Starting a small business is really a challenge and following the proper guideline can help you get it started flawlessly. Like good coaches suggest: The basics can get you to the top. There is an important checklist to start a new business and creating a to-do list can help you getting started easily:
- Manage Your Cash Flow
Every small business owner needs cash to start a business and it’s one reason that makes them go insolvent. The first step is proper cash planning. There are few questions a business owner should think. How much cash you should have in hand? Do you have obligation to repay? Do you have outstanding debts to collect? Are you a manufacturer and need supplies that have fluctuate pricing due to market situations? There are numerous factors that can affect your financial position. The key is to comprehend those factors.
- Build A Practical Approach
Business decisions are based upon on facts and figures and more you use and track data, the better your business decisions will be. Every small business requires some intuitive decisions and it’s better to inform yourself of as much information as possible. Tracking business KPI’s and understanding their progress will help you make better business decisions and keep your business stay on track.
- Go For Strategic Business Planning
Every successful business must have a strategic financial plan and it must be tracked on regular basis. Business planning is continuing assumptions you have about your business, and the same must be evaluated whether you need adjustments to your assumptions or not. Maybe you plan to get supplies after every 15 days. By tracking the results of your ongoing operations with your plans you can easily figure out if in reality you need supplies every 10 days, and if so, you can suitably increase your credit line, and keep your business cash flow strong.
- Know Your Products/Services Margins
As a successful business owner, you not only need to be aware of your business bottom line, but also the individual products/services that contributing from it. Pricing your products/services is something which every business owner must think. Being a business owner, you don’t want yourself to be priced out of the market, but for a while you need sufficient margins to cover your costs and make profits. Your high products/services margins may provide enticements to competitors to replicate your product and chip away with your price. The profit margin of every business is the key indicator of the health of your business. You should have a business plan, examine your costs, and regulate your prices as a measurement of how lucrative your business is ultimately.
- Strategically Recruitment & Retaining
Looking for quality talent is important for business growth. As a business owner you should regularly look out for talent in your local regions with strategically recruitment programs. Think of improving your culture and try to bring that culture into your hiring process. LinkedIn and similar social networking sites are an effective tool to track and recruit talent for your business.
- Be an Online Guru
As a business owner you might have spent time casting lines, making catch and reeling them in. After you’ve got those prospects you need, how do you retain them? Now is the time to set up online alerts to determine what your potential customers (competitors and market in general) are saying about your business. Google Alerts is a free online tool for to take alerts. Use such tools to respond if a bad review is posted or someone rambles about your business online.
- Focus On Your ROI
Most small business doesn’t understand marketing in general. They have no idea where to spend the money for advertisement. Should they advertise online, on radio, TV or buy local TV ads? What works and what’s not? The best way is to start from places that are free and easy like social networking platforms to communicate with local business owners. Ask them what works for them initially. Engage with customers through social networking sites and ask them how they find you. Do a special advertise deal and track the results. Learn from them and find out what works and what doesn’t, and repeat the marketing process. You shouldn’t spend money if you are unable to measure results.
- Engage With Customers
After you the attention of your potential customers, you need to take an extra step be engaging with them to foster longer-term customer relationships. When Americans spend the money, they’re more attentive in getting the best value for their hard-earned money. They explore, compare, look for suggestions, inquire, and carefully think about the options. If you are a retailer, ask them few times a week and find out what they like and what they don’t. Use survey in your check out process if you are an online business. Customers like to be contacted, and like to be asked their opinion. Listening to negative criticism is hard but the same is worth hearing and making things better for your customers.
- Understand Your Competitors
In order to stay ahead in the game, keep an eye on your direct and indirect competitors. Know how they market, their pricing, promotions, position in the market etc. You should know how to position yourself against all odds—even though you don’t have direct competition. You can use this information to strengthen your position, create new marketing strategies and improve your business performance. This way you will stay ahead in the industry and can help yourself to be practical about your business success. To strengthen your business performance, you must know who competes for your customers’ time and money.
10. Learn, Learn & Get Help
As a small business, you are growing step by step and you are constantly learning. Once in a while we have to turn to someone when we just don’t know about something we are dealing or working with. There are thousands of networks that connect you with someone or a group of people to learn and get help. Business association and the local chamber is a good starting point. A business adviser is a great channel that can guide you through your hard times of growing or organizing your small business.