Every business owner has a story to tell. The road that leads to entrepreneurship isn’t easy and is often marked with struggles, failures, and life changing ‘ah-ha’ moments. No matter where you begin, there are 10 steps you must take to ensure you give your business the best chance at long-term success possible.
Discovering Your Business Why
This step is all about defining your true motivation. What is the one thing that makes you push forward despite the obstacles you may be facing? Understanding your why is such an important part of building success. Your why is not your passion. Your why is your reason for chasing your dreams. It is that deep down yearning that no one can take away from you, and that keeps you pushing forward even when you are crawling through obstacles. Your why isn’t something that one day is a strong desire and the next a fleeting thought. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, it is simply your truth. Don’t hold back, be honest and delve into your why. What is your why?
The Law and What You Need to Know
Understanding the legal side of running is business is key to your profitability and success. Not knowing your basics could cost you your business. Do you know which permits you need to operate your business? What about how to register for your sales tax account? Are you properly insured for the business you currently operate? All of these (and more ) questions need to be answered. If you said ‘no’ to any of them I highly recommend reading this post and understanding your legal obligations.
Your Business Plan Is Your Blueprint for Success!
I believe this with everything that I am. A business plan is a fantastic tool for any serious business owner. It forces you to truly put every single aspect of your business under a microscope. It will show flaws and red flags you may have overlooked. Need a business plan review? Check out business plan 101.
Funding Your Business
Let’s be honest, a well-funded business has the best chance at surviving the learning curve. Too bad we don’t all have deep pockets! Do you know all your business expenses and financial needs? If you haven’t already, you need to create a budget for your business. You must understand where every penny goes and how you spend it. Without this knowledge, even the best business will flounder. Need ideas on where to find funding for your business? Check out this post.
I often hear “what is branding?” The concise answer is that it is your brand’s visual identity. It is your way of reminding your customers of who you are, what you do, and what they can expect from you. Branding includes (but is not solely limited to) the colors you use, the font type you use, and your logo.
Marketing Your Business
I highly recommend having a strong and active presence on social media. Social media has an incredible potential and is a great investment of your time and energy. If that doesn’t speak to you then let me say this, social media is absolutely free marketing! How could you possibly say no to free marketing that has the potential to reach millions of people around the globe?
At some point, you will need to spend money on your marketing and for those with established businesses I recommend that you take advantage of services like Bing Ads or Google Adwords. If you own a brick-and-mortar shop, getting good reviews on sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Open Table (the latter for those in the food industry) can help drive more customers your way. Likewise, a poor review or rating may keep customers away.
Marketing has many forms and very few limitations, so get creative and get marketing!
Launching for Success
A well-planned launch leads to a successful launch. Take the time to truly commit to a launch schedule and promote, promote, PROMOTE! If you haven’t already begin outlining your strategy for your next launch.
Wholesale Your Way to Bigger Profits
Not every business is ready to take on wholesale accounts. So, let me start with the basics. What is a wholesale account? In a nutshell, wholesale is when you partner with a retail store to carry your product and generally you will sell your product to them at a lower price point than your current retail price point. It is their responsibility to then price and sell that merchandise they have purchased from you.
Getting your product into stores locally, regionally, or even nationally will grow your brand recognition with consumers. It is also a great way to expand your business one account at a time. It isn’t an easy road but one worth pursuing. The sales from your wholesale accounts can help you out especially during slower selling seasons. Curious about wholesale? Check this out.
Hiring employees for your small business is a major decision. When you reach the point of needing a VA or an assistant there are a plethora of things to consider. The most important part of the hiring process is the background check and interview. When you are ready to hire help, know the difference between a W2 and 1099. It will save you money, time, and heartache.
“Customer service will make or break your business.” – The Business Ref
I do not agree with the saying “the customer is always right.” It simply is not true, and I highly recommend you do not train yourself or your employees to believe that they are always at fault. The sad truth is that you will deal with customer complaints at some point in your entrepreneurial journey. You need to know how to defuse the situation fast and keep it from escalating. Invest in your company by investing in your customers, after all, they make it possible for you to pay your bills and keep your business running. Set the bar high for your customer experience and how you interact with your clients/customers. Think of situations where you had poor customer service, you don’t want to replicate that with your own business.
So there you have it my 10 steps for laying a solid foundation for your business success. Are you ready to level up your business? Enroll in my E-Course, Building Your Business Online Course and start building the business of your dreams today.
Cheers to Your Success!
What is one area of accounting you didn’t know about until you started your business? Please remember that I am sharing what I have learned in over a decade of helping small businesses grow and succeed. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of The Business Ref and should be considered as such. None of the opinions expressed within this blog should be taken as personalized advice. Always consult with your legal counsel prior to making any decisions regarding your business. Remember, sharing is caring. If you have found this blog helpful, please share it with someone.