So you have a small business and you want to build it into your own little empire in the world. We all have delusions of grandeur that this business idea is going to change everything and that we’re serving a purpose, but the reality is that most small businesses fail within their first year. Here are some tips that may keep your business moving forward for years to come.
Growing a business won’t happen overnight. It takes months and sometimes even years to happen. To do so, you need a plan and a vision of where you want to be. Write down your goals so you can see them in black and white, then make them come to reality. You will end up needing to put all of your resources into the success of your business. Not just money, but also your mental and emotional investment into success.
In business, you will find there are two types of money: One is cash flow, which will keep you in business. This is a short-term goal. That money is just to fill you for the time being. The other type of money is the investment you put into your business. This could take the form of equipment, personnel, and intellectual property. Investment in these sources will make you more money in the long run.
Over the years, I have found it is best to have a good relationship with your clients so they become repeat clients. Another way to go with this is to have a reoccurring bill that is paid monthly, such as a subscription. This type of revenue adds to your long-term security.
Invoicing my customers is possibly the hardest part of owning a small business and the one thing that I really dread. I am not sure why this is, but many other small business owners share the same dislike for billing. It’s important to do if you want to keep the lights on. One way to get around this problem is to either accept credit cards or Paypal payments. This makes it quick and easy and you don’t have to worry about the hassle of sending out a bill.
Customers are not going to just fall at your feet. They won’t. Even if you have the best product or service now to mankind, if you don’t go out and sell it, no one will buy it. If you are afraid to talk up your business, you will need to overcome that fear. People are going to tell you no. Live with it.
We live in a world where Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President of the United States. One of the ways he got to this place is smart use of free advertising. He used social media to get people to listen with small sound bites. Who doesn’t like free advertising? You need to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms to get your name out in front of customers. You can also list your web site and business on Google, Yahoo! and Bing for free.
While social media can be an excellent tool to get free advertising, it is also an easy time-waster. If you spend an hour of your day playing Candy Crush or Mob Wars, then more time talking and chatting with your friends, you will soon find that you’re not making money and half of the day is gone. Plan out your posts and make use of tools that allow you to write your posts ahead of time and space them out. You shouldn’t spend more than a half hour to an hour a day posting information and responding to your customers.
Stop using on-site storage and software and move over to the cloud so you can be mobile and share information as needed. I use Dropbox for my cloud usage, but my software is also cloud based and updates regularly. This way, if your computer is stolen or lightning destroys it, you still retain your information.