Small business owners have 18 months on average to turn a solid profit. That might seem as if it’s a long time, but you should never rest on your laurels. Bloomberg reports that 80 percent of small businesses shutter their doors and windows within that 18-month period – a whopping 80 percent. How do you pull your business vehicle onto the road to success? Follow these six rules for a good start.
1. Write a Business Plan and Update It
No matter how good your idea is, it will not take root if you do not have a clear picture of how to implement it. Write out a realistic and detailed business plan and update it regularly. Put on paper who you are, who your target demographic is, what your business goal is and how you are going to achieve it, including tasks and subtasks. Everyone must see your vision clearly.
2. Keep Everything Organized
Keep your company data up to date and organized, especially your financials. It’s crucial to have accurate accounting records to analyze your company’s financial health and secure funding. You will not find backers for your venture if you cannot show your profits and losses clearly. Bookkeeping software can help you set a realistic budget and track all financial transactions.
3. Assess Your Niche and Competitors
You might establish a stronghold quickly in your niche, especially if it’s a unique one. This does not mean you should sit back and breathe easy. Today’s marketplace is volatile and global, and you must stay on top of trends and your competitors. Research your niche regularly to assess changes to which you must adapt and which competitors pose a threat to your positioning.
4. Assess Your Position and Fluctuate
Each time your niche shifts, it’s time to look in the mirror, too. Depending on market demands and your ability to utilize technology such as customer service software, you may find now is the time to be flexible and expand your entity. Ask yourself whether you need additional staff or if it is time to harness the power of technology to open and manage another location.
5. Take Advantage of Online Tools
Attaining a customer base and keeping it includes constant communication using several online sources. Don’t simply open a Facebook or Instagram account. Take advantage of all platforms that match well with your business niche and post fresh and visually stimulating content on these platforms regularly. Link everything together and then back to a professional website.
6. Never Stop Marketing to Existing and New Customers
Finally, design and implement a customer outreach plan. Customer service software can help. Learn how existing customers wish to be contacted, and then use the powerful communication tools in the software to reach out to them on a regular basis. Some will want to read email newsletters; others will enjoy the occasional text message. Many will want an app, so get one developed for your business.
Entrepreneurs who stay on top of their marketplace and their business’ positioning within it are the most successful ones. Don’t stunt your company’s growth unintentionally by becoming complacent once you achieve a little success. Leverage the power of organization, knowledge and the latest technology to get and keep your business on top. This will prevent you from being included in that distressing Bloomberg 80-percent statistic.