In today’s world of global and multinational corporations, starting your own small-scale business sounds like quite a feat. For small scale businesses, their biggest competitors however are not these well-established companies. This is because small scale businesses make try to make a mark for themselves by catering to niche customers that large corporations miss out on. Although it decreases the possibility of major companies posing as an immediate threat to the business, there are plenty of other hurdles to be crossed.
Firstly, most small businesses follow the same strategy of catering to a selected few when entering the market. This means the competing small businesses have to fight tooth and nail to not only survive but also give out the best service possible to maintain their customer base. Another issue that arises is that most of these businesses eventually end up on the same path in terms of strategies and services, which does not make the company distinguishable among the rest.
Survival Tool Kits For Small Business
All companies need a basic survivor’s guide – a tool kit to avoid being another brick in the wall and eventually flourish. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure your company is ready to brave out into the market:
Creating a business plan
For any plan to take form successfully, planning is crucial. When it comes to a business, creating the perfect business plan that caters to your company is absolutely vital for its survival. When you are not looking for a bank loan or an investor, it is extremely tempting to skip creating a business plan altogether. However, the process of planning your steps and approach is a great way to hone your vision. Your business plan should be able to answer questions like: what problems are you trying to solve? Why is it important for the company to be solving the issue to begin with? Whose lives are you planning to improve? What is a realistic timeline for the launch, the sales and gaining profit?
These are a few of the many questions your business plan should be able to answer. The plan does not have to be a hundred pages long, but it should be detailed enough to give you a clear picture of where you would stand in the market and if your business model is feasible.
Keeping your expenses low
Most businesses end up failing within the first year of operation because they run out of capital. Companies tend to plan their sales too far into the future with unrealistic profits and ultimately end up spending more than they can afford to. The key here is to keep the expenses to a bare minimum until your product or service is fully developed and a steady revenue starts to come in.
Although it may seem quite difficult in practice, but only spend money where it is absolutely essential. If there is a job that you or any of your partners can do, skip hiring people and do it yourself. Only hire people you desperately need; a better idea would be to use contractors or free lancers. If you don’t need an office space, delay renting one for as long as possible. Use a small space at home or try renting individual rooms when needed. The key here is to spend money on things that the business cannot do without, not things that you believe a business should have.
Reinvesting in the company
One of the major mistakes small companies make is trying to reap profits as soon as they start to emerge. The transition of going from a salaried job with a stable paycheck to an entrepreneurship is a tough one. However, it is vital to remember to make your company a priority. The first money that you make must be reinvested into the company for it to continue to grow. Remember, the money is being invested in your company, your product or service and marketing. Many a times, the owners end up being the last ones to be paid during the first years of starting a business.
Focusing on the customer
Most companies don’t manage to get off the ground level because they tend to focus on the wrong things, for example coming up with an extravagant product or some exuberant service. While keeping your core business idea intact, focus on what the customers actually want. Remember, the company exists for and because of the customers so it is crucial to be attuned to their needs. Listen to their feedback and try to adapt to their needs. When you can create something that is in demand, something that people actually want or need, sales are bound to follow.
Building a network
In businesses, the more people you know, the better. Anyone could end up being a potential customer, an investor or simply a source of inspiration. Reach out to everyone takes an interest, and not just to professionals in your field. This can include your next-door neighbour, your friends, and others who have started new businesses of their own. The more people you reach out to, the more chances you will have of receiving opportunities.
Make sure to be fearless when reaching out for meetings. When you truly believe in your vision, people will be more inclined to support you. Take up small offers and be courteous to anyone who offers help regardless of whether it is useful or not. The key to networking is to remember that the more you give; the more people will be willing to give back.
Give the business time
In our fast-paced culture, it is common for entrepreneurs to give themselves a year to test the waters and move onto something new when it doesn’t work out in the mentioned timeline. In most cases, businesses actually need more than a year to reach the breakeven and proceed to making profits. Make sure to give yourself realistic goals and move on only when you’re absolutely certain that you have something better planned.
Syncoria is a digital transformation company based in Canada and is an official Odoo Ready partner.