Revenues generated by America’s small businesses add up to big business for the country’s economy. According to information on small business trends provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration, 28 million small businesses account for 54% of all U.S. sales.
The importance of capital in creating a successful business
Creating a viable small business, however, is about more than generating as many sales as you can. To be successful, it takes more than just creating a great product or service and selling it at a profit.
Several factors determine whether your business will grow at a sustainable rate and survive over the long-term. One of the most important things that determine whether you succeed is your ability to access capital when you need it.
Financial flexibility is a key component of success. You need to have enough cash flow, and access to enough forms of payment, to be able to purchase equipment and supplies from your vendors whenever necessary.
Unless you can quickly pay for items as they are needed, you run the risk of shortfalls in your production. This will harm your reputation with your clients. You could also run late on paying your vendors if you run short on capital. This damages your ability to purchase the items you need at the lowest cost.
Ways to generate and access capital
Capital comes in many forms and includes cash flow from the company’s sales and other revenues. It can also come from cash infusions from the owner’s personal savings and investments. Securing lines of credit with banks and other lenders also plays an important part in stabilizing your company’s finances and building your company’s capacity to grow.
One of the easiest ways to access a line of credit to pay for materials and other supplies is via a company business card. Small business owners should be careful when applying for a credit card for their company, to ensure that they are receiving the best rates and terms.
Services like Credit Soup make it easy for entrepreneurs and other small business owners to find cards with great rates and terms so that owners are not wasting their capital on unnecessary finance charges and similar expenses. The site also offers helpful tools so small business owners can learn more about credit, and how to manage their finances so that they can increase their access to capital and build their business.
Marketing remains a key consideration and puts capital to good use
A second factor that is critical to your company’s success is your ability to communicate with your customers and prospects so that you can compete in your segment of the market. Entrepreneurs that want to set up a business so that it will succeed understand that they need a comprehensive marketing strategy from the very start.
Traditional marketing campaigns via direct mail and ad spots on radio and TV are expensive. This is especially true if your product or service is in an industry that is already crowded with more established businesses. To conserve capital so that it is available for other business expenses, startups should incorporate social media into their marketing plan.
If you haven’t already done so, add a blog to your company’s website to build your reputation and generate interest in your company. Create an online presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This allows you to communicate directly with customers and prospects without having to spend a lot of time or money to grab their attention. Create a few great posts that feature captivating images and compelling content and share them with your connections. Encourage others to share your posts within their circle of friends.
If you create content that is useful, or entertaining, you stand a good chance of having your posts shared rapidly by hundreds, if not thousands, of prospective clients. This type of word of mouth advertising is essentially free once the initial post has been made and shared. This helps to control your costs and provides additional conservation of your capital.
For long-term success focus on three keys: Capital, Marketing, and Sales
Access to capital is the literal lifeblood of your business. From buying supplies to connecting with your customers, it touches every corner of your business. Therefore, if you genuinely want to grow your business past the startup phase you must focus as much on increasing your access to capital as you do marketing your business and building your sales. Without access to capital, at the right time, even the best business ideas ultimately fail.