It takes more than money to make a business successful. Even if your company is doing fine now, there’s a good possibility that won’t last forever. Whether you’ve been in business for awhile or are an eager startup, you’ll need to plan smart to avoid problems down the road. Here are a few ways you can do that.
1-Write a Business Plan
Business plans help you maneuver through the entrepreneurial jungle. A well thought-out plan sets a clear course for what you want to achieve, how to do it, and how to best use funds to grow and market your company. Writing a business plan is important for small businesses to prepare for inevitable roadblocks, says Sam Meenasian of USA Insurance Services “Writing a business plan will help calculate costs associated for starting a new venture which will enable you to avoid costly surprises.” Most business plans are written to cover 3 to 5 years, outlining the steps needed to achieve your goals, including expected profit. You can hire a professional consultant to help you write a plan or use the Small Business Administration (SBA) Build Your Business Plan tool.
2-Save Money with these Cost Cutting Measures
Saving money on office space, phone service and receptionists may not seem like a lot, but those dollars on the “small” but necessary things can be funneled back into product development or marketing.
Instead of hiring a full-time receptionist or administrative assistant, outsource answering phone calls, emails, and other office tasks to a virtual assistant. Rent a shared workspace with other small businesses. You’ll have your own private office, but share a conference room, reception area and kitchenette. Reduce phone and SMS charges by using GotoMeeting for conference calls, Skype for video conferencing and Whatsapp for texting.
3- Buy Liability Insurance to Cover Lawsuits
Liability insurance covers claims that arise from daily operation of your business. Any entrepreneur can be subject to a lawsuit for a number of reasons, including bodily injury, false advertising, personal injury or property damage. The types of lawsuits a business may face depends on their industry. Contractors working in homes or businesses may face claims for property damage due to incomplete or shoddy work; a buyer may sue an art gallery if a painting they purchased is proven to be a forgery. Liability insurance is a necessary expense for all businesses – you never know when an accident, injury or miscommunication may occur, and skipping out on insurance now could cost you a huge sum of money in the future.
4-Improve Your Sales and Marketing Skills
Customers won’t magically flock to your store or website when you set up a Yelp page or place one ad in a local paper. You need a consistent advertising and marketing plan to attract loyal customers. Study all options at your disposal, from free ads on Craigslist to pay-per-click (PPC) text ads on Google. Hire a temp worker to pass out flyers on a busy street corner. Include a weekly or bi-weekly blog on your website offering customers useful information and discounts. Set up accounts on all major social media sites (including Youtube), but spend most your time on one or two sites most likely to attract your target group. Setting up a steady marketing and advertising stream will prevent customers from forgetting about your business and reduce the chance of revenue loss due to slow sales.