While there are never any guarantees when someone opens up a small business, most business owners do not expect to go out of business sooner rather than later.
That being the case, what are you doing as a small business owner to increase the chances of prosperity for your brand? Even if you have a decent cash flow, a good product or service, along with loyal employees to give it their all each and every day, sometimes that is not enough. As many small business owners can tell you, it just takes one really bad experience to throw a company into upheaval. If the small business is not stable enough to withstand such a rollercoaster ride, the closed sign could very well be put on the front door.
So, how can you increase the chances of staying in business for the long run, keeping those potential problems at arm’s length?
Give Your Small Business a Winning Shot
In order to give your small business the best winning shot possible, keep the following four keys in mind:
- Customer service
Above all else, make sure you never drop the ball when it comes to customer service. Given most customers have a myriad of choices when it comes to where they can shop, you can’t afford to slouch on your service to them. Sure, you may be one of the few small businesses around with a certain product or service, but customers still generally will look elsewhere if they feel they’ve been cheated in the customer service department. Finally, ask your customers for feedback as to the services you are providing them. Even if you get some negative comments, you can in fact learn from those as you move along.
By keeping the lines of customer communication open, you have a better chance of retaining the bulk of your customers.
- Financial health
Right up there with stellar customer service is of course your financial health. As much as you do to protect your financial well-being, some outside of your control can potentially do damage to that before you know it. When that happens, you are the one who stands to lose. For instance, what do you do ultimately when some customers dispute the purchases they made with you via their credit cards? Unfortunately, you will oftentimes be caught off guard by such occasions, leaving you wondering more about preventing chargebacks for your small business. Those chargebacks can ultimately end up costing your small business lots of money, money that you could certainly be putting towards other needs. In the end, you are left with fees and penalties, both of which can add up.
As with all of your financial efforts, make sure customer transactions are properly recorded and processed each and every time, not costing you an arm and a leg in the process.
Do Enough Consumers Know About You?
- Proper marketing
Even if you have a small marketing budget with which to work with, making sure you get the most out of your marketing efforts is critical. As an example, social media is one of the best marketing tools you can use, especially given the fact that it is relatively free. With that being the case, making sure you are active on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others is something you don’t want to miss out on. In your social networking efforts, also make sure that you engage consumers who come to your sites. You are much more likely to turn a potential customer into a present one when you open up (and keep open) a line of dialogue.
- Forward thinking
Finally, always be that small business owner who is thinking about tomorrow and not necessarily today. Even though the business of today is obviously critical, you have to be thinking a step ahead, noting what you will do tomorrow in terms of moving your business forward. Whether that revolves around technology, marketing, growing your business when the time is right, there are many things you will be left with which to think about.
In the end, being a forward thinker will do you and your brand lots of good. As a small business owner, what advice do you have for others running small companies nationwide?