If you own a small business or if you are thinking about starting one there are certain must do’s that are key to being successful. Here are the 5 critical tips to become successful in 2013:
1. Have a Business Plan – Simply put, failing to plan is planning to fail. Write down your company’s primary goals for 2013, your target audience(s) or target markets, and the cost to open your doors and also to keep the business running on a monthly basis. You cannot afford to run your business with a “flying by the seat of your pants” attitude. You need to understand and get the true picture of the daily operations of your company, whether you are operating at a loss or making a profit and whether your cash flow is positive. If you are unable to develop and write a business plan, seek help. Once you have done so you will be well on your way to a successful start In 2013.
2. A Solid Online Presence – The business world today is highly dependent on the internet. Everything your customers need must be a mouse click away. As a business owner in 2013 you want to ensure that your company has a strong online presence. Create an attractive website to meet the needs of your target market and make sure that you have an aggressive social media strategy. Start by creating let’ s say, a Facebook page that your customers are able to like and also share with their friends and colleagues. Create a YouTube channel to display your video presentations, create a Twitter and Instagram account and look into using Pinterest boards. Using all of this media, you can show upcoming events or introduce customers to new products that you are carrying. You can have contests to encourage your followers to use your products and they can win prizes and/or discounts. The possibilities are endless if you just get creative.
3. Accept Credit Card Payments – Due to their size, small businesses sometimes tend to shy away from accepting credit card payments. The reality is, the world we live in today runs on credit. You want to offer your customers a variety of ways to pay for their purchases. It would be crippling to your business if you had a customer who has received such wonderful customer service, who is impressed with the quality of your work and is interested in purchasing all this merchandise, just to be told that you do not accept credit cards. By accepting credit cards you will not only be satisfying your existing customers but opening your small business to more customers
4. Advertise and Use PR – The idea behind advertising and Public Relations (PR) is to create a strong brand name that is easily recognizable. For a small business getting your name out there is important. So develop an advertising strategy centered around both classical media like newspapers and the web. Whenever an opportunity arises to get in front of the public, seize it. Design at6tractive business cards that carry your logo and tag line so you can hand out to people that you meet. Effective advertising will help you gain more customers and quickly increase your business.
5. Record Keeping – Make sure you have a system in place to keep track of your financials. You need to keep track of sales and accounts receivable as well as your accounts payable Having a properly managed inventory is also one of the most important needs of a successful small business. It saves a lot of time and energy if you have your financial record keeping set up properly
Get these five tips working and you’ll be well on your way to starting or growing a successful small business in 2013.