Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, generating about 48% of all American jobs. However, anybody running a small business can tell you it’s no easy feat.
According to statistics, about 90% of small businesses fail. In 2019, the research concluded that about 21% fail within the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year, and 70% in the 10th.
How do you run your small business successfully and prevent it from being a statistic? This post addresses how to run a successful small business and some of the most effective strategies to help run your business smoothly. Keep reading to find eight effective tips you need to know.
1. Have a Well-Thought Business Plan
One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make is not adequately planning before opening their doors for business, which shows in their lack of success. To avoid this problem, start by making a list of what you need to get your business started, from legal obligations to workspaces and equipment.
This means having a solid and strategic business plan addressing every issue and covering all bases. Assemble a team that has the expertise in each area, so everyone knows what they need to do when tasks arise.
2. Have a Business Model That Works for Your Small Business
Even better, stay 100% focused on it. Most small businesses fail because they lack focus. Rather than sticking to the fundamentals of what makes their company successful, these owners stretch themselves too thin. They try to take on new projects or opportunities that divert their attention from the business’s main purpose and core values.
Making this mistake is easy but can be devastating if you don’t develop a solid plan in advance. Everyone in your team needs to know what direction the company is headed in and how to get there — together — as one unit. Choose your niche carefully and focus exclusively on becoming an expert in the field, which may be your key to success.
3. Ensure Employees Are Vested in the Company
Make sure you understand how important it is for every member of your team to “buy in.” Make a concerted effort to keep them invested in your company’s goals. Business is a simple cycle: customers pay money, you exchange goods or services for that money.
Then you take some profit from that money to hire more employees who can help you grow the business even further by producing more products or providing more services.
It’s this final stage — growing the company — that most small businesses miss out on because they fail to get everyone on board with their vision from day one. They end up spending too much time making products or services that no one wants instead of focusing on what their customers need.
When employees feel like they are a part of the company and have a vested interest in its success, they are more likely to go the extra mile for their customers.
They’ll also be less likely to leave when better opportunities come along because they feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves. This is why it’s important to not just hire people who can do the job but also make sure they share your company values and vision.
4. Delegate Tasks and Responsibilities
Running a small business can be overwhelming, especially when you are first starting out. This is why it’s important to delegate tasks and responsibilities to your team members as soon as possible. However, it’s also important that you empower them to take ownership of their work and hold them accountable for their results.
Creating a system where team members are able to report back on their progress regularly will help keep everyone in check. It’ll also prevent confusion about who is responsible for what. If you want to know how to run a successful small business, you first need to understand that you can’t do everything on your own.
5. Have a Customer Service Strategy
Even the best products or services can fail if the customer service experience is poor. Poor customer service costs businesses about $75 billion annually. This is why it’s essential to have a customer service strategy in place from day one and make sure your entire team is on board with it.
Your strategy should include how you’ll handle customer complaints, how you’ll deal with demanding customers, and your return policy. It’s also important to set realistic expectations for your team members when it comes to customer service.
For example, they should know that they can’t solve every problem and that sometimes the best thing they can do is simply apologize and offer a refund or discount.
6. Have a Solid Branding and Marketing Strategy
One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is not spending enough time on branding and marketing. This is a mistake because, without a strong branding and marketing strategy in place, your business will never get off the ground.
This is one of the first things you should learn on how to run a successful small business. Your branding and marketing need to start on day one but should evolve over time as your business grows.
Find and utilize a great business software or two or hire a professional marketing agency. You’ll also need the best business internet connection from a company like Comcast Business.
7. Manage Your Company’s Finances
You may choose to handle all of your company’s financial management yourself or hire a CFO. Regardless, it’s important that you occasionally look at your finances to make sure everything is still adding up.
This is especially important in the early stages of your business when you may not have a lot of money coming in. Cash flow is the number one reason businesses fail, so ensure that you’re on top of it.
8. Keep Learning and Growing as a Business Owner
One of the best things about running a small business is that you can always be learning and growing. This applies to both you and your team members. As a business owner, you should always read books, attend seminars, and take courses to learn more about running a successful business.
Your team members should also be encouraged to learn and grow by taking training courses, attending workshops, and even networking with other professionals. It’s also important that small business owners give back to their communities.
You don’t have to open up a soup kitchen, but showing appreciation for the people who got you where you are today is usually a good idea.
How to Run a Successful Small Business: The Ultimate Guide
Running a small business is not easy, but with the right mindset and some sound advice, it can be done. Remember to always keep learning and growing, celebrate your successes, and give back to your community.
Now that you know how to run a successful small business check our website for more high-value content.