In 2019, there were 30.7 million U.S. small businesses. That number climbs every year. So, if you’re thinking about starting a business, you’ll be faced with some fierce competition. But don’t fret—there are several things you can do to make your small business a success. Here’s what they are.
Have a Good Product and Great Customer Service
It may seem like an obvious tip, but you should have a good product to have a successful small business. However, a good product by itself won’t ensure that your doors will be open a year from now. Good or (even better) great customer service is also a must. You need to be available, helpful, friendly, and a fountain of information for people. If you aren’t, customers might not come back. Many small businesses rely on repeat business to stay afloat. If your customers don’t feel the love from you, they’ll be more likely to go to your competition.
You’d be surprised at the number of new business owners who skip the crucial planning step. You should figure out what your long-term goal will be and how you’re going to get there. Then, decide what daily tasks will achieve that goal. Make a to-do list each day to get organized and stay on track. You should also keep a record of everything, especially everything financial, to be able to assess your progress and see if you need to make any tweaks along the way. If you don’t, you’ll probably feel the frazzle and lose track of what you’re ultimately working towards. Little things that slip through the cracks can make the difference between growing a successful business and having one that ultimately fails.
Keep Your Day Job
Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but don’t quit your day job—yet. It will take time to make money from a startup. If you quit your job too soon, you will probably run out of money before you can really get your business up and running. You might feel stressed and overworked doing two jobs at once, but you want to give your new business the best chance possible. That means having funds to finance it.
You should spend your money wisely when starting a new business because you might not have much of it yet. You don’t need the latest and greatest everything when you’re just starting out—you need what’s most important. Investing in what will propel your startups, such as website design and development or active SEO packages (Search Engine Optimization) is probably more important than an over-the-top chandelier in your new store. Active SEO packages can earn your new website, social media page, or product a higher ranking in online search results, which can lead customers right to you. If you sell reclaimed wood coffee tables, a customer who searches online for them can easily find your product if you’ve invested in active SEO packages. In fact, 51% of all website traffic comes from an organic search, and active SEO packages are more likely to get your business at the top of the search list.
Know Your Competition
Before you start your business you should know your competition. You can learn from your competition and gauge what your next step, promotion, or product should look like. Explore your competition’s websites; see what they’re posting on social media; know what events they’re having, and keep apprised of the products or services they’re offering. You might not feel the urge to go to the mattresses, but you want to be prepared. Knowing your competition can even spur new ideas of your own.
You wouldn’t be considering a startup if you weren’t willing to take a risk, but you may need to take even more risks along the way. While it’s not a good idea to ignore reason, you should ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” If the answer is that your business could go under tomorrow, you may want to reassess certain risks. Other risks may mean losing a few hundred dollars. A risk that could have minimal consequences and big rewards might be worth trying.
Starting a new business can be thrilling and nerve-racking. To get through it all, employ these strategies and you’ll be more likely to succeed.