When putting together a startup, you’ll want to get things right from the very beginning. There can be a lot of things that you can do, regardless of your particular business niche, that will help boost your business and make your strategies more effective. Here are nine ways you can get your business off to the best possible start and at the same time save yourself some money.
1 – Keep a close eye on your finances and keep on top of them if they start to slip
Finances are tricky things to keep a close hold on, especially when running a small business. It can be so easy to let your budget slip and overspend. Here are some ways you can keep on top of your finances:
- Take out a business loan. This can be a great kick starter for your business, just make sure you can pay it back. You can pay these off in weekly or monthly installments and can help you get your business rolling or back on its feet if you need help with carrying it through a rough patch.
- Have a good credit score. This will help with loans. You can improve this by paying back any debt you already owe and paying your bills on time. This will open you up to good credit cards and better financial deals, and you are more likely to be accepted for loans and by banks.
- Be honest with yourself about your financial situation. If you aren’t doing to well, it may be a good idea to consider cutting unnecessary costs as well as not making any large financially dependent decisions. If you are doing well financially, begin to think critically about your investments. Any deal could make or break your business at the start of things.
2 – Make sure you are always working efficiently, even at maximum and minimum workload capacity
Maintaining both you and your worker’s efficiency at both minimum and maximum workload is a good practice to maintain. It helps your business cope with whatever it needs to and can help with your quality control. It also helps you set limits as to what you can and can’t do. This is so you don’t bite off more than you can chew and have a potential dip in your quality of work. The best ways to maximize this are:
- Investing in good equipment that helps you and your employees work more efficiently. Working with good resources also boosts this.
- Ensure all of your staff are well motivated. You can do this by maintaining a good community spirit among your workers by keeping your staff feeling safe and well looked after.
- Make sure you have a backup plan for every eventuality. This can help if there is a crisis. This means good management skills, for example, if you have a team of four, always plan for having only three workers if one is off sick or on holiday. This helps the teamwork with an amount that they can cope with without feeling stretched.
3 – Make sure your marketing game is strong, and your online presence is one that cannot be ignored
It is very important to have a strong marketing game. Your online presence is invaluable and can cost you a lot of advertisement if it’s not well maintained. These are two ways you can start to increase your online marketing:
- Hire a marketing agency to help you take the stress out of maintaining your digital marketing. This is a really handy tool to use, especially if you’re just starting to get your business on the road to riches. It’s also good if you invest in a marketing agency that supports your business’s niche. For example, a HVAC business would surely invest in a HVAC digital marketing agency.
- Utilize social media influencer marketing. This is a cheap and efficient way to boost your audience. By paying an influencer to sell your product for you, you get direct contact with a target audience through an outlet that they already trust. By doing this, you get publicity, and this can be really handy. This may also be a chance to make discount codes and deals on certain products to help your sales increase.
4 – Invest in the right insurances to help your business cope with costs
Getting the right insurance can help your business cope with any costs for damage you may come across. Accidents happen in every business, and the compensation and claims can be a very expensive process to be caught up in. Here are some insurances a business owner should consider investing in:
Worker’s compensation. ‘Workers comp’ can help when dealing with injured employees. This is required in many states if you have over three workers and helps your employees get the right support. They also help with covering missed wages and your workers getting emergency medical attention. This insurance helps your workers feel safe and protected and can keep morale and work output high across the business. Some clients will ask to see if you have worker’s compensation insurance if you have a labor firm, like a contractor, and may refuse your service if you do not have one.
You may also consider getting a BOP, or a Business Owner’s Policy. This is an insurance policy that is specialized for small to medium-sized businesses. This covers general liability which covers the costs of injury or problems as a result of your product or services. It also covers commercial property insurance, which covers the needs of the building your business is run from. This could be against flood damage, fires, or even the damage that a worker may have purposefully or accidentally caused.
5 – Make sure your business is worth investing in to keep your client intrigue and loyalty high
Keep your business’ customers informed that you are a reliable and sustainable brand to invest in. You can do this by:
- Being eco-friendly. Work as much as you can off of electricity and invest in green power sources, such as solar panels and other renewable energies. Try and keep your carbon emissions low and your waste as little as possible. Make sure you are critical about your recycling. This will save you a lot of money and can remove the hassle of needing to make these changes later on down the line.
