Is it difficult? Definitely! But with a concrete business plan and enough courage, it is possible to run a successful business. Bill Gates dropped out of Law College to pursue his business, Microsoft and he became the richest personality of the world. Steve Jobs decided to leave college so he can focus starting a little computer company in his garage and today, there is nobody who is unaware of his brand, Apple. In Harvard’s dorm room, Mark Zuckerberg launched the first iteration of Facebook and today, billions of people use Facebook on daily basis.
My point is that they all started from very little and chose a difficult road but they knew what they were doing. The universe is full of signposts which help every small business owner to go in the right direction. You may have faced recession but today is a brand new day to start all over again with better ideas. If you want your small business to be successful, read below:
1. Business Strategy
In order to have a successful small business, it requires a business strategy. It does not have to be in a particular format or formal, it just needs to have a business plan which helps to achieve business goals. It must comprise on strategies which you will use to achieve success in the next 12 months. It should be written out and shared with all the important players in the business.
Also, you need metrics to measure your success. If you don’t have a dimension, how would you know about the right direction? For instance, if you want 1,000 new users for your product this year, how will it influence the business on average per day/per week/per month? Don’t rush out, take your time to get all of your ideas out of your head and then write them down onto paper. Define metrics so you can measure success. Make sure to set some strong goals for the next 12 months.
2. Know Value Proposition
Another way to have a successful business is you must know about customer value proposition. There are many businesses that can’t explain how they are different than the rest or how they are better than their competitors. Let me tell you the bitter truth, customers don’t choose you unless you tell them why they should. A value proposition is something which requires customers’ belief about delivery and experience. Make sure to have a clear customer value proposition. Mention target customer, product name, product category, and reasons why one should choose your product.
3. Competitor Analysis
Usually, small business owners don’t prefer knowing about their competitor’s business. But, no business is too small to have its competitor’s analysis. I am not telling you to spend a lot of your money on analysing, it can be done with Google and lots of curiosity. You can start by asking:
- How much do they cost?
- Who are my direct competitors?
- How are they marketing their business?
- What promising results do they offer?
These are the type of questions which help you having better competitor analysis as well as knowing about your value proposition (above mentioned). Whether small or big, every business needs to do competitor analysis. You can be different and better only if you know about your competition.
4. Cash Flow
Cash rules in business and of course, for good reason. You can’t give salary to your employees or pay bills if you haven’t got paid. In fact, owners of successful businesses also find themselves in trouble when their invoices are on pending. Don’t compromise on payment methods and make a time frame for each invoice. Create a strategy which helps you get paid on time, regardless who you work with. Also, be careful with merchants and don’t go beyond your cash limit.
5. Marketing Plan
Most of the small businesses neglect this aspect but they shouldn’t. Record-breaking sales for a month or two, get big accounts and they totally forget about marketing strategy. If you want to have a successful business, your business needs to have a strong marketing plan. If you don’t market your product, how would people know about it? Do some good research and make a beneficial marketing plan for your business. Decide which platform is the most suitable for your business. For instance, content marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising, or direct mail.
6. Don’t Forget!
When you are busy trying hard for the business, you often forget about yourself. But let me remind you, if you are not healthy and relaxed, you can’t have enough courage. If you want to set a successful business, you need to have a relaxed mind.
- Eat healthy and on time, it improves your metabolism.
- Take relaxing 8 hours of sleep. When your mind is relaxed, cognitive activities increase.
- Do what you love.
- Spend some quality time with your loved ones.
Of course, this is not everything a business needs to be successful. Also, your business requirements may vary according to your niche, but this is the core of having a successful business.