For those who set up a business, there is just as much emphasis placed on avoiding risk as generating profits. Entrepreneurs and business leaders know that startups and small businesses are vulnerable to all the fluctuations and obstacles that larger companies tend to weather with greater ease, so their strategy and occupation is spent delicately balancing their plans for growth and their robust protections against failure. This article takes a look at some of the aspects of small business around which one can plan such a defense against the inevitable highs and lows that come from setting up a business.
When things get busy inside a small business, it’s important to have a strong team working alongside you, willing to put in the long hours that a tough spell might dictate. However, for small businesses that are finding their feet, a dedicated workforce is often not enough, and this is where it’s crucial for the business leader to have pre-established links with outsourced help that will be able to pick up the slack where your own team is overwhelmed or under-skilled.
Conduct an audit of your business, analyzing the strengths of your team and the gaps in knowledge, skills, and know-how that might be exposed during a period of heightened activity. Often, the small team working in a startup will be highly-skilled and dedicated, which means you’re likely to want to outsource your more basic work, like data entry and filing, to temporary workers from your local agency. Elsewhere, you might want to consider outsourcing your company accounting, strategy, or marketing, depending on where you see you require additional help. Outsourcing will ultimately ensure your business continues to grow without stalling – sometimes terminally – due to a simple lack of staff hours.
Evermore important in business is the legal side of things, and when starting your own company, it’s imperative to have an attorney or lawyer look over your operations and give recommendations as to how you can adequately comply with your local, regional, national and international law requirements. These differ dramatically throughout the world and through different industries, with certain laws applying to financial services, import/export business, or catering hygiene, but the simple fact remains that you should set up with all these rules and regulations in mind in order to protect your profits and avoid damaging legal battles.
As mentioned above, having a lawyer working closely alongside your business is the best way to go about this safety measure. If you’re unable to secure such help, you’ll need to do your research online and talk with your local business bureau – both will provide you with the sort of tips that will have you avoiding litigation where possible. If you do come into a legal dispute, a lawyer who is already familiar with you as an individual, your business, and its practice, and the laws and regulations in this area, will be able to save you a good deal of money if you’re affronted by a legal challenge.
Another incredibly important fact for small businesses is that their cashflow can often hit difficulties that stall operations and ultimately lead to the demise of a company, whether it be through increasingly varied loan agreements, poor accounting, or underinvestment in your growing company. Two facts are important to bear in mind where cash flow is concerned: one, that your business requires continual reinvestment of profits in order to grow; and two, that you should always retain a pot of cash should your business require a sudden injection in case of some radical problem.
While these tips might seem a little paradoxical, you’ll need to find a balance that works for you and your business. Seamless cash flow is what your company will need to grow at a reliable rate, and an ‘insurance’ kitty of cash will help protect against the requirement for a sudden injection of cash. Never shy away from loans, like the personal loans offered by Bonsai Finance, to protect your company’s growth and to keep your personal estate in money: it’s a wiser idea than investing your own cash in your business and leaving yourself with no income or pot to draw from to live.
Gaining new customers is all well and good, but business leaders know that real profitability comes from retaining customers through trust and reliability, and that’s where your efforts should lie too as you expand your business and plan for further growth and profits. Encouraging loyalty in existing customers can be achieved through several strategies, but if you do the simple things right, you’ll be in with a good shot of impressing those that matter. Always ensure their point of contact with your business is professional, trustworthy, efficient and reliable – it’s what communicates your suitability to a customer.
Loyalty programs and rewards systems are another method of enticing customers back to you, while well-constructed marketing campaigns will keep your brand in the public eye to remind customers that you’re a growing player in whichever market you occupy. Even having a professional-looking website with social media channels will communicate an established and serious brand. All of these techniques will boost your perceived trustworthiness – something that smaller companies tend to struggle with as they compete against established players that are assumed to be trustworthy due to their longevity in the market.
As a small business leader, your hopes and dreams don’t just rest on the strategies and ideas that come out of your office; they also rest on the staff to whom you delegate the responsibilities to help your business grow, helping your profits accumulate sustainably. Always remember to value your staff and to show that value in how you treat them, how you reimburse them for their time, and how you encourage their hard work through employee benefits, in-office treats, and out-of-hours social occasions. Your staff are the beating heart of your company, and their motivation will in many ways protect your business from failure.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders know that profit protection is as important as sustainable growth, so if you’re in a similar position yourself, you’ll find the above tips useful in ensuring the longevity of your company.
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