- Try to be vegan and cruelty-free. Not only does this openly display the morals of your company, but it also makes your business more appealing to younger generations. Many youths are making the switch to veganism and condemn companies that use animal testing and make it very difficult for them to make a sale.
- Source your supplies from reliable suppliers. If you own a culinary business, make sure all the food you buy is free-range and responsibly sourced. If you own a general retail business, make sure all of your packagings is easily recyclable or reusable in one way or another.
6 – Ensure that you have the right business model
This is something that you need to figure out when starting your business and when registering it to your desired location’s state. Ensuring that you have the right business model can help you figure out the direction that your business is heading in and how much you are willing to invest in, as well as make changes and ensure you have the right legal coverages. Most small businesses start as one of these two business models:
- A sole proprietorship. This model is best for if you do not have any employees, and it’s just you who runs the business. This affects how you are taxed: a sole proprietorship means that you and your businesses are one and the same, so your business and personal taxes are not separated. 23million businesses in America are sole proprietorships.
- A limited company. Limited companies are for when you do have employees. This means that you and your business are no longer the same entity, and you are taxed separately. However, the liability of the business is still the business owners and limits the number of legal responsibility stockholders have in the business.
7 – Keep your staff on task when working remotely
During the current crisis, keeping a team together and focused has never been more important, especially if you are all working remotely, as 41.8% of Americans currently are. Working from home provides unique challenges, especially if children are at home from school or you’ve never worked from home before. Finding a system that works can take a long time. Here’s how you can help with that:
- Invest in the uses of task management services. These are services that keep your workers up to date on what current jobs are being done on certain projects and how the business is working as a whole. It also helps the business owner and manager work to see who is doing what and how efficiently they are working.
- Ensure all of your employees are taking breaks. When working from home, it can be difficult to monitor time. It is good to set reminders as to when you can work and when you can rest, even if it’s just an email. Workers moving at their own pace can help boost your work output, but breaks are a requirement by law.
Also, be careful of employees doing overtime. It can be easy to get carried away with work, especially if your employee doesn’t have any family at home to give them time checks to help them keep track. Ensuring that your employees aren’t spending too much time working can be a great boost of morale, and it might help their mental welfare, too.
8 – Ensure your data and information is in a well stored and secure place
Make sure your data is well stored and protected. This can help you massively, especially if you hold sensitive information about a client. This also helps protect your employee’s information and data too, so ensuring that you have the right data protection and storage is very important.
Here are two ways you might want to store your data:
- Use the Cloud. This has an awful lot of storage space that can be used to your advantage, and it is a secure place to store mass data and works as a reliable database that can easily be accessed by your employees who have been granted access to it.
- Get data protection insurance to help cover the costs of replacement if any theft does occur. However, investing in a good and high key data protection agency can be very beneficial, especially where you and your client’s personal and financial details are involved.
9 – Make sure your customer’s satisfaction levels are as high as they can possibly be
Customer satisfaction is key. When it comes to reviews and customer experiences, one bad apple can spoil the bunch. It is good to stay on top of any problems that might arise with shipping and always be prepared for the odd bad or difficult customer who will take advantage of what they can. Here’s how you can do this:
- Keep interacting with your customers, even after they’ve purchased. Send out questionnaires and send them deals to keep them coming back for more. Make sure your business isn’t forgotten. But always remember, never be too pushy when selling things, as this may aggravate customers, and they will lose interest.
- Take responsibility for your mistakes. This can be breakages or just a lack of consistency within your product. By taking responsibility, you can improve your customers purchasing experience to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
- Make their purchasing experience one they will want to repeat. This means making the process smooth and likable, maybe with a personal note on your hand-packaged product thanking them for their purchase, and maybe some information about where some of the money is going. Give them an incentive to return, maybe through vouchers or deals to keep your loyal customers returning, and recommending them to friends and family.