5 Key Small Business Tips To Gain Success in 2013

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If you own a small business or if you are thinking about starting one there are certain must do’s that are key to being successful. Here are the 5 critical tips to become successful in 2013:

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photo: dgray_xplane


1. Have a Business Plan – Simply put, failing to plan is planning to fail. Write down your company’s primary goals for 2013, your target audience(s) or target markets, and the cost to open your doors and also to keep the business running on a monthly basis. You cannot afford to run your business with a “flying by the seat of your pants” attitude. You need to understand and get the true picture of the daily operations of your company, whether you are operating at a loss or making a profit and whether your cash flow is positive. If you are unable to develop and write a business plan, seek help. Once you have done so you will be well on your way to a successful start In 2013.

2. A Solid Online Presence – The business world today is highly dependent on the internet. Everything your customers need must be a mouse click away. As a business owner in 2013 you want to ensure that your company has a strong online presence. Create an attractive website to meet the needs of your target market and make sure that you have an aggressive social media strategy. Start by creating let’ s say, a Facebook page that your customers are able to like and also share with their friends and colleagues. Create a YouTube channel to display your video presentations, create a Twitter and Instagram account and look into using Pinterest. You can show upcoming events or introduce customers to new products that you are carrying.. You can have contests to encourage your followers to use your products and they can win prizes and/or discounts. The possibilities are endless if you just get creative.

3. Accept Credit Card Payments – Due to their size, small businesses sometimes tend to shy away from accepting credit card payments. The reality is, the world we live in today runs on credit. You want to offer your customers a variety of ways to pay for their purchases. It would be crippling to your business if you had a customer who has received such wonderful customer service, who is impressed with the quality of your work and is interested in purchasing all this merchandise, just to be told that you do not accept credit cards. By accepting credit cards you will not only be satisfying your existing customers but opening your small business to more customers

4. Advertise and Use PR – The idea behind advertising and Public Relations (PR) is to create a strong brand name that is easily recognizable. For a small business getting your name out there is important. So develop an advertising strategy centered around both classical media like newspapers and the web. Whenever an opportunity arises to get in front of the public, seize it. Design at6tractive business cards that carry your logo and tag line so you can hand out to people that you meet. Effective advertising will help you gain more customers and quickly increase your business.

5. Record Keeping – Make sure you have a system in place to keep track of your financials. You need to keep track of sales and accounts receivable as well as your accounts payable Having a properly managed inventory is also one of the most important needs of a successful small business. It saves a lot of time and energy if you have your financial record keeping set up properly

Get these five tips working and you’ll be well on your way to starting or growing a successful small business in 2013.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I really like that the business plan is #1. It’s important to know where you plan for your business to go, before you get there! Online presence and accepting credit and debit cards is also very important because this is where the current, modern world is! My business helps with #4. Advertising. It’s really important for a business (of any size) to stay in front of their current and potential customers. Promotional products is a great way to make that personal connection with the public. But it’s not just about handing out tons of products, it’s meeting people, talking about your business, and giving them something to remember you. I often recommend that business representatives get out and about, parks, malls, outdoor markets, anywhere that people gather with their promo products and talk, talk, talk!

  2. Hi Jim Bennett:

    Thanks for your in depth contribution to the discourse. I couldn’t have articulated your points as well. And I totally agree that advertising, especially for a small business is mainly about meeting people and being remembered.

    Jim

  3. Most companies struggle to plan 3 years out, so I hope that’s a typo when you wrote to plan 900 years into the future: “Write down your company's primary goals for 2913.”

    On a serious note, it amazes me the number of small businesses that don’t take credit cards. I recognize the costs, but those are easily outweighed by lost customers. The world is (almost) cashless, so business must be, too. Less security risk, too!

  4. Oops! Thanks Todd. And you are right on the button about small business not understanding the cashless society we live in.

  5. These are great business tips for any small business, way beyond 2013…

    No matter whether your business is a new business or a well established business I personally feel that a business plan can provide some real objectives to aim for, a well as allowing you to see if your currently meeting your targets.

    In fact its a great idea for every business to start a new year with a refreshed business plan. They only reason I say this is that the business environment is forever changing, what worked yesterday may not be working today.

    Yes I agree that a business plan can sometimes be a pain in the rear, its like using a crystal ball to tell the future using past information, and then expecting the future to work out the way you expected.. I also know that a lot of people get bogged down with all the detail, too much detail can sometimes mean a business plan once completed is never revisited. In some respects a simplified business plan that really only consists of a few targets will ensure that it is constantly reviewed on a weekly basis.

    My attitude to this task has always been to look at the past (even if its only a few months), to see if I am meeting my own targets. A target for you might simply be to see if your income each month is greater than your expenses. Because once you know where you stand, once you see in black and white where your money is coming from and where it is going to you can’t argue with that information. From me this has always been the best place to start, as everything after that seems to flow easier

    I look at my plan constantly, but I always redo or have a completely refreshed look at my business plan (I call it my plan of attack) at least twice a year, and I have been doing this for over a decade.

    Once I have assessed the plan I then ask two simple questions:
    What can I do to improve my sales? or "how can I get more clients?”
    What is working and what is not?

    Those two questions have served me for a long time, and they have allowed me to prosper even in these times of doubt.

    I love the tips provided in this article, all the tips from number one to five, simply because they are simple and easy enough to apply.

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