Small Business Survival Tips
Having a small business has its ups and downs. Some of the benefits include being an independent worker and, most likely, your own boss. You’re able to control the days, the number of hours you work, and your income level. However, there are some drawbacks. Success and failure are your sole responsibility, you’re responsible for all financial aspects of the business, and, most of all, the business reflects you as the owner.
Following are some tips to help you make your small business successful.
Time Management and Goals
As a small business owner, time management is crucial for making the most of your business and achieving your goals. Start by prioritizing tasks based on importance and urgency. Set specific goals for yourself and your employees. Use and encourage the use of an online calendar, such as Google or Outlook, or use a daily planner to organize your appointments and jot down creative ideas. This is something you should always keep on hand – in and out of the office. Time management includes balancing your time. If you spend too much time on one task, your other task will be put off and this will affect your overall productivity. It also includes work versus home-life balance.
Dave Knibbe, Ph.D. writes that you should divide your attention between two basic choices when managing time and productivity:
- Those tasks that are crucial
- Those tasks that are useful
Once you realize that something is nonessential, move on to something more productive. As they say, time is money.
Keep Your Finances in Order
Have you heard that it takes money to make money? Every business starts with a cost. It may have been your fictious name and business license that started your first investment, and that has moved into office and supply expenses, staffing, and marketing. Every business has line items for expenses, and management of these expenses is one of the major requirements for success. If you’re not managing your money, you will lose the business. Main goals in financial responsibility include keeping your overhead as low as possible, not growing before the business grows, and not over investing before your first sale.
Website and Social Media Marketing
Having a website and social media presence is vital for business owners. These are forms of marketing that most potential clients expect of a valid company or organization, and are ways to build your brand and increase sales.
Your website and its corresponding URL should reflect your business and its services, be easy to remember, and include something catchy or classic. If you’re not technically savvy, you should investigate website design companies or find companies online that provide user-friendly platforms, like Wix or Weebly. When creating web pages, they should include keywords that will help people find your site. Be sure to include pictures, contact information, and your mission or service statement.
Regarding social media, the top five used platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Having a Facebook Business Page is the first thing you should create. It is user-friendly and free. If you have products, showcasing them on Pinterest and Instagram is also a great way for people to see what your company has to offer. You should also make sure that your company is listed in search engines correctly and kept up-to-date. For example, Google is one of the most used search engines and allows you to add your business information at no cost. While Google is not a social media platform, it provides social media services through its platforms, like YouTube.
One-Up Your Competition
Build your business to be the top of what you provide. Provide a better product, provide the best customer service, and price your product or services fairly. Don’t charge less – offer more. Listen to what your customers are saying. Provide what your local community needs. Successful entrepreneurs don’t do the minimum for their company. They are constantly working to grow, evolve, and prepare for the future.
Ultimately, your success will require 100 percent of your focus, commitment, and determination to survive. Keep in mind the words of Tonia Wright, “Draw on experiential faith. Remember the battles you won, the challenges you’ve overcome, and the sheer depth of your expertise. Those positive thoughts will keep your head in the game — even when it looks impossible.”
SmallBiz Ahead (2019) https://sba.thehartford.com/business-management/tips-from-successful-small-business-owners/