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Whether you are just opening the doors to your first business or have been in operation for some time, there a re a few key points that you should always remember and always keep in the back of your mind. It does not matter if you have an office in your home or have a brick-and-mortar, these concepts will work!
- Cash Flow- I know this one is probably obvious, but you need to start generating positive cash flow. Have an accountant or CPA in place that you can trust, not only to do your taxes, but to complete daily, weekly, monthly bookkeeping. It happens way to frequently..small business owners “think” they know what they have in the bank without knowing a real, true number. This can get you into financial debt. Account for every penny!
- Build Your Team- The three most important people you need on your side are: an accountant/CPA, a business law lawyer, and your insurance agent. With that being said, if you are going into retail but have never worked retail a day in your life, consider hiring a sales manager with the appropriate experience. When you own a business, you need to be available 24/7. If you can’t make that happen, consider hiring trustworthy employees who can manage the store while you are away. Remember, the more employees you have, the more salaries you need to pay. This will cut into your cash flow, but you may see positive results if they can do tasks that you cannot.
- Know Your Customer- You may *think* you know what your ideal customer wants, but how sure are you? Get creative and send out internet polls, social media polls, and questionnaires to find out what your local consumer base really wants. Think about the neighborhood you are in, your price point and markups, and sales strategies.
- Persevere- You may have a big vision of having a national recognized business, perhaps you think you can even franchise one day. Don’t give up on those thoughts because that is what will help you persevere during hard and difficult times (and trust me, there will be many)
- Start Local- Hopefully someday you may gain national recognition, but in the mean time, start with your local town/city and work your way out from there. Your locals are the ones that will keep coming if they like your product or service. They will tell their out of town friends and relatives about you and there is no better way to advertise than by word of mouth.
- Have An Online Presence- Social media, websites, e-commerce, it all sounds so technical. But, in this day and age, putting yourself online is crucial. No, you do not have to sell products online, but give potential customers an idea of who you are and what separates you from the masses. Update your social media accounts, add pictures and videos, and be sure to keep your audience up to date on any changes!
- Stand Out- Whatever you choose to do, make sure that A. You have the experience needed to run a successful business B. YOU STAND OUT! What makes you different? Why should people do business with you? What do they get out of it? Be the only that offers a needed service!
Thanks all for reading. Blessings,