Starting your own business is the way to financial security, but it’s no easy road. The difference between a business and a successful business can take years to recognize, and if you can’t act fast to make your business produce, there could be terrible consequences.
Even if you’re not the one left holding the check if the whole thing goes under, every employee has a stake in driving a successful business. The following 10 techniques will help you bring a little more black into the bottom line. Some are quick fixes while others require structural change.
1. Have a Web Presence
If your business isn’t represented online, it might as well be underground. The modern world expects to be able to find you on Google.
There are lots of tools that make it easy to create your own web page. You can even install an online storefront without the need for professional developers. When the company scales up, you may need to consider investing in a more robust solution, but getting your name out there is the critical step for now.
2. Run a Social Media Campaign
The social media environment of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others is a huge opportunity going to waste if you don’t engage with it. Used correctly, these platforms can share your brand’s story and products with millions of people. If you really want the exposure, hire a specialist to manage your social media campaigns.
3. Secure Your Office Space
Depending on your business model, you might have products or intellectual property that are at risk of theft. Retail stores, for example, have to work to avoid “shrink,” the draw on inventory that comes from shoplifters and even employees helping themselves to a five-finger discount.
Your business might be different. For example, you might run a mechanic’s shop that should be gated to protect the valuable vehicles customers trust you with. Their confidence will earn you business!
Whatever it is, make sure you close any loopholes in your operation that come from security concerns.
4. Create a Great Work Environment
Great business leaders know that a business is nothing without people. People who enjoy their work environment create successful businesses by doing higher quality work — and more of it. They also talk about their experience, attracting additional talent and further helping the business grow.
How can you set your business apart from the rest when it comes to workplace perks? You might consider the things you do for your employees a hefty expense already, but you’d be wrong. See what happens when you invest in them by providing wellness benefits, snacks at work, remote work options and personal development plans. Reinvesting in your work environment is reinvesting in your business.
5. Get Organized
Organized warehousing operations have a metric that’s used to track the efficiency of their workplace. The metric is the number of times a single box or item is handled or “touched” before it goes to a customer. The lower the number, the more efficient the warehouse. That’s simplification, and you can do it to. Examine your workflows, then remove as many unnecessary steps as possible.
Look at every aspect of your business and find how you can organize it. Work vehicles a mess? Add some hooks, drawers, and shelving unites to make sure every item has a place. You’ll save time, and money replacing items that otherwise would get lost.
6. Integrate Various Services
What if that same warehousing company started its own shipping operation, allowing them to transact with customers and ship the product themselves? The product would move more quickly to the customer, and the company would have better visibility into how to ensure that their customers had the best experience possible when it was delivered. That’s integration. Where you can reduce third-party costs by taking the business direct, you should look for affordable ways to do so.
7. Acquire Customer Endorsements
Have you ever seen companies list the names of their clients? Of course you have, because it’s meaningful to potential customers to know that this company is trusted by a business they know and respect. You can do the same. Make sure to communicate with your client ahead of time if you plan to share this information. Don’t discount how valuable it can be to name who you’ve worked for.
8. Get Aligned
For the same reason you coach your employees, the leadership team at your company needs to continue to grow. If they can work together better, the entire business should benefit. Consider a leadership coach or consultant who can observe your team and advise you on how to trust each other more, communicate more honestly and ultimately, be more successful.
9. Run Promotions
People pay attention when a company offers a great deal. Leverage your social media and other marketing channels to get people talking about your company. You might think you’re giving product away, but you’ll probably make it back in the continued business you’ll receive after people come to appreciate what your company delivers.
10. Partner With Other Businesses
Many businesses partner with others so that they can benefit from increased exposure. For example, if your company makes handheld fans for use on a hot day, why not partner with the local baseball team and give fans a free fan when they attend a game? Or become the exclusive fan supplier for the stadium. Once customers associate your brand with their favorite team, your business will grow.
Get Your Company on the Path to Success
These 10 suggestions can all help grow your business. If you can combine a few of them effectively, you’ll be on the road to riches. But don’t be misled to think that success can be boiled down to a formula — even when you use these techniques, it’s still critical for you to ask questions and constantly turn over new rocks, looking at things from different perspectives. That’s how you’ll get the information that can make these plays successful.