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a Successful Business

Starting and Running a Successful Business

 

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

What do you need to do to start a business? 

What should you keep in mind while you strive for business success?

Let’s check these 7 tips that will help you start and successfully run your own business.

 

1- Understand the market

Don’t underestimate the importance of conducting careful, detailed market research.

Be sure there really is a market for what you want to sell. One of the most common mistakes is to assume a lot of people will want to buy a particular product or service because the business owner likes the ideas.

You need concrete data on your customers, expected growth and demand, market trends, the existing competition, etc.

Remember, research is an ongoing process. Continuing to monitor your consumers’ behavior and what your competitors are doing will allow you to manage your business positively and minimize your risk for loss.

 

2- Focusing on customers

Customer service and customer experience are the major focus for most successful businesses. So, the first step is creating products and services that customers want.

The second step is knowing who they are and how to get it to them.

Remember, becoming a customer-focused business doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice and continuous adjustment to get it right.

Once you have achieved clientele loyalty, don’t lose your focus on them. Always figure out the problem your customer has and solve it as soon as possible. 

So, the next question is what is your client retention rate?

If old customers leave as you bring new ones in, then you are not building a stable company. Track individual customer revenue, and monitor how it changes. Customers pay for value.

 

3- Have a written plan

Without a plan, it is merely a dream.  You need to outline specific objectives, strategies, financing, a sales, and marketing plan, and a determination of the cash you need to get things done. But, don’t marry your plan. Even the greatest plan sometimes has to be changed when things heat up. 

So, leave your ego at the door and listen to others. You need people to bounce ideas off, inspect what you’re doing, and push you to bigger accomplishments, holding you accountable for what you are committing to do.  

 

4- Understand the risks and rewards

Regardless of the type of investment, there will always be some risk involved. A good question to ask is “What’s the downside?” If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is.

Taking risks is natural when investing in your own business. You should find their comfort level, and build their project and expectations accordingly. There is no right or wrong amount of investment/risk; it is a very personal decision for each entrepreneur.

Understanding the relationship between risk and reward is a crucial piece to help your business grow. You must learn to weigh the potential reward against the risk to decide if it’s worth putting your money on the line.

 

5- Hire the right people

The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is trying to do too much. Don’t try and do everything yourself. As budget and demand allow, surround yourself with experts in things that you are not. Ask for input and feedback from them. 

Outsource to experts and pay by the hour when you can’t afford or don’t need full-time staffing for a skill set.

Remember, hiring the wrong employee is expensive. On the other hand, hiring the right employee pays you back in employee productivity, a successful employment relationship, and a positive impact on your total work environment.

So, how do we ensure we let the good ones in and keep the bad ones out?

Collect information regarding the responsibilities, duties, necessary skill set, working environment, and outcome of the particular position you’re looking to fill. Determine the criteria a potential candidate needs to meet and create a job description for any new employees.

The more you systemize the hiring process, the more efficiently it will go.

Offering an initial short-term contract can be a smart way to test if the right person for a long-term job.

 

6- Spread your message

It’s all about getting the right message to the right people at the right time.

For example, ask yourself, where are your customers? Online. So, how do they prefer communicating and engaging with businesses and others? Digitally. Great! It’s time to build your digital platform.

– Use channels such as Facebook, Instagram, email, digital ads, and search engines to attract new customers.

– Establish a monthly budget and schedule.

– Use digital tools to boost visibility and track conversions.

 

7- Prioritize customer support

With new businesses popping up literally overnight, price and product aren’t enough to differentiate you from the competition. 

Prioritizing customer support will give your business the chance to turn potential (or unhappy) customers into loyal ones.

Customer experience has a domino effect. If you do it well, you will see a boost in positive brand awareness, traffic, and loyal customers to your business. People will return to your brand because of exemplary customer service, even if you don’t have the lowest price. 

Optimize your answers to the customer and the solutions to their problems. Even if you start small, provide good customer service and you’ll keep people coming back.

Remember, a fast and high-quality social media response is vital for building brand trust.

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY

 

Focus: the center of interest or activity.

 

Niche: a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.

 

Project: an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.

 

Opportunity: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

 

Optimize: make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).

 

PHRASAL VERBS

Deal with 

“You dealt with that situation very well. The customer left the store really happy.”

 

Cut back

“We don’t have much money in our budget, so we are going to have to cut back on our spending.”

 

Take on

“We will need to take on new workers over the holiday season.”

 

Get behind with

“After taking on this extra responsibility, I have got behind with sales reports.”

 

Get across

“One of the key messages we try to get across is the importance of managing social media professionally.”

 

IDIOMS

Third time lucky / Third time’s the charm: the hope that, after twice failing to accomplish something, one may succeed in the third attempt.

 

Win-win situation: guaranteeing a favorable outcome for everyone involved.

 

Where there’s a will, there’s a way: if you are determined enough, you can find a way to achieve what you want, even if it is very difficult.

 

You’ve got nothing to lose: you should take a risk because things can’t get any worse.

 

Throw in the towel: stopping and admitting you are defeated.

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