If you’re dreaming of kicking your business idea into high gear, you’re in good company. Despite constant headlines of big corporations and brands dominating the news, research from the U.S. Small Business Administration shows that 99.7 percent of all businesses in the U.S. are actually small businesses. But it takes more than just a great idea to join the small business trend. First and foremost, you need a sound foundation to kick-start your business and achieve sustainable growth.
From managing your overhead to effectively promoting your business, here are four tips to remember when kick-starting your business.
Keep Your Overhead Low
Scaling too fast and diving into hiring staff, investing in expensive tech, and burning through funding or savings is a surefire way to tank your business before it ever gets off the ground. Instead, obsessively focus on keeping your overhead as low as possible. Skip the permanent office and expensive rent and work remotely or in a coworking building that offers meeting space for your team as needed. Think carefully before hiring full-time team members and instead focus on quality contractors and freelancers to get your business off the ground. As your business grows, you can add only key team members that help your business run as smoothly as possible.
Hyper-focus on Communication
Communication is the lifeblood of your business from reporting to investors to working with co-founders, freelancers, and serving your customers. Despite the hyper-connectivity of our digital world, a study by global market research company Ipsos shows that 61 percent of mobile users would still call a business when they’re in the purchase phase of a buying cycle, and the majority would call instead of reach out online. Without a robust system and process to maintain communication, your business could falter and fail to thrive.
Get on top of your communication by adding a calendar alert whenever you need to send status updates and financial reports to your board or team members. Next, get set-up with a tool such as Slack to communicate and collaborate in real-time with your staff. Choosing the right tech so you can keep tabs on what your customers need is also crucial to success. An updated smartphone like the wireless charging LG G6 keeps business owners in touch with their clients when presentations are ready to go, a video call is just a few taps away, and email newsletters can be deployed in seconds.
Obsess Over Marketing and Promotion
Your business isn’t a business unless people actually know about it and how to book your services. Focus on zealously growing and scaling your business with marketing and promotion. If you’re bootstrapping your business, start small and offer to speak at relevant MeetUp Groups or small business networking events in your area. Focus down on what works for other like-minded businesses from Facebook ads to attending industry conferences. You can also work on big wins with no overhead like publishing content showcasing your thought leadership on LinkedIn Pulse to attract new customers and put more revenue in your pocket.
Create Multiple Streams of Revenue
The most ambitious business owners know that financial success often comes from creating multiple streams of revenue. But that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel in your business. If you consult small businesses on how to set-up and grow their social media, you can also offer graphics packages, copywriting, and workshops as an additional revenue stream. Meanwhile, a tutoring company could also offer at-home workbooks and educational resources to help refine their study process at home.
Kick-starting your business takes time and requires systematic action and processes to keep your business growing. Focus on the areas that increase your bottom line with the least amount of stress and overhead from communication and tech to creating revenue streams and scale up as you go.