Most would-be entrepreneurs dream big, and while there is nothing wrong with that, they should remember that starting small and slowly building a business is a better recipe for success.
Owning a profitable business is a marathon, not a sprint. Those who start on too grand a scale fare much like Icarus, who burnt his feathered wings because he flew too close to the sun. Here are some tips for starting small and building your business from there:
Keep your initial investment small
According to PersonalMoneyStore, among the five money mistakes you might make are overextending yourself financially to start a business. Going into debt to start a business is risky because there is no guarantee you will be in a position to pay it back. However, it is also practically impossible to save up enough capital to launch your endeavor.
Find the balance between seeking finance and not going overboard. Some banks might be picky about financing new businesses and will charge higher interest rates because it is a risky prospect. Explore alternatives, such as finding a partner or investor with enough financial resources to get your business going.
Keep costs to a minimum
Most successful business owners started by working from home or small, inexpensive premises. Follow this example by cutting any costs possible. Do not splash out on fancy office equipment and vehicles. The time for that will come once the business is up and running.
Track your expenses using one of the dozens of mobile and computer apps that make the job easier and automate many processes. Always look for ways to get discounts from suppliers to save money.
Even local businesses need digital marketing to get their names out there. To start, you need a functional website that advertises your business and provides potential customers with your contact details. After that, set up social media profiles on various platforms to reach more people who could buy your goods or services.
Use local SEO tactics in all your digital content so that your business name appears when someone searches for a business online followed by the name of your area, e.g., plumber Atlanta or local electrician San Jose.
While you do need to trim expenses, as mentioned before, do not skimp on online marketing. Get someone reliable to create and maintain your website and hire a digital marketer. Utilize the many freelancers available as you only pay them for the hours they work.
Customer service excellence
Being well-treated is something that many customers value over price, meaning that they will pay a little extra for goods or services to get outstanding client service. Treat each customer as an individual as this is a primary method of building client loyalty.
For example, keep a database of customer contact information. If possible, get their birth date so you can send them a personalized email or text on their special day. Use technology to do this with automated messaging.
When customers call local businesses, they want to feel that they are speaking to ‘one of their own.’ Therefore, have a quick chat mentioning the weather, sporting events, or anything of significance happening around town.
Hiring good employees
Many people start small businesses and hire family or friends to work in them. This can lead to conflict as the lines between personal and professional relationships get blurred. Additionally, your cousin might not have the necessary customer service skills that you want to offer clients.
Employees are a valuable asset. As a business owner, you do not want a constantly revolving door of employees. Instead, hire people with the proper knowledge and skills and allow them to grow with your business.