The Question That Says It All: How?
It’s no secret that in this day and age keeping a small business open and thriving is not an easy task to tackle. You have to overload yourself with knowledge in order to be successful and remain fresh to your target market. What’s the first step to staying successful? I’m glad you asked!
Create a Profitable Business Model
Your model is the way that you as an owner ensure that you’re generating income. Very easy to say; not always so easy to do.
Your business model answers the “how,” as in how you’re going to ensure that you generate income. As entrepreneurs, we need to know what we’re offering to our clients, what strategies we’re using to make offers, what our infrastructure is (for example, are we renting office space, are we working out of our home, are we part of a group), what’s our organizational structure (who’s in charge; and if there is more than one person working in our business, then who is in charge of what; what are the responsibilities and how are they divided).
Then there are our trading practices (are we creating products that we’re sharing with other people, are we trading expertise, or participating in joint ventures, for example) and our overall operational processes and policies (do we have a 24-hour cancellation policy; do we have processes outlined clearly; do we have policies in place that protect us and our clients, and that clearly lay out who is responsible for what and what the consequences are for not proceeding as outlined).
A business model is an all-encompassing way to look at your business and how you operate.
Know What the Challenges Are
Many studies have shown that inexperienced management can lead to a downfall. However, a huge reason a business can fail is due to improper planning. Planning is always going to be much more difficult than actual doing. It requires a lot more thinking and time. Remember the cliché: fail to plan, plan to fail. There couldn’t be a more true statement.
Often times people who open businesses don’t put forth the necessary effort to research the market to find out if there’s a genuine need and want for their product or service. Yes, we all want to do what we love, but if what you love is not what someone else needs, then the idea just won’t work. As much as running a business is about doing what you love, it’s more about helping your potential clients.
Keep On Changing
It is important for your business to stay up to date and to continue changing along with the market. By monitoring emerging business trends you can discover many ways to innovate your business in order to make it more successful and profitable and even to beat competitors. Ways to stay updated can include attending industry trade shows; following consumer spending habits and lifestyle changes; talking to other successful businesses about their success, trials and their observations on emerging trends. Another way to benefit your business is by hiring folks who have already worked at other successful companies, including interns. You can learn quite a lot from their experience.
Enjoy Your Success!
Once your business becomes a success, you most likely will get lost in the daily shuffle of demand and forget to stop to breathe and take it all in. This part is so important. You have to slow down once in a while and remember the reason you fell in love with your business idea in the first place. It really is what makes it all worthwhile.