When you’re first starting out your business, it’s vital to distinguish yourself from other brands. According to recent statistics from the Telegraph, 60% of new businesses in the UK are projected to fail within three years, and 20% are projected to close their doors in the space of just a year. This is a real concern to new small business owners.
While there are external factors that lead to failure, there are many aspects that you can take into your own hands. Here are some of the ways you can help manage your small business more effectively so that you have a successful year to come:
Create brand recognition for your small business
Firstly, ensuring that your brand stands out from its competitors means that you should make your identity immediately recognisable. This means making your logo, advertising campaigns, packaging, and slogan unique and coherent. Entrepreneur suggests creating an iconic phrase, like Nike’s “Just Do It”, so that consumers instantly know who and what is behind it. Even though you’re starting on a much smaller scale, planting these seeds will help you gain traction among your target audience, and ensure that your products or the services you offer are memorable in a good way.
Focus on your social media presence
This year, social media is growing more popular than ever. The more often your consumers see you online, the more familiarity they’ll have with your brand. In fact, Forbes surveyed small business owners and found that 62% of them believe that social media marketing has the highest return on investment for their business. If you’re already active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more, you can keep your customers informed about your latest updates on new products, specials, and sales. This year, consider the value of using paid social media along with organic content to increase your customer base.
Hire the right team for the job in your small business
During the early stages of your brand, it’s vital to find the right people who are motivated to help you on your journey. If you hire the right combination of people, growth should move at a relatively quick pace. However, if you hire the wrong people, all your hard work is probably going to go down the drain. So, it’s a good idea to hire people based on their technical skills and real-world experience to determine if they’ll be a good fit for your brand. In order to do so, asking them about how they perceive your future vision can be an accurate indicator of how they mesh with your culture.
Invest in a variety of payment methods
When it comes to selling your goods and services, customers will only buy them if it’s quick and convenient to pay for them. Having a secure channel is vital to protecting you and your clientele, so digital payments should remain encrypted at all times. FIS Global explains that today’s card readers accept credit cards, debit cards, and even contactless and mobile payments, so even if you don’t have a brick and mortar store, this helps you increase the number of transactions, while making your small business more professional.
Increase your use of digital tools
Lastly, one great way to boost your overall efficiency is to use smart technology and automated software. The Guardian notes that AI-powered tools are the new tools of the future, aiding small businesses to complete routine tasks much more quickly and effectively. Automatically matching payments with invoices can save you the headache of doing it manually, freeing you up to do other tasks. Having your staff double-checking the results of these tasks ensures that the job is well done.
For more useful tips on how to improve workplace culture in your small business, feel free to read this article on ‘Five Ways to Build Employee Engagement’.
Please note that this post was contributed by Ella Lucas. Views and opinions are not necessarily my own. However in the current climate, we do need to be more aware than ever of the need to safeguard and nurture small businesses and I hope that this post helps with ideas as to how to do so. More support, information and advice can be found on the Federation for Small Businesses website.