Starting a small business is a big undertaking. There’s a lot to think about, from developing products or services, to building a team to market and sell your wares. It’s no wonder that many small businesses don’t make it past their first year. According to research, around 22% of startups fail in their first year because they’re not generating enough revenue and suffer from cash flow problems.
If you’re thinking about starting a small business or are in the early stages of running one, there are some factors you must know to give yourself the best chance of success. Without further ado, here are 5 essential things that every small business owner should keep in mind:
- It’s all about the customer
It’s no secret that customers are the lifeblood of any business, small or large. Without loyal customers, you won’t have anyone that will buy your products and services on a regular basis, which means no reliable revenue and your business would quickly go under. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on providing an excellent customer experience from the very beginning.
Every potential customer interaction with your brand should be positive and memorable. From the first time they see your website or social media to when they receive their purchase, you want them to be happy with their experience. And there are plenty of ways to achieve this goal. For instance, investing in the latest technology like software solutions offered by Jobber can give your business a competitive edge and enable you to service customers in a personal yet manageable way.
Additionally, utilizing smart tools like this free invoice template can make it easier for clients to understand what they’re paying for and save you time on administrative tasks. This invoice generator is a great option that’s easy to use and can be customized to include your branding, which helps boost customer satisfaction and retention rates.
- Effective marketing is key
No matter how good your products or services are, you won’t make any sales if you don’t market them effectively. Marketing helps you get your business in front of potential customers and convince them to buy from you. It also offers various benefits, such as building brand awareness, boosting credibility, and generating leads. Therefore, it’s essential to create a marketing strategy that covers all the bases and allocate a budget for it.
There are various marketing channels you can explore, such as the following:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Paid advertising
You’ll need to experiment with different tactics to see what works best for your business and target audience. Once you find a few successful methods, stick with them and continue to fine-tune your approach. You may also consider using marketing technologies to be your assistant in this process. The key is to be consistent with your marketing to build a loyal customer base gradually.
Don’t forget that your website is also a powerful marketing tool. Make sure it’s optimized for search engines and mobile devices and contains compelling content that’ll encourage visitors to stay awhile and learn more about your business.
- Create a sales funnel
A sales funnel is the process that potential customers go through when considering a purchase. It starts with awareness and moves down to conversion.
Here’s a quick overview of the primary sales funnel stages:
As a small business owner, creating a sales funnel that leads prospects through these stages is critical so you can close more deals. There are various ways to do this, such as creating targeted content, using lead capture forms and offering free trials. Make each stage of the funnel as smooth and as seamless as possible. The goal is to guide prospects toward becoming paying customers without causing too much of a hassle.
- Keep your finances in order
Finances can make or break a business, so keeping them in order from the beginning is crucial. This includes creating a budget, tracking expenses, and knowing when and how to invest in your company.
You also need to be mindful of tracking and managing cash flow to see if your business is actually profiting or not. To ensure a positive cash flow, keep track of invoices and ensure they’re paid on time. You can also offer discounts or early payment terms as an incentive for customers to settle their accounts quickly.
- Get help when you need it
Sometimes, running a small business can feel like a one-person show, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of resources and experts available to help you, so don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when you need it. This could be anything from outsourcing a Managed IT Service provider to hiring an accountant.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to manage all the tasks alone. When you surround yourself with the right people, you can delegate tasks, get valuable feedback, and free up your time to focus on the things that matter most.
There you have it—five things every small business owner should know. Keep these in mind as you start and grow your company, and you’ll be on your way to success in no time.
Mazur, Caitlin. “WHAT PERCENTAGE OF SMALL BUSINESSES FAIL? : TOP REASONS AND FAILURE RATE” ZIPPIA. Last updated April 2022. Accessed July 2022. www.zippia.com/advice/what-percentage-of-small-businesses-fail/#:~:text=However%2C%20it’s%20an%20important%20statistic,fail%20in%20the%20first%20year
Bordeaux, Jason. “What Is Customer Experience? (And Why It’s So Important)” HubSpot. Accessed July 2022. blog.hubspot.com/service/what-is-customer-experience#:~:text=A%20remarkable%20customer%20experience%20is,the%20power%2C%20not%20the%20sellers.
Kim, Grace. “The Importance of An Effective Marketing Strategy in Reaching Your Business Goals” Entrepreneur. Last updated April 2022. Accessed July 2022. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/422521
Gargaro, David. “Guide to Building a Sales Funnel” Business News Daily. Last updated June 2022. Accessed July 2022. www.businessnewsdaily.com/15989-how-to-build-a-sales-funnel.html