Making your small business thrive is a complex question for several reasons. A lot of people assume that the larger the company gets, the harder it is to run it, which is not necessarily the case. With a larger company, you have more help and more resources. You also have a better starting position. All of these factors can make your job a bit easier and they are something that you won’t have available when you’re first starting out.
With that in mind and without further ado, here are several professional tips that will help your small business thrive in no time.
Personal approach to customer management
As a small business, chances are that you won’t be working with a huge number of students. This is why it’s so important that you get to know your customers on a personal basis. This will not only enhance their customer loyalty but also provide you with some great customer service opportunities. Being able to get in touch with the owner is already something that will make them feel privileged.
Also, this form of networking will allow you to nurture existing contacts. The post-sale follow-up can be a lot more personal and impactful. In turn, these people are more likely to:
- Spend more
- Become brand ambassadors
- Provide WOM recommendations
Each of these factors increases the profitability and visibility of your enterprise as a whole. It boosts your brand image and creates a loyal base that can be the bulk of any future campaign that you have in mind. They’re the extra layer of reliability that your enterprise desperately needs.
The key thing you need to understand is that as the number of clients grows, you may be unable to keep up at the same pace. However, you can still provide this treatment to some of your most valuable and oldest clients. If you start doing this early on, you will develop your own habits and personal practices in this field, which will make your job so much easier.
It’s an extra effort but it’s definitely worth your while.
Emergency plan for your cash flow
Your cash flow is incredibly important for the functionality of your business. Your operational expenses need to be covered on a regular basis and the fact that your clients haven’t paid yet or refuse to pay altogether is not a valid excuse. If need be, you need to have some mechanisms already ready and waiting.
According to experts in debt recovery from Brisbane, you need to change your view of this situation. This is not your own money that they’re withholding, it’s the money that they’re withholding from your employees, suppliers and your landlord. Even if you were to forgive them what they owe to you, this is not your own money.
If you can’t wait for the money to arrive, you could look for a factoring company and sell some invoices. The money loss would be a lot lower than if you were to look for a short-term loan.
In the end, try to avoid spending cash when you don’t have to.
The next thing you need to understand is the importance of delegating tasks and giving your employees the necessary autonomy. Trying to micro-manage everything is a problem but when it comes to small businesses, it can be particularly troublesome. Why? Well, because for the time being, it works.
You will see better results, maintain greater control of the company and be able to help out everyone make their job easier.
The problem is that this makes your employees reliant on you, which halts their professional development. If they rely on you to solve every issue, they will never face a challenge or even be forced to hone their own problem-solving skills. It will also show them that you don’t trust them or that you doubt their ability. Lastly, it leaves you overworked.
The biggest problem is that it’s not a great long-term solution. Sure, it works for now but what when your team, workload and client base increase? What happens when the list of services that you offer includes some items that you aren’t competent to deal with? What happens when you need someone to fill in the position of a team leader?
All of these questions need to be answered long before they become an actual problem.
It might take six months up to two full years for your business to become fully self-sustaining. In order to get there, you need to find a way to bridge these first six months, which is far from easy. Some decide to get an extra cash buffer that would allow them to withhold this period of non-profitability. Others keep their day job for the time being. The truth is that this is hard and it was never going to be easy. This is why our final advice to you is that you should arm yourself with patience.