Top 3 Tips to Build a Successful Business
Have you been thinking about starting your own business?
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Does the thought of actually doing it and everything that it entails stop you in your tracks? You’re not alone.
Starting your own business can be scary and may feel impossible, but with the right tools and guidance, you too can build your own successful business. Here are some basics to get you started:
Tip #1: Business Financing
The financial aspect of building a business is usually the most intimidating piece, especially for those who haven’t been saving up to do it or who don’t have extra money laying around. Let us start off by saying: do not let this stop you! There are many ways that you can get the financial support you need to move forward in your business plan; we will share just three. Some first steps are a business line of credit, traditional business loan, or merchant cash advances.
To start, a business line of credit is geared towards small businesses as a more flexible loan than a business loan. It works similar to a credit card in that you can borrow up to a certain amount of money and pay interest accordingly. Just like with a credit card, you can use and repay at your discretion as long as you don’t exceed your limit. .
The next option is your traditional business loan which is fairly easy to get since there are many lenders out there looking to partner with business owners. You’ll most likely need a credit score of 720 or higher, a stable source of income, and a business plan (it doesn’t have to be perfect, don’t worry). One of the biggest pluses of a business loan is that if the business fails the loan doesn’t have to be repaid *in most cases. This should give most borrowers a sense of relief. When applying for a loan, it’s important to make sure you read the fine print – there are usually early repayment penalties that come with a loan, so finding the right loan for you is crucial.
Finally, you have merchant cash advances (MCA) which isn’t exactly a loan but rather a cash advance that will be repaid according to a percentage of the credit card sales deposited into your business’ merchant account. The benefits of a MCA is that you can apply for one and have funds appear in your business checking account within 24 hours upon approval! The application process is a bit different than from a lender or banker in that a MCA provider will evaluate your daily credit card receipts to assess risk.
Tip #2: Human Resources
A successful business cannot operate without a successful team. You’re not expected to do it all (and you definitely shouldn’t). Begin by figuring out your strengths and weaknesses so that you can see where you’ll need more hands on deck. That said, utilizing recruiting companies as well as securing a solid Human Resources department are vital for success.
It is important to remember that when hiring staff, you want people who will stay and grow with your company. Your team members should have the same goals and values, and even more importantly should be as dedicated to the success of the business as you are.This comes hand in hand with building a culture for success. This means making your employees feel valued, respected, and trusted. How do you do this? Establishing company norms such as team building activities, whole company meetings, weekly happy hours, and other unifying experiences. A team that likes and trusts each other is bound to thrive!
Tip #3: Invest in Marketing
In today’s age, word of mouth is the biggest marketing agent. People look to the internet for customer reviews first, using platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, and other online forums. For this reason, customer service and satisfaction are critical. Utilizing free social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp can build your clientele as well as your credibility tremendously. They are also ways to engage with your customers and provide quality customer service.
You’ll need a basic website to direct your customers to, even if it just states the minimum about your company: who you are, your mission, contact information, and product or service details. Email subscription is another great way to keep your customers up to date on products, services, and anything else going on at your company. You can also add news and other updates about your company to invoices that are emailed to customers.
There are many free ways to market your product or service, but you’ll also want to set aside a marketing budget for some paid advertising, which will definitely increase your visibility.
Money Tips to Remember
Keeping track of where you’re spending money can be tiring, but it’s extremely important. If you find that you’re spending too much time and energy doing this, you may want to look into online tools and apps for expense tracking; finding the right one could be a game changer. Having a specific budget will ensure that you aren’t dipping into other funds or spending money on things you don’t need. Pay attention to what is and isn’t working so that you aren’t spending money where you don’t have to.
You can do this by:
- Outlining business goals: Having a clear goal will eliminate any excess or unnecessary spending.
- Determining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): These can be both financial and customer focused and they set the criteria for measuring your company’s performance and success.
- Monitoring your Return on Investment (ROI): This is a performance metric used to measure the probability of gaining a return from an investment. In other words, ROI can be used to gauge an investment’s profitability.
- Being adaptive to change: Change is inevitable so it’s important that you have an open mind and are ready to shift gears when necessary. Make sure you’re following trends and staying current with the times so that you aren’t blindsided when you have to adjust accordingly. Remember: change can be good!
Building a successful business certainly sounds easier than it is (if it sounds easy at all), but following the right steps can help drastically.
Your first step is to figure out the right funding for your needs, and once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to get moving!