Ensure Proper Planning
Make a proper business plan and stick to it. Refer to your plan regularly so that you understand where you are strong. You also need to understand and rectify any areas that may be slowing you down.
You should review your plan regularly with your employees. Get their input on where they think the business is headed and what improvements can be made.
As part of your planning, you should also maintain a budget to help you keep your costs and expenses in check.
Sell the Right Product at the Right Time to the Right Customer
Make sure that you have enough products on hand so that you can meet customer demand. You should also be sure that the customers you are marketing your products and services to have a need for them. There is no point in trying to sell products to customers who simply won’t buy them.
Once you’ve honed in on your target market, make sure that you communicate regularly with them. Communication is a very important attribute in maintaining and increasing a loyal customer base.
Maintain Proper Records
Ensure that you record all your sales, purchases and expenses properly. Any taxes such as sales or VAT (value added tax) should be paid on time, every time. Nowadays, many types of software packages are available on the market that makes keeping good records very easy.
Use this software to not only to keep daily records, but also to run monthly reports and comparisons with previous years. This way, you will get a good idea of the long-term direction of your business.
Develop Honest and Motivated Employees
Motivate your employees by rewarding them regularly and praising them on their achievements.
On the other hand, if you have a physical store, theft can be rampant. Install CCTV and other surveillance devices, since many small business face theft not only from outsiders, but also from the inside.
Manage Your Time and Money Properly
If you are stretched thin while running your business, delegate some of the workload to your employees. Give them simple jobs first. As they gain experience and confidence, shift them to slightly more difficult duties.
You also need to plan your finances well. Pay off any existing loans before applying for new ones or purchasing any luxury items not connected to your business.
Know Your Competition
Keep an eye out for your competitors’ tricks. Check their prices for similar products – and alter your prices if necessary. If you cannot lower your prices (or simply don’t think it is prudent), then make sure you differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors.
The key is to convince your customers that your products and services are of better quality and that you also provide better service.
Upgrade Your Skills
Upgrade your skills and knowledge. Never miss an opportunity to learn. On a personal level, you’ll become more confident. On a business level, your customers will view you as an expert and trust you.
Small businesses need to be alert and flexible to quickly adapt to changes in the market. By following the above tips, you will ensure that your small business not only survives, but thrives in the coming years.