Starting your own business can be one of the most exciting and terrifying experiences around. It is you and only you who decides on the direction of the business. As the owner you create the strategy and execute the plan. This can be overwhelming at times, but here are some best practices that I have learned over the years as a small business over. However, no one can be expected to know everything when they’re first starting out. These tips are designed to help you build a successful business.
Change is a constant if you are a business owner and operator. Flexibility allows you to adjust when changes need to be made. As the market changes it is imperative to keep your finger on the pulse of supply and demand. Be willing to pivot if you find that customers are demanding different forms of payment or ways to purchase your products. Consider running an online store as an alterative way for people to purchase your products. Another option is to run a pop-up event or sale to garner attention to your business.
2. Monitor the competition
Look at successful competitors to learn what they do that draws customers. Keep your ear to the ground for news of things they do that drive customers away. This process can help you figure out how to position yourself higher in the pecking order. Here are a few things to examine:
- Are you competing for the same customers? If so, what can you do to make your business more attractive to those customers?
- How’s your competitor’s online presence? Which social media outlets are they utilizing? How is their website? Compare it to your online presence.
- Imagine yourself not as a business owner but as a customer. Is there anything about your competitor’s business that would draw you to them? If so, you know it’s time to make tweaks to your own business.
3. Put money away
Recessions are a normal part of the economic cycle, and it’s not a matter of whether we will suffer another recession, it’s a matter of when. The best way to prepare is to put money away in a rainy-day fund. It’s always a good idea to separate your personal funds from your business funds. It’s best practice to open a separate bank account for your business. Keep at least a few months of operating costs aside in case the economy heads south.
4. Accept all popular payment types
Did you know that different age groups prefer to pay in different ways? Make it easy for all of your customers to purchase from you by allowing them to pay for their items or services in the way they prefer, whether that’s via credit card, debit card, mobile wallet, cash, check, or even gift card. It’s great to provide various modes of payment specifically Venmo, PayPal and credit and debit cards. Giving your customers more payment options helps provide a seamless shopping experience and increases the likelihood that they’ll return.
These are just a few examples of small business tips and tricks that can help you in the new year. There’s a dramatic difference between working for someone else and working for yourself. The ability to be your own boss is an amazing experience, but it is not for everyone. Everything is up to you, including how you move forward in 2024.
Contact Dr. Anderson for assistance with managing your career search.