Once you have successfully started up your business, you will need to focus on actually running it. Although getting started and setting up is the initial big challenge you have to face and overcome, after getting into a routine of running your business, you will need to make sure that you are progressing and moving forwards and upwards rather than being stuck in a stagnant state.
First you will need to make sure that you are comfortable. You will spend months, maybe even years getting to the place of comfort where your business is bringing in enough revenue to keep up the needs of the business. Here are some ways in which you can ensure that your business stays on the positive side, and moves towards success and growth rather than declining.
Look after your finances
This is one of the most important parts of keeping your business alive and running. You should draw up a budget and regularly revisit it and record your financial status. You should ensure that you record your sales, total costs and cash flow. This will ensure that you are completely aware of your business finances. You should also keep an account of your personal income and expenses. This is to ensure that you are complying with all the tax rules and regulations, and keeping a record of them.
As a small business owner you should always try to keep the costs low. Be proactive in trying to save money wherever you can whilst still being the best you can be. There are several different ways in which you can save money, for example by saving energy in your work place. This way you are helping the planet as well as your business.
Keep your customer at the heart of your business
Your customers should be at the heart of your business. You customers and clients are what keeps your business alive, therefore you need to make sure to bring in new customers and keep existing ones happy. You need to make sure to always provide a great service as you need them to keep on coming back. If you are small business, then getting to know your customers and creating a personal experience for them will help in building a loyal customer base. You can try various methods to reaching and attracting more customers. One of the more prominent ways of reaching potential customers is through social media and blogging. Depending on your business, you should invest time in social media as it allows you to reach a larger pool of potential buyers.
Build on your social media
You should dedicate time to keeping your social media active and engaging. The more people you attract to your social media platforms, the more leads you are likely to get back to your business. Therefore, investing time in growing followers can be rewarding. Once you have a significant following, you can even try to hold competitions and promotions to make sure that you are engaging with your audience. You can initially build your social media following by letting your existing customers know about the various social media platforms that you are using and encourage them to give you feedback, allowing you to improve and grow your business.
Business growth and new products
Once you have set up and established your business you should seek opportunities to grow and to help you achieve further success and goals. Business growth should be an important part of your business, and there are many ways in which you can achieve this. For example if you are running a blogging business which involves predominantly online activity, you may find that holding face-to-face events helps you reach new audiences and thus expand your business. Depending on the type of business you are running, there are many avenues you can explore for further success.
One of the major ways in which you can grow your business is by creating and developing new products and services. By launching new products and services it can create a buzz around your business and bring it to the attention of a bigger audience. Some of the biggest brands such as Apple create a huge buzz around their business from new releases, for example they become the talk of the town every time a new iPhone is released. On a smaller scale, small businesses might focus on launching seasonal products. For example if you are running a café, then you may want to release themed drinks or cakes around seasonal events such as Halloween and Christmas.
Work and life balance
Ensuring that you have a work life balance can be quite challenging when you are running a small business. You will likely be overwhelmed with the amount of work you have, especially if you are the sole owner of the business. However, if you have staff, you need to able to successfully delegate, and if you are within a partnership then make sure to share the work with your partner too. Taking on all the work will leave you overworked and unhappy.
In order to look after your mental and physical health you need to take time out and away from your work. It is vital for your business success that you are happy and not burned out from overworking, and making your mental and physical health a priority will help you be happier and reduce stress levels. This will ultimately allow you to work harder and better. You should also take time out to maintain and preserve personal relationships which are key to your happiness.
There are many things you need to maintain to make your business a success, from practical parts of the business such as the finances, to personal areas such as mental health, and you need to stay on top of all it all. Running a small business will mean that you will have to work on multiple parts of your business simultaneously, therefore you will need to develop plans and strategies to deal with the workload.
Check out our guide for more information on how to start your own business.