We may well be going through a new revolution of business start-ups at the current time and there are a number of reasons for this. For example the global financial crisis has eased considerably, creating more confidence and the emergence of alternative funding methods which means there are new sources of start-up capital available.
But this explosion in new businesses has another, not so welcome, effect. It means that competition for customers is intense so you really have to stand out if you want your start-up to succeed.
Here are 3 tips that could help you to do just this.
Be prepared to adapt
It’s a fast moving world today, faster than it’s ever been, so the motto for organisations of every size has become “adapt and survive”. This means keeping a very close eye on both the way your own particular market is evolving and also, what your competition is doing. The idea isn’t to copy their every move but more to carve out a unique niche for your own operation.
So flexibility is key in every area and this means that even if you have a written business plan and a have clear picture of how you expect things to pan out over the next few years, it should never be written in stone. This sounds potentially scary but the good news is that, as a smaller business, you can be more nimble and react far quicker than larger operations who may also be your competitors.
Have an efficient finance department
Money may not actually make the world go round but it’s certainly essential for any business to succeed – and it’s not just earning the income, it’s also about handling it efficiently. There are some obvious first steps to take, such as investing in quality online accounting software and establishing definite payment terms with clients and suppliers. Most importantly, businesses need to manage their cash flow. The software allows you to support multiple currencies and email invoices online, allowing you to get paid faster.
Then there are a number of other considerations to take into account. For example, organising making payments or issuing invoices into two or three batches each month will be a far more time-efficient method than handling each one individually.
Use feedback to your advantage
It may sound obvious, but the best people to let you know how you’re doing are your customers, so it’s vital that you use their opinions to shape and refine your company.
There are a number of ways to get their feedback. For example most people will willingly give up a couple of minutes of their time if you call them and ask them to answer a quick questionnaire, especially if you say the aim is to provide an even better service for them. Social media is also a good way to get feedback, either by inviting comments or just by seeing what people are saying about your service. Then, when you’ve received the feedback it’s up to you what you do with it. Remember, not all will be useful but the elements that are could help to take your business to even higher levels of success.