Starting and maintaining a small business is easier said than done. While nearly everyone would like to become their own boss one day, the realities of being an entrepreneur make it clear that this is a path for only a select few. Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats, becoming heads of product development, marketers, customer service agents, and so much more. This multiplicity of tasks makes running a business a real investment of time and effort, one that doesn’t always pay off.
Generally, the Small Business Association says that there’s a turnover rate of 10-20% for small businesses. Many small businesses fail in the first year, making working towards success seem like a pretty daunting goal. However, the formula for success, while hard to execute, is still fairly simple. Below are a few things entrepreneurs should keep in mind to help their businesses thrive.
A Forward Thinking Plan
Most small business owners know that creating a business plan is an essential aspect to starting a business. According to the Houston Chronicle, business plans help you manage communication processes, business management, strategic planning, marketing and sales, and much more.
Business plans are more than something you have to check off a list. Your plan needs to cover your short-term goals, yes, but it also needs to be able to anticipate future changes and challenges. Make sure you construct a plan that’s forward thinking and anticipate possible struggles. This way, you’ll be mentally, financially, and operationally prepared to ride out bad years, reducing your chances of failure.
The Right Payment Channels
Finances are a huge part of any business, but most especially smaller businesses. Finding and managing finances is always difficult, but one thing that can make it easier is mapping out the right payment channels for your business. For a lot of entrepreneurs, cash is king. But having more than one option for you and your customers can actually make pulling in sales and managing your finances easier.
Having a variety of payment channels can actually push your customers closer towards a sale. It increases convenience and reliability, and makes your business look up to date. In a previous blog post, we outlined the ‘Best Payment Systems for Small Business‘, identifying a few of the more common channels that entrepreneurs can make use of. Managing finances is easier when you start early, and digital payment channels are one option for doing that.
High ROI, Low Investment Marketing
Another thing small businesses need is a marketing plan that’s catered to their needs. Many entrepreneurs might think that they need to invest in specific, popular marketing channels to get ahead, but marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all. It’s more important for a small business to find a marketing technique that fits their budget and ROI needs, even if that might not be the most popular choice.
Take direct mail marketing, for example. While it’s not the newest technique out there, it’s a great choice for small businesses. Marketing solutions company Triadex Services claims that direct mail marketing can yield redemption rates of up to 20%. That’s a huge boost for small businesses especially. Entrepreneurs need to be able to identify tools and techniques like direct mail that are low investment but yield huge returns. These marketing tools have to be sustainable, and are often what spells the difference between success and failure for small businesses.
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