With small businesses, the entrepreneur is usually doing more than one business function. Aside from being the manager, he/she may also be doing or helping with the deliveries, entertaining customers, computing the payroll, doing basic bookkeeping, etc. The list can go on. Hence, the energy and focus of the entrepreneur are stretched to their limits. This reality may be one of the factors why 80% of new entrepreneurs fail in the next 18 months. According to statistics, 8 of 10 will already be folding up their businesses just short of their second year.
Here are five tips to help entrepreneurs successfully run their small businesses:
- Tip #1: Stay organized.
This is very important. You have to create a system that works for you to easily track your finances, inventory, employees, client database, and the rest of the important components in your business. You can use a spreadsheet to help you keep track of all these things. At the start of each week, plot your schedule and goals. Review them at the end of the week if they were met.
- Tip #2: Plan ahead.
It is highly recommended that an entrepreneur should have a business plan before starting any business. If the business is already operational, the entrepreneur must always go back to his/ her business plan to check if he/she is on track. You can do this at the end the week by reviewing if you we’re able to meet your week’s goals. At the end of the month, make a summary of your weekly review. Evaluate what are your areas of improvements and opportunities.
- Tip #3: Know your business.
This not only means knowing the ins and outs of your day to day operations. More importantly, you must know your customers. This means going beyond their demographics. Identify what their preferences and passions are. You can engage them via social media. The more you know your market, the better you can tailor your product/ service to their needs.
- Tip #4: Quality and innovative inventory.
Maintain a low volume so you avoid the risk of being flooded with slow moving products. Phase out the slow ones and replace with new items. Always be on the lookout for new trends. Make sure also your products are high quality.
- Tip #5: Network, network, network!
You have to spread word that your business exists. You have to advertise not only to your target customers but also to the business community. Join business groups in your local community. You will benefit by learning from their experiences and expertise. They may also be your potential clients.