How Can I Make My Small Business Successful?
By Rylie Holt
Small businesses are important to many communities, large and small. This doesn’t mean that running one is an easy task by any means, especially in light of recent events, but it does mean that running one is a challenge well worth undertaking if you have a knack for business. Given that as many as one-third of small businesses tend to fail after a couple of years under normal circumstances, you will need every advantage you can reasonably get.
Marketing your small business will be difficult if you don’t have a particularly large marketing budget to work with, but there are a few strategies that you can employ when starting that hopefully won’t break the bank. Word-of-mouth marketing is an important part of any business because it helps build a customer base through the interpersonal interaction of people who patronize your business. Simply put, people are more likely to trust the other people they choose to spend their time around than they are a sign that is telling them a few words that were hand-picked by the business.
A good way to improve your business’ word-of-mouth reputation is to get good reviews, but actively maintaining a social media presence to attract a smaller number of dedicated individuals can be a good strategy as well. Other marketing strategies that you can employ with some know-how include maintaining a website and using Search Engine Optimization techniques to improve its visibility, email marketing with newsletters, and interacting with your customer base through events like webinars. In other words, if you sell products from a probiotic manufacturer try everything you can to interact with your customers through the lens of being an expert on health food and fitness and you will be more likely to attract people who share those interests.
Employees are integral to your business, so you will need to learn about how the relevant labor laws affect how you need to treat your employees. In the United States, for example, responsibilities that come with hiring employees include social security taxes, compliance with worker’s compensation requirements in the event your employee is injured, and other requirements that will vary depending on the state in which you operate like disability pay.
Offering benefits that are not strictly required is a good idea if you can afford to do so. If you do choose to offer “optional” employee benefits, you still have to follow several laws when it comes to how those benefits are utilized. Lastly, it is simply a good idea to treat your employees well regardless of your legal obligations toward them. While specific examples may vary, if your employee is content with his or her job and how they are treated by their coworkers, they are more likely to be a valuable investment in the long-run.
It is no exaggeration that what your business provides to the general public is the “selling point” of your business, so staying on top inventory management is key. Inventory management goes beyond simply knowing how much of what kind of product you have, as it refers to how much of your inventory you plan on selling. You might have more luck selling diesel generators during storm season or after some kind of natural disaster, for example, so you should plan on acquiring more during the time of the year storms are expected and budget appropriately.
Regardless of what kind of small business you intend to run, you will always need to keep in mind the inherent value of your customers and your employees. Even if you are the only employee running your business, you have to make sure you run your business in such a way that you don’t suffer burnout or worse; cutting costs can be great for your business, but if doing so means isolating yourself and taking risks that make you uncomfortable you should seriously evaluate your situation to make sure that such a decision would be warranted.