It is notoriously difficult to start a small business, keep it open, and see huge financial benefits. There are many factors like location, industry, and size that can impact your success, but there are also ways you can strengthen your business from the get-go. If you want to develop a thriving business, here are five things you need to embrace.
1. Legal Protection
Legal battles can destroy small businesses, and it's not always instantaneous. If you ever find yourself on the other end of a lawsuit, the last thing you want is for the proceedings to drag on until you not only lose your business, but any personal assets you may have. Even if you are successful, sinking cash into legal fees can make it so your business never recovers. This means you need to protect your business as soon as possible. Hire a patent attorney to register your product ideas. Register your logo, your business name, and any product names you have. Don't let anyone use your hard work as a stepping stool for their success.
2. Delete Redundancies
If you're just getting started with your business, you probably have a limited amount of cash, so you shouldn't be wasting it on redundancies. If you use software, don't buy licenses for more users when one will do. Implement a system so your marketing team isn't accidentally working on the same tasks at once. Don't pay for expensive warehouse space when you have a garage or basement you're not using. It may be a pain to scrutinize every aspect of your operation, but you'll save time and money by routinely examining your processes for efficiency.
3. Quality Everywhere
You may be tempted to "just start" your business rather than wait around for that fabled "perfect time," but starting before you're ready can kill your business before opening day. You may plan on using the more expensive materials once the profits start rolling in, but if the customers never give your products a chance because they look cheap, you'll never get those materials, and you'll be stuck with the cheaper, less impressive versions of your brilliant ideas.
When you use quality equipment, materials, and employees, you lessen opportunities for error and can wind up saving time and money in the long run. You could be the company that starts cheap and works towards something better, or you can launch with a sparkling reputation and products to back it up.
4. Develop Your Brand
Your brand is how customers perceive you, and they will interact with you accordingly. A strong brand builds rapport and sends a strong message that trickles down through your products and services, your advertising, and any other action you take as a company. This is also a great opportunity for you to connect with potential customers through values. If you are dedicated to sustainability or animal rights, make these causes a part of your brand. A pet owner is more likely to buy from the company who donates to animal shelters, for example.
5. Embrace Technology
Technology isn't going away any time soon, so the sooner you adapt to it, the better. Some industries are more reliant on technology than others, but at the very least, you need to be aware of what technology your customer base is using. For example, if most of your targeted demographic has abandoned Facebook and prefers android phones, that iPhone app you made is probably a waste of your time and resources. Technology can make it easier to complete tasks, secure your data, and connect to your audience. Use it wisely, and you can see big benefits in the long run.
It's not always easy to predict how well a company will perform, but there are some clear indicators early on. Invest your time and money into what matters, and your strengthened small business will be better prepared to weather a variety of storms.