Top 10 small business tips for all industries

November 11, 2014

Starting your own small business can be overwhelming, especially if its your first time. Our small business tips can help you run yours.

Sometimes it can be difficult figuring out where to focus your attention, especially when it seems like there are a million items that need to be taken care of all at once. Here are some small business tips that apply to all industries, which can help ease you into owning your own business.

  • Improve and refine your products and services. Small businesses don’t generally have a brand reputation associated with their products and services. It’s important to make sure that the quality of the goods and services you provide are continuously improved upon, in order build up a reputation based on superior quality. If customers are happy with what you’re selling, they may eventually turn into your most loyal customers.
  • If you perform a service, make sure you get paid upfront. Performing a service comes with risks, one of which includes not being paid for services rendered. To mitigate this potential loss in revenue, require that customers pay a portion of the cost before you start work.
  • Have an internet presence Creating a website is a great way to provide customers with more information about your business, in case they don’t want to call or come into the store. Make sure your site includes details on the goods and services you provide, contact information and directions to your location.
  • Engage on social media – share what is valuable to customers. Social media has proven to be a great way for businesses to connect with current and potential customers. Sharing relevant news about current business sales and promotional deals, as well as content that your target consumer would likely enjoy reading about, is a great way to increase engagement with the people you want shopping in your business.
  • Have everything in writing. Going into business with a family member or a friend might seem like a great idea – and maybe it is – but there’s no predicting what will happen months or years later. If a rift occurs in your business or personal relationship with your partner, the situation could get extremely messy if there are no contracts stating who is entitled to what parts of the business. While this may be a worst case scenario, it’s always best to take these factors into account before committing to a business deal.
  • Remain positive. Roadblocks and sudden obstacles can be thrown your way when you least expect it. Stressing yourself out can cause your business to suffer. Remaining positive sets a good example for your employees and reassures everyone that everything will be fine.
  • Ask for referrals. If customers enjoy your products and services, they’d likely be happy to refer your business to a friend. Introducing a referral incentive program can also be a great way to get your business’ name out there and give customers that extra push to inform their network.
  • Ask for help from mentors. It’s hard work starting your own business, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice from those who’ve been in your situation before.  These mentors can steer you away from making mistakes in your small business that they may have made in the past, saving you some big headaches, and potentially lost profit.
  • Make sure you’re covered. Starting your own business is risky, especially when factoring in all the potential liability and injury lawsuits that could be thrown your way. Buying small business insurance can allow you to remain worry-free while you’re off taking care of all the other tasks that come with running your own business.
  • Stay reliable. No matter what industry you work in, keeping customers happy is your number one goal. Performing tasks on time, providing products that remain consistent, or keeping your doors open during advertised business hours are all examples of showing customers that your business is reliable.

Tell us! Are you an entrepreneur? What tips do you have for other aspiring small business owners?