- Open at a rate of over 600,000 a year in the U.S.
- Make it to their second year 80 percent of the time.
- Require a strategic approach for success.
Being Your Own Boss
- Means focusing on your customers.
- Requires disciplined time and budget management.
- Can be easier with online marketing resources.
You’ve dreamed, researched, planned and strategized. Now you’re open for business. What’s the next challenge? Enduring your first year – and it’s easier than you think.
As the owner of one of over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., you’re in a competitive marketplace. However, more than two-thirds of these businesses make it to their second year.
Here are some key things you can do to ensure your small business celebrates its first birthday – and many more.
Put these items at the top of your to-do list.
Focus on your customers.
They are the reason you’re in business and every action you take should have a positive impact on their satisfaction. Be in tune with their needs. Who are they and what motivates them? What are their wants and challenges? How can you lead them to a solution?
Go beyond the expected. If possible, send them a handwritten thank-you card after their initial visit and hold regular customer appreciation events. Listen to their feedback and constantly improve the customer experience. Keep your customers happy and sales will follow.
Keep your expenses low.
New small businesses typically fail from a lack of income. Keep your costs low until you build out your product or service and sales begin to develop. Determine how much of the business you can operate yourself and only hire the employees you really need – you can also use freelancers and contractors as necessary to supplement your workforce. Unless you need office space, run your business online and do so as long as possible. Keep overhead costs to a minimum and focus on the necessities.
Don’t mistake work for productivity.
Everyone is always busy in the fast-paced business world. Be selective with your time and resources. Determine what tasks bring the most productivity and only do things that move your business forward.
Always remember that you don’t have to say yes to every request. Before agreeing to take on a task, consider how it fits into your game plan. Your time and energy are your two most valuable natural resources, so use them wisely.
Enhance your online presence.
Over 97 percent of customers use the internet to find local businesses and nearly 80 percent of U.S. internet users have made at least one online purchase. Make it easy for your customers to find you with online marketing.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to market your small business online, Web.com can help. We’ll show you how to get online reviews for your small business, and start blogging for your business. Online marketing can affordably attract more customers and help you keep up with your largest competitors, no storefront required.
Build success this year and beyond.
From building a solid customer base to focusing on how to use online marketing strategies for small business, you have a lot to think about. Focusing on your customers and staying disciplined with your time and budget will set your business on a course for long-term success.