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These days, keeping a business afloat might take an act of God. It’s important to rally as much useful information so you can have the best chance of survival. Every little bit can help, so here are five great tips to help you succeed in a small business.
1. Put the right team members in place.
Your business is only as strong as your team. Not only do you need to have a good team, but you need to put them in the right positions. You should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and you should know how to best use their skills.
While you’re putting them in place, make sure that you give them tasks that engage their skills. Engaged employees equal increased profits for a business. This also helps your employees to stay motivated.
2. Develop a great marketing plan.
If no one knows your business exists, you aren’t going to make money. Your marketing plan can make or break your business. You must get the word out in order to engage new customers.
These days, one of the best ways to advertise your business is through social media. People are more connected than ever and it’s a great way to get your message out to the masses with the touch of a share button. However, you must make your content engaging in order for your marketing efforts to be effective.
Another method to consider is word of mouth. It’s the oldest form of advertising but it’s still highly effective. As long as you have excellent customer service (discussed in the next section), people will spread the word for you.
3. Make sure you provide excellent customer service.
There is no point in expanding your marketing efforts if you have terrible customer service. You’ll only succeed in getting negative information out about your business. Good or bad customer service determines your business’s reputation.
It’s important to keep in mind that customer service isn’t a linear concept. It’s more than having nice employees and a clean store. Customer service often begins long before a customer walks into your doors, from the first time they lay eyes on one of your advertisements.
The key to great customer service is to make sure that everything your customer will experience is geared towards giving them the best experience possible.
4. Pay your taxes on time.
The last thing you want to happen is to receive a notice from the IRS that you’re being audited. If anything can put a damper on your spirits, that would be it. It’s easy to avoid getting an audit by paying your taxes on time.
You also want to make sure that your taxes are accurate. Using an accountant is the best bet – they’re trained to handle taxes so you can focus on other areas of your business. Plus, if your business has employees and/or is making money, there is no plausible reason to not have an accountant anyway.
If you find yourself facing an audit from the IRS, you need to get revenue officer representation as soon as possible. It could be a big mistake to try to deal with an IRS revenue officer alone. They are there to play hardball, not to be your friend.
5. Be frugal.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 20% of businesses fail within their first year. By the ten year mark, about 33% of them have failed. It’s largely due to money problems – they just aren’t making enough to stay afloat.
There are plenty of contributing factors to why a business may not have enough income to stay in operation. That’s why it’s important to be frugal as much as possible. This doesn’t mean to be cheap; you still need to invest in the business. However, save money where you can because you never know when you’ll hit a cash flow drought.
Saving money doesn’t only mean not spending it. You may want to incorporate some cost-saving measures. One example is using solar power. Another is using energy-efficient appliances and machines.
Running a business is no walk in the park. This is especially true when you’re running a large business. There are so many areas that can go wrong and you must be responsible for all of them.
The good news is that most people get it right. By surrounding themselves with the right people and the right information, they increase the likelihood of survival. Following the tips in this article will help put you on the right path to success.