Did you know that there were 30.7 million small businesses in the United States in 2019?
Becoming a business owner, doing what you love, and working towards your goals are all appealing reasons why many Americans take the leap into self-employment. But creating a successful business from the ground takes time, patience, dedication, and a lot of hard work.
Keep reading to find out how you can make your small business a big success.
When you initially start thinking of small business ideas, your mind can run wild. You’ll probably think your idea is the best and there’s no possible way it could fail. But unfortunately only about half of small businesses (between 45.5% and 51%) survive after 5 years in operation.
Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your business doesn’t fail.
1. Understand the Financial Costs
When it comes to how to start a small business, you undoubtedly need a business plan and an incredible idea. But you also need to think about the financial side of your business. Up-front costs can vary from different industries and businesses, but there’ll most likely be a range of costs that you need to cover.
Some examples of up-front business costs could be:
- Renting or purchasing office space/retail space
- Renting or buying equipment (computer, furnishings, and specialized equipment needed to complete your work, e.g. if your business is landscaping you’ll need gardening tools)
- Advertising and marketing costs
- Small business insurance
- Employee wages
- Travel costs (if applicable)
- Shipping (if applicable)
There are plenty of options with regards to financing your business, for example, you might choose to get some small business loans to help out with initial capital. And once your business is profiting, you can start to pay off these loans. Other finance options include finding funding from investors, securing grants from organizations, or using some of your savings to invest in the business.
2. Invest in Equipment
When you’re just starting out, it can be tempting to cut costs and save money. However, in the long term, this option might cost you more money, especially in terms of equipment.
For example, if you buy a cheap laptop for $250, the chances are it might not last for that long and it might not be able to do everything you need it to. However, if you make an investment and buy a more expensive laptop for $700, the chances are it will last for longer and have more useful features that can help save you time and money.
If your business relies on an excellent internet connection then you’ll need to ensure your wireless network is perfect. In this instance, Mac users may benefit from getting a netspot download. Netspot can help you analyze, manage, and fix your wireless networks all within one useful and easy-to-use app.
Remember to spend time researching different equipment, including software and hardware, that can make your business life easier and cheaper in the long term.
3. Be Prepared to Learn
Learning is crucial for small business owners. Whether you invest your time in learning new skills relating to your business, spend time keeping up to date with the latest industry news, or find mentors in your industry to learn from, learning is an essential part of growth and success.
From the very beginning, you need to make sure you invest time and money in your learning. Make sure you’re always looking at ways to improve your skills and find new opportunities that can help you and your business grow, both personally and professionally.
4. Get Your Business Out There
Getting your business out there is an essential part of ensuring success. If your target audience don’t know you exist, then they aren’t going to do business with you. That’s why you need to rely on tactical marketing strategies to ensure you find your audience and so that they can find you.
You might choose to use digital marketing to get your name out there, to begin with, because these are often low cost. For example, you might focus your marketing efforts on your social media channels and your SEO.
But there are plenty of other options when it comes to marketing. You might decide to market your business with:
- Traditional marketing (flyers, brochures, billboards)
- TV or radio ads
- Cold-calling or cold-emails
- Email marketing
- Or event marketing and networking.
When marketing your business you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Innovative marketing works well but if you don’t show why your customers should use your business over your competitors then it won’t work. Focus your marketing on what makes you unique and be sure to include an authentic tone of voice and clear, consistent branding throughout.
5. Listen to Feedback
The people that are able to help your business improve the most are your customers. Make sure you ask for and listen to customer feedback and take it on board when moving forward with your products or services.
Remember that customer feedback is important because it can help you get your products and services right for your customers. Feedback can also be used to help advertise your business, as word of mouth is still an incredibly powerful marketing strategy.
Many people think they have what it takes to succeed in business, but the truth is you need much more than just one good idea. A successful small business needs dedication, determination, knowledge, and talent. Follow our 5 tips for small business success and turn your dream into a reality.
If you enjoyed reading this article and found it insightful, be sure to have a look at our other articles.