and you want to watch it succeed. All entrepreneurs are hard workers, and they know the thoughts and worries that come with opening up your own business. Among these is the big one, will my business always be able to support me and my family? Of course, when you first start out, it might be a side gig until the business really picks up. Once your business is up and running, what can you do to be sure it can always support you, and be your main source of income?
Take Advantage of Free Advertising
There’s a such thing as free advertising? Yes! It’s called social media. While this shouldn’t be your only form of marketing and advertising, it should be on the list. Your business should be featured online in several different outlets: Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. When you set up online profiles for your business, you are opening yourself up to a world of internet users who will turn to these outlets when they’re in need of a product or service. It’s true that over 80% of adults in the United States have at least one social media profile online (you can read more about that, here). Your business needs to be there interacting, engaging and taking advantage of that free advertising!
Monitor Your Spending
It’s important to keep in mind that while you want to keep your employees happy, it shouldn’t come at the risk of losing your business. All too often small businesses try to implement “perks” that the bigger companies have going for select employees. If it doesn’t make sense to pay for your employees’ cell phone plans, or provide them free lunch every week, then simply don’t do it. There are cheaper ways to keep employees happy, like: reasonable work hours, friendly bosses (that’s you!) and quality training.
If you find that you’re overpaying your employees, or paying for jobs that really don’t need to be full-time, it’s time to do an inventory of your employees. Nobody wants to do that, but in order to keep your business alive, you have to only spend money where it makes sense. Valuable employees are important for any business, but they need to be worth it for you.
Know where your money is going in marketing, and find out what’s working for you. You shouldn’t be spending marketing budget without following up and knowing if that budget is helping you, or being wasted. Whenever you market your business, you should know how that marketing affected you, and how much revenue it brought in.
Focus on Your Goals
You are a goal-oriented person, or you probably wouldn’t be a business owner. It’s a lot of work starting and running a business, and that’s a big responsibility for one person. Focusing on your goals, and why you started your business in the first place, will really help you stay passionate about it and make that hard work worth it for you. Set reasonable goals for yourself and your business, both long and short term. When you are making decisions about your business, be sure to refer back to your goals and know what steps you are taking to accomplish them. It’s never a bad idea to write down your goals so you can physically see what you’re working toward. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, you are over 40% more likely to achieve goals that you have written down!
Don’t Skimp on Quality
It’s easy, as a business owner, to see how much quality employees and products are costing you. It’s really important to focus on how detrimental it is for a business when they start to skimp on quality. If you have employees who know what they are doing, and are completing quality work each time, they are likely worth your money spent on them. When you are selling products or services, it’s important to note that people won’t be coming back time and time again if they feel that the quality is low. Keeping your costs down is important, but equally important is keeping your quality up!
Knowing when it might be time to make a change with your employees, or the way you do things is a big deal when you’re running a business. Being open-minded to the changing industries and techniques will go a long way with helping your business stay open and viable over time. Be willing to accept feedback, and use it to better your business. Whether your feedback comes from employees, loyal customers, or online reviews, you should be open to hearing it. If you see that something is a reoccurring issue people are having with your business or an employee, it might be time to make a change. You’re the expert in your industry, and it’s important that you keep up with the times so you stay that way!
To answer the question, “Can your small business always support you?”, YES. It can always support you as long as you are doing your part to keep it alive and running smoothly! Follow these tips and you will quickly see what you are doing right, and what might need to change in order to keep your business thriving!
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!