Starting a small business is hard. Sure you get to be your own boss, but turning a profit in the early days can be a challenge.
Luckily it’s not impossible! With a great vision and these simple tips, you can set yourself up for success.
Test Your Idea
Before starting your small business, you need to be sure there’s a demand for your product or service. Will you save customer’s time or money? People will likely pay for that!
A good place to start is by conducting market research. This is an effective way to see if people will actually purchase your product or service (before you put all your blood sweat and tears into it). How the research is conducted is up to you, but two common methods are focus groups and online surveys.
Create An Online Presence
One of your greatest weapons for driving sales at any point in your business is your website. You likely don’t need anything fancy – your goal is to encourage people to stay on your site and ultimately become paying customers. Let people know what you do and how you can add value to their lives, but keep things simple.
You’ll also need to drive traffic to your website. A free way to do this is by having a good SEO strategy. What does this mean? You need to make sure your website has all of the ingredients needed to get a high ranking on search engines like Google. You can also pay to give your website a higher ranking, which is a fairly cost effective way of bringing in new business.
A presence on social media is also key – you want people to be able to find you as easily as possible and stay engaged. This is also a great way to keep track of what customers are saying about you!
Engage Your Customers
Which brings me to my next point: building and maintaining great relationships with your customers. When starting a small business, it’s crucial to gain repeat business.
Keep an eye on your social media accounts – you can see what customers are saying about you and engage with them here. You can also stay on top of any bad feedback you may have otherwise not known about.
Don’t be scared of feedback – instead, encourage it! Reach out to customers and ask about their experience (you can even track these interactions using a CRM tool). This is a great way to learn about and grow your business, and customers love to feel like they’re being heard.
The most important thing you can do to become a profitable small business is learn quickly from your mistakes. Everyone makes them, and you aren’t immune!
If a customer had a bad experience, fix it and put efforts in place to make sure it doesn’t happen to others. If sales are going down, quickly figure out the cause and a solution. As cliché as it may sound, you never grow if you don’t learn!
And if you need any help in getting on top of your tasks and remembering what you need to do next, try adding a CRM. It allows you to quickly get organized using a simple spreadsheet or a simple interface.