Entrepreneurs – Starting up is easy – but keeping your business going is hard – 5 ways to make it easier –
Most media and government attention concerning enterprise is resolutely concentrated on the process of starting up as if the creation of companies in themselves is the panacea for both micro and macro economic woes. We have often wondered why there is a lack of an equivalent focus on the much less glamorous but more important task of keeping your business going. (Source)
It is only after you’ve been in business for a year or two (admittedly reality can kick in a lot sooner) that you can speak with real assurance about the robustness of your original business model. Below are 5 tips to make keeping your business going easier.
1. Talk to your customers – We don’t mean get your staff to talk to your customers – as the Founder or business owner you should be doing this directly. Don’t get too caught up in your vision to speak to customers. They are your greatest source of insight and can tell you how you compare to your competitors. Make a point of communicating with lapsed customers too – there are lessons to be learned there too and they are a more cost effective target than new customers.
2. Innovate – One of the wonderful advantages of being in a start up or SME business is that you are flexible and can make changes very quickly. You can innovate and implement changes to your range of services or products at speed. If the market does not respond to your current offering you can tweak it until you reach that sweet spot that resonates with consumers more strongly.
3. Last dollar – In our experience entrepreneurs have a clearer sense of the likely success of their projects when they treat all business expenditure as if it was their last pound or dollar. Don’t let investor funds or the full time job you are using to bootstrap your business blur your focus. It may be that the niche you have found is not profitable enough or you have honed in on the wrong primary target audience. In that case you will need to pivot or die. Sounds dramatic but it is true.
4. Raising your profile – Most small businesses lack the profile to grow and become a true brand. How are you planning to raise the profile of your business? People buy from companies and brands that they have heard of before. In most cases you will need to plan innovative activities to make your company stand out. These do not necessarily need to be expensive but they do need to be creative.
5. Use of email – While social media may still be making all the headlines you should not neglect email as it is the foundation on which many successful businesses are built. Build your database, formulate the right communications plan and establish a relationship with prospects & actual customers and your business will prosper. Your database is where the real action is so don’t be distracted by the number of followers you have on Twitter, or ‘likes’ on Facebook.
We would be happy to help you keep your business going and to build a successful future for you so give us a call on +44 (0) 845 226247 or drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org
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