8 Things Every Small Business Owner Needs To Do
We all know the internet is full of helpful tips and know-how on how to start and run a small business. The quantity of data accessible online can sometimes be overwhelming even for the most experienced of us. We tried to help narrow down this research on what you should focus your attention on as a business owner. If you are planning to start your business or want to improve your small business, here are the eight topics that made the cut on our lists:
1. Manage your finances
The most important reasons small businesses fail is lack of cash, not lack of profits as one might think. This is the reason you really need to understand which levels in your business can affect your cash flow. Do you purchase inventory? How much inventory should you have available? Do you collect payments from clients? How long does it take clients to pay you? Do you have loans you need to pay back? and so on.
There are a series of layers that might affect your working capital needs you should understand to make sure your small business succeeds.
2. Strategize based on your own data
We really believe in data (so does the whole internet :) ) and we also believe it's important to base your plans on your collected data. That's why we think that every small business owner should keep track and gather as much data as they can. Because the more you can track and base your strategies on data you will improve your business decision in the long run. Tracking key performance indicators for your business and understanding why and what influences them will help you make better decisions that will keep your business on track.
Let's assume a small business owner thinks his clients usually pay in 30 days. By keeping track of the actual payment dates compared to what his plans were he can quickly figure out if in reality he is getting paid every 45 days (instead of every 30 days), and if so, he can quickly and appropriately access a small business loan, and keep his business working capital healthy—before the business gets into trouble.
3. Understand your margins
Business owners are often inclined to focus on the bottom line. Monitoring how individual products and or services contribute (or take away) from the bottom line you can cut losses and make sure you invest time and resources in the most profitable products and or services.
4. Your business should be online
The internet and our devices have become an integrated part of how we work and how we interact with the world. By making sure your business is present where your clients are, you will increase the chances of your clients interacting with you. If you are unsure about where to start, check out the free services offered by Google, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.
5. Make sure you have a brand and a unique proposition you stand by no matter what
People are more likely to work with businesses that have a well-constructed brand and with companies that have a higher purpose. We feel more connected to brands and companies that don't give the feeling that they are only in it for the money.
Dig down and see what is the reason you started your business in the first place, you will find the reason your clients love to work with you.
6. Invest in marketing that gives your ROI
Small business owners often feel they don’t really understand marketing. And with how fast technology is evolving no one can really be blamed. Where should you spend your money? Will it work? Should you advertise on the radio, or online? What works? What doesn’t? Small business owners should start in places that can be free and easy. You could start by networking with local businesses and local business owners. Find out what they do that works.
If you have a website make sure are using free tools like Google Analytics to find out how people find your business, where they come from and how they interact with your website.
When advertising, always think about how you can track results. If you do a special deal, maybe try tracking that with a dedicated promo code. Think of maybe offering only certain products or services on sale. Test and try out different strategies. That is how you will learn what works and what doesn’t for your business.
7. Listen to your customers
Every business owner should talk to their clients, to find out what they like—and what they don’t like. Receiving feedback can be one of the most valuable things your business needs. It might be tough to handle negative criticism but remember that this will definitely show you what areas from your business might need your attention.
8. Monitor your competition
Small businesses are the core of our economy so - unless you found a really untapped need - you will have competition. Making sure you know and understand your competition will be a very important factor in running your business.
To sum up, here are the short eight topics that made our list:
- Take care of your finances. If you need a small business loan to apply here, you'll receive a fair and fast answer shortly. We believe in easy and fast financing for small businesses.
- Track and use your own data when strategizing
- Understand what products or services are providing more to your bottom line
- Think of where your customers are if there is a chance they might look for you online, we recommend you explore this channel
- People love to connect to companies so think about your brand from this perspective
- Invest in marketing that brings you customers. If your customers are online maybe you should also try to be where they are ;)
- Talk and listen to your customers. Listening might hurt a bit but we think it's worth it
- Monitor your competition
What is the focus in your business? Maybe in your industry, the list should include some other topics, we would love to hear them from you.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed this article. Keep in touch!