When you’re running a small business and you’re hungry for growth, where do you begin? The experts have weighed in with several keys to success for the early stages of your small business. They suggest that you carefully plan for the right time to start, have the funding in place to make it happen, learn about your target users and be smart about how you spend your initial funds.
When you grow a small business during difficult economic times and succeed, the success through the hardship can be even more rewarding than the business itself. So, what are the tricks to growing your small business even during difficult times? Here are the top five tips that the experts would recommend:
Choose the Right Time
Make sure you’ve really considered if it’s the right time to begin a brand new business. It takes time, money and expertise to start a company, so you need to be able to confidently say that you know the field inside and out before you begin. Do you really have enough funding to make it happen? Or perhaps it would be better to start after you’ve learned more skills that would ensure business success.
Not only should you personally invest in your company, but you also need to seek funding. Most successful business owners had to put the majority of their finances on the line in order to start their businesses. This requires a huge leap of faith.
Make sure you have an emergency fund for nine months worth of living expenses so that you can have your basic expenses covered during the difficult beginnings of starting a company. Putting your money on the line makes your business more personal. It’s OK to accept money from outside funders, but try to limit it to those that would provide strategic advice, rather than a friend that wants to give you a loan.
Learn your Target User
It is important to understand who is going to use your service or product. Learning all about the target audience you’re trying to sell to is vital to your success. Will your product make a mother’s life easier? Will it change the way people travel? Is it going to make schools safer? Think about the person this is going to effect and why they would want to buy your product or service.
Watch your Spending
Avoid spending much money on marketing at the beginning. Use social media to get your name out there as free advertising. Stay active on social media to get noticed. You can also offer awards to attract new users and referral bonuses to current customers for getting a friend to buy from you.
You can also try some of these simple money saving tricks:
- Buying furniture at wholesale retailers
- Only print in black and white
- Use your own cell phone rather than purchasing a work phone
- Use the smallest practical office space that you can
While you may feel pressured to work hard 24/7 in the beginning, taking care of yourself is what is going to keep you going through this journey. Take 20 minutes of quiet time each day and make time to exercise and eat well. This will keep your energy up and your health in good shape for the occasional late and stressful night. Try breathing exercises throughout the day and find time for a 15 minute walk at lunch.
All of these expert tips can help you grow a flourishing small business.