Growing a Successful Business
No matter how enthusiastic you are about your small business, it won’t be successful unless you have a plan of action and strategies to start and run it. You can’t just rent a space, flip on the computers and expect to start making money. Here are a few things to think about before and in the midst of working your business.
1. Offer What People Want to Buy
Think about the product or service from the consumer’s point of view. Don’t just sell something you think will be successful. Find proof within your niche market as to why you should focus in a specific area.
2. Get Cash Flowing
Getting your cash flowing immediately is crucial. In a professional business, you can ask for deposits before work starts, with the balance due on delivery. Whether you factor your invoices to keep cash moving or get a bank line of credit, you should find ways to get money up front and maintain your cash flow.
3. Keep Cost Low
Cash doesn’t matter a bit if you aren’t maintaining positive cash flow. To do this, you need to keep your costs and expenses low. Vendors are more willing than ever to find creative ways to finance transactions, and that trend will likely continue over time. Make sure to get your business discounts, cash payment discounts, and early pay discounts wherever you can.
4. Overestimate Expenses
Whenever I plan a budget, I never aim for the “exact” amount I think it might be. It never lands there anyway. I’d rather overshoot my estimates and plan according. Startup businesses will typically see expenses 30 percent more than initially planned.
5. Focus on Sales and Marketing
Nothing will happen in business until a sale is made. Find good ways to obtain leads, convert, and retain repeat customers. Create a marketing and sales funnel system that is realistic, measurable, and can be utilized by anyone in the company.
6. Test and Measure Everything
You can’t change what you don’t measure. In order to make appropriate adjustments to your marketing strategies, you need to monitor your results. Don’t repeatedly throw your money down the drain on a campaign that costs thousands and doesn’t produce any leads. Don’t keep selling the same way when it keeps failing. Monitor your sales staff and methods to find out the winning formula and then use it.
7. Always Learn
You should be committed to learning as much as you can about your industry, sales and marketing. This will allow you to better establish your processes and strategies and grow your business.
8. Add Value
Adding value is different than discounting. A discount will take money out of your pocket and away from your bottom line. Added value propositions will allow you to hold your price points and increases your margins with the low-cost or no-cost extras.