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You might be a small business, but of course your venture isn’t small to you. Chances are, it’s your entire life. It could be your only source of income, you’ve probably quit your job to make it work and poured in your life savings to this idea that you truly believe in. It’s an incredibly brave thing to do, and so of course you will want to ensure that your business succeeds and earns you money both now and in the future. To continue growing and securing future success, here are a few things to bear in mind.
Some of the biggest, most successful companies in the world have been made obsolete where they haven’t kept up with the times. Take Blockbuster Video for example, once one of the biggest media companies in the world it officially closed its doors late 2013.
With streaming sites becoming more and more popular, it made the decision not to get on board which turned out to be the wrong thing to do. Now companies like Netflix enjoy the customers that once used Blockbuster.
Take the example of an Internet cafe, when not everyone had a computer in their home, these companies used to do very well by charging people to use their machines and internet. But once computers were in just about every home and the rise of smartphones meant everyone had internet access whenever they wanted, many went out of business.
But smart company owners were aware of these movements and made changes to their business. Rebranding as a study cafe for students is one way they were able to continue despite the changes. Times move so quickly, and thanks for technology and other advancements, it’s so easy for a business that is essential in the here and now to become obsolete.
Keep an eye on changes that could affect your business, and make any adjustments so you ensure you stay relevant. Keep an eye on your competitors, and any major advancements in the world that could change things for you. That way, not only can you make money now but you can keep your business earning for many years to come.
This of course won’t apply to every business, for example if you’re a local florist, launderette or cafe then your customers will always be people in the local area. However if you sell products of just about any kind, then expanding operations to sell globally could mean big profits for your company.
Of course, there are plenty of kinks to work out and initially getting set up can be complicated- you have to consider things like shipping, bear in mind any banned ingredients in different countries, change up your advertising and even employ more people in your business to cope with the demand.
But if this is something you’re able to do, the sky’s the limit for your small business. Thanks to the Internet, entering foreign markets isn’t as difficult as it once was, but there are considerations to bear in mind so do your research here.
Improve Your Marketing
You could have the best business idea in the world, but without the right marketing you’re never going to reach the right people. Good marketing is so important, you need to know who your customers are and how to appeal to them.
It’s a complicated process and so either get an expert on your team, or outsource to a company like Advertology. You need to know how different methods work, what all of the data means and what you can do to improve reach and sales.
Online methods such as social media marketing, video marketing and blogger outreach are all good choices- but if you’re a local business then ‘old fashioned’ methods might work just as well. If you only need to reach customers in your local area then billboards, posters and radio ads can also be effective. A marketing professional will be able to give you all of the advice you need and let you know what will work for your company specifically.
Using the right business software will save you time, hassle and money. Up to date programs that automate areas of your business mean you’re not having to pay various employees for their time. It’s quick, easy and you avoid human error.
Of course, at this stage it’s still impossible to create a fully automated business, but the right software can reduce the amount of employees you need and mean the ones you do have can be used to their best potential.
From rota planning software to customer relationship management software, accounting software, legal software and more, there’s something for just about every area of your business. If it’s something you’ve not looked into then you could be putting your business in jeopardy.
Get The Right Staff on Board
As well as software to automate areas of your business, you need good staff to be able to run the software (and more!) Your workforce is everything, these are the people responsible for the daily tasks of your business. They keep things running, they ensure every element from creation to completion is done correctly.
For this reason, it’s so important to get the right people on board. Your staff need to be motivated and hardworking. They need to genuinely care about your business and have the skills and experience needed- or the potential to learn. Spend time during the recruiting stage carefully selecting CVs, and interview rigorously. Follow up on all references to ensure the candidate has the skills they say they do, and ask for specific examples to highlight past experiences they have had in similar roles.
There are lots of things you need to think about to run a company that’s successful now and in the future. Don’t rest on your laurels, just because things are going well now doesn’t mean this will always be the case. You need to keep your edge, and ensure that you’re moving with the times and providing the best service always.