Being in charge of a small business in today’s day and age can be both beneficial and downright challenging.
On the plus side, there are ample opportunities out there (when one knows how to seize them) to take a small business idea and run with it.
On the down side, complications may arise (some under your control, some not) that can hamper your progress or even bring you down at some point and time.
That said the success or failure of your small business almost always boils down to money, typically how much or how little of it that you have.
Yes, hiring the best employees (if you’re more than a one-person show) to better ensure team chemistry and first-rate customer service sure do matter, but it generally all boils down to dollars.
So, how can you keep your small business in the black and buzzing right along?
Know the Warning Signs of Financial Peril
In order for your small business to stay ahead in the financial game, make sure you are doing the following:
- Planning along the way – Any small business that doesn’t have a plan and/or mission statement, along with reviewing and even occasionally altering that plan to a degree, could be setting itself up for failure. Many of those plans will of course revolve around finances. Always review where your small business is financially. Is it where you thought it would be approximately a year after opening? How about two years after your first customer sale? Steady growth is necessary to give you hope that your small business can be here not just in terms of years, but in terms of decades down the road;
- Dealing with risks – There may come a time (or two etc.) when your small business runs into some financial hurdles. No matter what the reason for them, do your best to work through them. One such headache can be when customers are not paying their bills on time or feel they have limited options with which to pay. In turn, lenders may look at your small business with a wary eye or two, especially if you go to them seeking a loan at some point. Do everything possible to make sure you are receiving customer payments on time. If your credit card processing procedures need a review, don’t wait around until things become critical. You want to make the process as easy as possible for customers to pay their bills. In some cases, businesses that are seen as being more of a risk can find it hard to receive necessary funding either to keep the companies going or even get started in the first place. Make sure you properly deal with risks. If you don’t, you and your business could suffer the consequences;
- Touting your success stories – Given that many small businesses do not have the financial capital or the ability to promote themselves like larger companies do, it is important to get your success stories out to the public whenever possible. In doing so, you give consumers more reasons to want to do business with you. That said using a sound public relations attack time and time again is crucial. Try whenever possible to put customer testimonials out there for the public to see. This can be done on your website, through newspaper and magazine advertisements, radio ads and more. In doing so, you give other consumers more reason to think about possibly conducting some business with you. Lastly, make sure the testimonials are upbeat and feature happy folks. When consumers tend to see happy people with their products and/or services of choice, it spurs them on to consider buying or renting them too.
There are so many factors that go into making a small business successful; they sometimes can seem too endless to list.
Above all else, make sure your company’s finances are in the best order they can be.
When you do that to the best of your ability, you increase the odds of having a long run as a small business owner.
On the other hand, not being cognizant of your financial operations can unfortunately be the beginning of the end.