Operating a small business, especially when just starting out, can be the most daunting task of your life. It can also prove to be the most rewarding. In order to guarantee this reward, you must make practical & thoughtful decisions while treating every problem you face as delicately as an egg. Practicality is king, and all too often the stress and flurry of starting a business can lead to hasty decisions that leave practicality in the dust. We’ve compiled 5 tips for that highlight practicality when making initial decisions for your new business.
Hiring? Sacrifice numbers for reliability – manpower is indeed an integral part of the success of your business. But focus first on hiring competent employees with whom you can absolutely trust. You’ll be surprised what a few hard working, intelligent individuals can do when tasked with a job normally requiring more manpower. You do not need to hire hundreds of employees – just a few that you can trust to finish the tasks at hand.
Rent a small office that can serve its function – Please, please don’t make the same immature mistake many startups of this day do; renting a huge, modern office full of pool tables and flat-screens, for your company that has yet to make a dime in revenue. It’s best to rent a small office so you can do your work more efficiently. Working from a home can also provide the bare-minimum needed to focus just on getting your business running. This is especially true if your startup has taken funding.
Don’t discount Outsourcing – There’s a reason all of the major corporations use labor outside the US for manufacturing; it’s CHEAP. But don’t think that just because you don’t manufacture a product that you can’t take advantage of outsourcing. Tasks such as graphic design (company logo), website design and promotional videos can all be handled overseas. It may take a bit of searching but quality work can definately be had for a fraction of what it would cost in the US. Check out Fiverr.com for anything you might need.
Assess the competitors – Don’t ignore your competitors. If they’ve been in the business long enough for you to know about them, they are doing something right. Read all of the material you can find on them, learn about how they do business, watch how they market themselves and take note of what works & what doesn’t. How do you do this? Simply look at their business from an outsider's perspective, remove yourself from your business owners thought process and ask yourself how you would think of them if you were just a regular customer.
Analyze your growth and learn from it – Take regular and detailed notes of your growth. You should analyze your marketing efforts, techniques and basically how you handle your business and the results that you achieved from it. Look back at what has worked in the last week, month and year. Question why these things are working or not working, don’t simply shrug them off as a win or loss. It is not enough to see growth. You must continuously seek strategies and plans that will improve your business.