When we are little, we are often asked what we want to be when we grow up. Common answers are usually those of “astronaut”, “president”, and “ superhero”, but what about “business owner”? This is a thought many don’t have until later on in life as they dream of having freedom in the workplace and passion for the work they do every day.
What if you could be all these at the same time? As a small business owner, you can explore the unknown as the president of a company while you heroically serve people in your local community. Like any other job, being a small business owner is hard work, but can produce the most wonderful and abundant fruit.
Certainly, starting a business is a big leap into the unknown. Before deciding if you should jump into the large pool that is business ownership, take some time to gather the necessary information. In honor of November being Bluume’s Small Business Month, we are giving you a head start with a list of 5 useful tips for starting a new Small Businesses or how to run your current one more efficiently.
1. Create a Business Plan
Like anything else, starting a business requires a plan and, a very detailed one. The Small Business Association (SBA) says that 30% of new businesses fail within the first two years of being open. This is largely the fault of a finicky plan and poor execution. Think of every possible problem that may arise and already have a solution; every risk needs to be assessed before anything is put into action. Think of the goal you are trying to reach, as a business and as an owner. They may look different, and that’s okay, but make sure you never lose sight of your goals. You can change the plan as needed, but your goal should always stay intact until you reach it.
2. Define a Marketing Strategy
We all know location is key for a business to thrive, however, internet location is just as crucial. Marketing is the structure of every successful company. It is a very important tool for businesses but is often forgotten, abandoned, or not used correctly. Today, consumers shop, research, and explore options online before even actually getting in the car. Because of this, your online and social media presence is as important as the physical presence of your company. Look at all your options for marketing, including online tools and agencies, like Bluume and our software Brand IQ, to help you reach the level necessary to be successful in the online world. People want to find you, so make sure you are present and ready when they do!
3. Pick Your Management Carefully
We have all heard the saying “a bad system can ruin good people”. This is true for any of management: business, money, and employee. When you take this leap, make sure that you have the right people around you. Know your weaknesses and surround yourself with those who had value to you and your new business. Businesses fail because of a lack of cohesion among those who are in some sort of position of power. Take pride in the culture of the company you create and bring those in who accent it. Listen to what your gut tells you, but always make sure you check into the feedback you receive from your employees and customers. They see the company in ways that you don’t, but an important viewpoint for an owner to take into consideration when making changes to the plan.
4. Embracing Change
There is no doubting that the world around us is always changing. New trends, technology, and ideas are always blooming around us. Take advantage of these and use them to the benefit of your new business. Make sure that you are constantly monitoring the market and know when changes may need to happen to the business plan. When you stay in the loop of all the changes happening in the field, you are able to adjust your strategy and your company will remain successful.
5. Do your Research
Having a business in something you feel strongly about is the best way to go, but make sure that you are doing all the necessary research before diving head first. You can’t put the puzzle together until you have all the pieces. From the current market to funding options, there are many things that need to be considered. It’s simpler to create a new product or market, and then fulfill this new demand rather than trying to compete in a market that is already saturated. Add a twist and make your business or product proprietary to set yourself up for success. Aside from the products or services, make sure you have the best internal processes for your business to be successful. Do you want people to be able to shop online? Is a POS the best option for your storefront? Which processor will help you grow the strongest? These are all questions that are unfamiliar to someone who has never been a business owner before but are vital for the health of a company.
Being a business owner may fulfill the drive inside of you that you never knew existed. You can bring to life your childhood dreams believed to be abandoned while helping those around you along the way. Small businesses are what keep our economy thriving because they are the framework that we are built upon.
During November, make sure you remember to shop local and support the small businesses in your community! Bluume celebrates the importance of small, local business all month long. Make sure you stay up to date with all things Bluume by following us on all our social media.