Anyone can set up a business, but not everyone can make it work.
According to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, around 50% of businesses fail within five years.
What makes the difference between these and the other half who succeed? From lack of planning and marketing to poor customer service, businesses fail for many reasons.
But there’s also a lot you can do to make sure your business survives and even thrives.
Set Clear Goals
Use Key Performance Indicators to track the metrics that matter to you. Based on them, define your profitability and revenue goals.
Be specific. Having clear goals is like walking, holding your head up. Knowing where you’re going makes it easier to get there.
Hire the Right People and Keep Them Motivated
Some people just need a job. Others will enjoy filling specific roles. It’s not only a question of abilities but also of personal interests and motivation.
Investing time into knowing and testing candidates before hiring them full-time can make a big difference.
Once they’re part of a team, you want to keep them motivated with benefits that matter to them. Again, this goes back to knowing them.
Focus on What Works
Each business has products or services that work better than others. Marketing strategies show results while others simply swallow money. Productivity practices that deliver result better than others.
Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t and become aware of the differences between the two.
Neither your energy nor your budget is indefinite, so focus on what works for you. It’s all about being dynamic and learning as you go.
Focus on One Big Project at a Time
For many new businesses, it’s the big projects that make a difference. Big projects enable you to become established in your field and bring in big money.
Taking them one at a time may work better than scattering your resources and energy across small projects. This is especially true in the beginning before you’ve built a solid customer base.
Keep Detailed Records
Keeping detailed records may seem like a hassle when there’s so much else you have to do. But it will enable you to check the health of your business at a glance.
It will inform your decisions and help you anticipate potential financial problems before they arise. It will also help you keep an eye on your cash flow.
Today you can automate record-keeping in many ways, making it less repetitive and time-consuming.
Listen to Your Customers
Pay attention to the bad reviews instead of dismissing them. Be willing to admit that there may be some problems with your product or customer service.
After all, no product or business is perfect.
By listening to your customers, you’ll be able to figure out what you can improve. It can make a world of difference.
Make the Customer Experience the Best You Can
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, 65% of customers believe a great experience is more important than amazing advertising.
The customer experience begins when a potential customer first visits your site or store and ends with customer support.
You can’t take any shortcuts. Customer experience is how you show customers that you care about them.
It’s what makes them remember your brand and return to it. It also enables you to charge more, knowing that you’re providing value during all stages of the customer’s journey.
Know Your Competition
Keeping an eye on your competitors can help you learn from them. It may offer you new ideas that you can integrate into your business strategy.
Know your competitors by studying their online presence and the numbers they release. Do this not to copy them but to understand what new strengths you can develop.
Take Cybersecurity Seriously
Most businesses today rely in one way or the other on the internet. Even businesses not based on the internet have a website and may use web technologies such as payment processing services.
Small businesses can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, whether direct or indirect. All of these can affect your day-to-day operations, from direct hacking attempts to DDoS attacks on infrastructure providers.
Risks include network, app, or shopfront disruptions, ransomware scenarios, data loss, and compromised accounts.
Even if you take security seriously, you have to think about the other computers in your business networks.
Stay protected against cyberthreats by adding layers of security between your resources and cybercriminals. Start with antivirus software, a firewall, and a VPN for PC.
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