How to Run a Successful Small Business
By @Pranita Jagtap
1. Get Organized
To achieve business success you need to be organized. It will help you complete tasks and stay on top of things to be done. A good way to be organized is to create a to-do list each day. As you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you’re not forgetting anything and completing all the tasks that are essential to the survival of your business.
Many software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools exist to increase organization. Tools like Slack, Asana, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other newer additions.
That being said, a simple Excel spreadsheet will meet many of a business's organization requirements.
2. Keep Detailed Records
All successful businesses keep detailed records. By doing so, you’ll know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this gives you time to create strategies to overcome those challenges.
Most businesses are choosing to keep two sets of records: one physical and one in the cloud. By having records that are constantly uploaded and backed up, a business no longer has to worry about losing their data. The physical record exists as a backup but more often than not, it is used to ensure that the other information is correct.
3. Analyze Your Competition
Competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can’t be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money.
How you analyze competition will vary between sectors. If you're a restaurant owner, you may simply be able to dine at your competition's restaurants, ask other customers what they think, and gain information that way. However, you could be a company with much more limited access to your competitors, such as a chemicals company. In that case, you would work with a business professional and accountant to go over not just what the business presents to the world, but any financial information you may be able to get on the company as well. 4. Understand the Risks and Rewards
The key to being successful is taking calculated risks to help your business grow. A good question to ask is “What’s the downside?” If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is. This knowledge will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can generate tremendous rewards.
Important:Understanding risks and rewards includes being smart about the timing of starting your business. For example, did the severe economic dislocation of 2020 provide you with an opportunity (say, manufacturing and selling face masks) or an impediment (opening a new restaurant during a time of social distancing and limited seating allowed)?
5. Be Creative
Always be looking for ways to improve your business and make it stand out from the competition. Recognize that you don’t know everything and be open to new ideas and different approaches to your business.
There are many outlets that may lead to additional revenues. Take Amazon for example. The company started out as a bookseller and grew into an eCommerce giant. Not a lot of people expected that one of the major ways that Amazon makes its money is through its Web Services division. The division did so well that when Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO, the head of Amazon Web Services was named the new CEO.
6. Stay Focused
The old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies here. Just because you open a business doesn’t mean you’re going to immediately start making money. It takes time to let people know who you are, so stay focused on achieving your short-term goals.
Many small business owners don't even see a profit for a few years while they use their revenues to recoup investment costs. This is called being "in the red." When you are profitable and make more than you need to spend to cover debts and payroll, this is called being "in the black."
That being said, if the business is not turning a profit after a substantial period of time, it's worth looking into if there are issues with the product or service, if the market still exists, and other possible issues that might slow or halt a business's growth.
7. Prepare to Make Sacrifices
The lead-up to starting a business is hard work, but after you open your doors, your work has just begun. In many cases, you have to put in more time than you would if you were working for someone else, which may mean spending less time with family and friends to be successful.
The adage that there are no weekends and no vacations for business owners might ring true for those who are committed to making their business work. There is nothing wrong with full-time employment, and some business owners underestimate the true cost of the sacrifices that are required to start and maintain a profitable business.
8. Provide Great Service
There are many successful businesses that forget that providing great customer service is important. If you provide better service for your customers, they’ll be more inclined to come to you the next time they need something instead of going to your competition.
In today's hyper-competitive business environment, often the differentiating factor being successful and unsuccessful businesses is the level of service that the business provides. This is where the saying "undersell and overdeliver" comes in use, and savvy business owners would be wise to follow it.
9. Be Consistent
Consistency is a key component to making money in business. You have to keep doing what is necessary to be successful day in and day out. This will create long-term positive habits that will help you make money in the long run.
How to Refine a business Idea :-
To get started, follow these four steps to refresh and refine your plans, and your approach to your small business.
Re-evaluate your approach
In the early days of your business, you had a broad idea of who your target market. Over time, you’ve gathered experience on who exactly buys your products and services.
You should update your business plan to show the shifting demographics of your customers and how their buying behaviors have changed. Then, you’ll want to determine whether your products and services still fit that target market. If not, some changes are in order.
Review your payables
Now that your business has been in place for a while, it’s a good time to take a look at your operating costs. Even if you’re tracking them carefully, some unnecessary expenses can slip through the cracks. Pay special attention to some of your earliest purchases. Back then, you may have invested in products or services that you thought were “must haves.”
Get rid of those “nice-to-haves” and put that money back into the business.
Also, consider shifting monthly payments to annual billing, especially if those vendors provide discounts for doing so. Even a few percentage points of savings on multiple bills add up over time. By taking control of your bills with a new business plan, you avoid the dreaded mistake of long-term over-payment.
Evaluate your prices
While your business plan likely projects steady growth through winning over new clients, consider growing revenue through a new pricing strategy as well. Why? Organizational inertia can work in your favor. If you raise rates strategically or if you change to a subscription pricing model, you can probably keep most (if not all) of your clients while still increasing revenue.
Also, take note of the pricing from your competitors. Are you losing out on revenue by charging too little, or are you being severely undercut? The key is to find that sweet spot for your pricing that is fair to your margins as well as your customers.
Refresh your marketing plan
The business plan you created when you launched your business almost certainly includes a marketing plan, and hopefully, that plan includes a social media strategy. After all, Facebook and Twitter let your customers speak with you directly. The problem is that what’s popular online is a moving target.
Today’s Instagram may become tomorrow’s MySpace. Where should you focus your time? It depends on where your customers are hanging out. If they are active Pinterest users, for example, you’ll want to refresh your marketing plan to leverage this new platform.
Your business plan is a guide, not a legal document. You’ve got to refine it from time to time. Make it a point to do a quarterly or semi-annual review and refine your plans for better results!
Air Crew Aviation Pvt Ltd.