Entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people around, and as such, organization and time management skills are a necessity. In addition to leading your company and building your brand, you also need to cultivate a winning team and develop best practices to help your business flourish. Use the following guidance from Reliant Funding.
Get Your Business in Order
Writing a marketing and business plan can help ensure your business priorities are well thought out and in order. This includes having the right business structure, necessary licenses, permits, and insurance. It also includes designing a promotional approach, devising a budget, and ensuring you have the right apps and software to help you build your business. Project management tools and an accounting system are other important assets when it comes to making sure you have key operational functions well in hand.
Know Your Market
Identifying and understanding your market is essential to success. Conduct market research to learn who your customers are so you can determine how best to reach them. It’s also important to vet your competition. Knowing their price points and advertising strategies can help you stay competitive and differentiate yourself in the marketplace. When you start a new advertising strategy, use analytics to track the success of different channels—this will help you decide the best ways to invest your marketing in dollars.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to stay ahead of your competition means being innovative—continually looking for new and better ways to do things. Encourage employees to think outside the box. Hold regular brainstorming sessions and invite everyone to bring their best ideas to the table. Attend industry conferences and trade shows and learn about new approaches and best practices. Don’t get caught up in the idea that there’s only one way to do things. Experimentation can lead to big rewards.
In addition to hiring the best people for your team, call in experts as needed, especially for specialized projects. For example, it can be worth the investment to hire a pro that’s a leader in web design, branding, or interactive marketing. Likewise, having an accountant on-call for annual internal audits and tax prep can save you money in the long run. Facing a legal issue? An attorney on retainer can be a lifesaver. You can hire a firm, a freelancer, or a consultant for different projects, based on your unique needs.
According to Forbes, communication is key when it comes to interacting with employees, vendors, suppliers, and customers. Create an employee handbook and detailed job descriptions; ensure your contracts are vetted and protect your interests; and stay in regular touch with customers through email marketing, surveys, and regular social media updates. Handle customer service issues quickly and efficiently, and make sure the content on your website is regularly updated and always accurate.
Just as your business continues to expand and grow, you need to grow as a business owner and manager. At some point, you’ll want to set up a home office, which can facilitate your work better as well as raise your home’s value. This will help you concentrate on more important matters as you step away from day-to-day task management.
Consider professional development opportunities for both you and your employees. You should also consider giving yourself an edge over the business competition by pursuing an MBA. Best of all, thanks to the flexibility of online programs, you will be able to work while you study and implement what you learn in real-time.
Small businesses have a lot of moving parts and changing dynamics. Being organized, managing your time wisely, creating a business plan, and knowing when to bring in outside talent can help you position yourself for long-term growth and success.
Since 2008, Reliant Funding is proud to have helped over 10,000 small businesses nationwide and has funded nearly two billion dollars and counting: delivering the funds you need quickly and the personalized service you deserve. If you’d like to chat about funding options or anything else, let us know!