Every small business owner has the goal to create a successful and profitable business. In most cases, that’s easier said than done. Your product or service could be the best in the world, but if you don’t take the necessary steps to set up your business, you could miss your opportunity.
How do you turn your idea into a profitable business? Here are the six key steps to success for new small businesses.
The research and planning phase of developing your business is pivotal in its success. Get organised and do the research that will help you understand more about your customers, like what drives and motivates them to buy.
Your planning should include:
- Determining and defining your market
- Analysing your competition
- Creating a business plan
Your business doesn’t need to be in its infancy to benefit from research and planning. You can stay ahead of the pack by keeping an eye on what your competition is doing, how your customers are behaving and whether the market is changing.
Understand risks and rewards
Risks can generate great rewards and help your business to expand and grow, but they need to be informed. When considering a risky move, it’s helpful to ask yourself - what’s the downside? This will reveal the worst-case scenario and help you take a calculated risk.
Also pay close attention to timing; risks are best made once you’ve built a solid foundation for your business.
Focus on customer service
At the end of the day, customers are the ones who determine your success. You won’t make a profit without customers, so providing exceptional service should be a huge part of how you do business. Providing good service is key in gaining customer loyalty and retaining their business.
Discover the seven golden rules of customer service here.
Don’t neglect your bookkeeping
It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to solely focus on the service or product you’re selling, but you simply can’t neglect your bookkeeping if you want to run a profitable business. Not only is it essential for budgeting and keeping track of your expenses, but it provides information about your business that will allow you to make decisions for growth.
Have a marketing strategy
Small businesses don’t always have the luxury of a big marketing budget, but if you’re smart with your approach, a small spend can get you further than you’d think. Focus on what works for you. Ask questions like- Who is my customer? Where do they hang out? How do they arrive at their purchase decisions?
A marketing approach that’s tailored to your specific audience will be far more effective than one that’s designed to target no one in particular.
Take a look at some of the latest marketing trends for inspiration.
Think long term
It’s easy to get caught up thinking about what’s happening now, next week and even next month, especially in the current climate, however it pays to set some long term goals for your business.
Use the SMART framework to set your goals. SMART stands for- specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. This framework will help to ensure your goals are attainable within a certain timeframe.
Keep the big picture in mind and break your large goals into smaller ones, remembering to track your progress with milestones.
To succeed in business today you need to be flexible, resilient and have a knack for planning. Stay on track with the key steps to running a business and set yourself up for successful outcomes from the get-go.