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Four Things Your Small Business Needs to Stay in Business

by Olufisayo
Antrix Corporate Solutions Ltd
Four Things Your Small Business Needs to Stay in Business

You are in business for yourself, to earn a living doing something that you enjoy and are good at. You have no corporate managers dictating what you need to be doing or how to do it (unless you are a franchisee, of course). You control everything within your Four Walls. This means you are solely responsible for the success or failure of your small business.

Every business has needs to remain in operation, and it is up to you to identify those needs. Furthermore, only you can determine the strategy to fulfill those needs. Others can help you or you might hire a professional to assist in identifying what your business is lacking, but it still falls on you to acknowledge there is an issue and react to it.

Several of these needs are discussed below. It is not all-encompassing; rather, they are some of the key areas your business might be struggling in and require your attention. Reviewing these can help you get your business back on track, and potentially be the starting point for future growth.

Four Things Your Small Business Needs to Stay in Business

Financing

Start at the beginning. Every business needs financing in some form or other, and different types at different times in your company’s life. Did you have enough capital to begin operations, or did you rush into opening your doors (metaphorically, if you are an online business)?

If you couldn’t wait to be your own boss, you may be struggling to get going. It is not too late to acquire financing. You may find that, once you receive the money, it could take you longer than you hoped to get fully up and running. This is the better option, the other being to close your doors prematurely.

If you have been in business for a while, eventually you may find that you are in need of money to upgrade equipment, purchase wholesale products in larger quantities or selection, or cover the cost of expansion. Your profits may not cover these completely, so you will have to look at acquiring financing through a loan or line of credit with a bank or your suppliers.

Margin Control

Along with financing, margin control is the means for bringing money into the company. It is your profits after product costs are accounted for. Supply and demand will affect your costs from suppliers, but it will also help you price your products. If demand is low and supplies are high, your company can buy these items for cheap, giving you some room to add a larger margin percentage to your price. If demand is high and supplies are low, you can typically have a higher margin as well.

It is when the two are equal when your margins will suffer. High demand with high availability will allow you to price the product only so much before customers buy from your competition. Low demand and low supplies will lead to higher costs, forcing you to keep your margins low in order to make a sale.

Marketing

If you are not advertising your business, you are not receiving business. Your small company, whether it is a brick and mortar location or an online business, cannot stay in operation if people do not know you exist. Depending on your location for a physical store, office, or plant, you might gain some business, but not enough to stay in operation. With online shops and services, you might not have any customers yet. An Internet-based business will have an even harder time getting started. This is why it is so important to make your presence known! You will gain even more clients if you advertise, but you must do so effectively.

Newspaper is dead, and video killed radio a long time ago. These are two mediums that would likely eat up your advertising budget and not provide a good ROI. Word of mouth is good for a grassroots campaign, especially when you involve social media to reach out to potential customers. This form of marketing can be less expensive, but may not be targeting the people who need your services or products.

A better way would be through the various online marketing methods. Banners and sidebar ads allow you to choose which websites you want your business ad to go on, allowing you to target your clientele. Search engine optimization will also improve your presence, giving your small company a leg-up on the competition when a customer searches for your type of business specifically.

Talent

Your business needs talent. You alone cannot run the entire business. If you are, you are going to burn yourself out quick, leading to the decision to close up shop permanently. You need to rely on people to help you.

Not just anybody, though. You need individuals who are going to complement your skill set, while providing your business with what you cannot. They need to be people who, once you have fully trained to perform the functions you require, you can entrust with the position with minimal micromanagement. If you are having to manage that person’s every working moment, then you have hired the wrong person (as well as wasted time and energy on training them). Find the right fit for the job!

This can be difficult in the digital age. If you require laborers, cashiers, cooks, press operators, or such, you will probably struggle to find these. A lot of work has moved to remote / online positions. The younger generation who would typically fill these positions are less inclined to perform physical labor. This will make it hard for you to build up a strong workforce.

Online jobs can be equally difficult, but for other reasons. With so many people trying to work online, there will be a lot of resumes and samples to weed through. You will find that the majority of submissions will not meet your criteria for the position; a lot of people think they are qualified, but in reality, they are not. It can be strenuous and tedious, but take the time to review the applications. You need the best talent available, and if you settle for an applicant because you are tired of searching through the stack, you will miss that one who is sitting just a couple of pages down.

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