If you look online for successful business tips, you’ll find a million different articles and websites that all have their version of the best way to do things. Many of them say a version of the same thing, and it can be difficult to sift through finding what applies to you. So instead of providing another five generic tips for starting a successful business, here are five tips that you might not have thought of to help you instead!
- Find a mentor or coach
Just like almost anything in life, some of the best advice you can get is from your peers and people in your life. When starting out your business, find a mentor or a coach as soon as possible to get you going. As a business owner, you won’t have the same support system that a corporate environment will have. You are your own boss, and no one will be there to coach you through rough patches. But, if you find a mentor who has already gone through what you are going through, you’ll be able to have a built in support system to bounce ideas off of and get advice.
A well established mentor can also provide you with immediate networking opportunities to connect you with other small business owners. Your mentor can look at your business plans objectively and provide an outside perspective. Mentoring can go both ways as well, so be ready to reciprocate and provide support to your mentor.
- Office safety
As a small business owner, safety might be at the bottom of your list to get to, well after making a profit and paying off business loans. In reality, office safety should be first on your list. The biggest reason for this is to prevent injuries on site. Injuries can happen regardless of whether your business is dealing with heavy equipment or machinery, and lawsuits are often a direct result of workplace injuries, so your priority should be to prevent them. Consider using a third party office safety expert to help you evaluate your workplace.
Besides the obvious financial problem of a lawsuit, as the business owner, you should want to set a precedent of safety for yourself and any employees to show that you care about their safety and preventing injuries.
A safe workplace can also reduce costs and disruptions during the workday. A piece of machinery malfunctioning is not only dangerous, but can cause some delays in getting back to work and therefore a loss in profit. As a new business, something small like this can end up in big losses overall.
Professional looking advertising can cost a lot, and is therefore sometimes difficult to justify purchasing. But, the truth is, your business will only grow if you find a way to spread the word. Try using some budget friendly advertising via social media sites, or use product reviews by blog sites to link back to your website.
Some of the simplest and easiest advertising is done right on your products. If you’re selling products, supplies or materials, having professional looking product labels created will show a polished look to your customers and instill additional trust that your products are legitimate and of high quality. Check out these additional tips to advertise for your small business for more help.
- Good materials
Along with advertising, keeping professional and clean looking materials on hand for your clients is also extremely important. Pamphlets or booklets that are put together yourself without the proper binding equipment can look messy and unprofessional to your customers. If you are providing any materials for customers to bring home, make sure it leaves a good impression as this will go home with the customer and will be with them for a long time. It’s easy for a customer to judge your business quickly based on the look of a product.
If you’ll be doing a lot of pamphlets and materials yourself, considering buying products like a laminating machine or other supplies from a print finishing store to save money in the long run.
A binding machine and supplies can cost a small amount up front, but will end up saving you money overall by doing your own binding.
When shipping or providing bulk items, having packaging products do their job and keep your products safe is incredibly important. Receiving poorly packaged or, worse, broken products is an instant way to lose a customer. Your boxes and cartons should also look clean and sharp to promote your business. Again, first impressions are everything, so by having your product come safely and in an appealing box, you’ll nail a great first impression every time.
- Keep your employees happy
Keeping your employees engaged, happy and satisfied in their job is one of the most important parts of making your new business successful. Your employees are the eyes, ears and mouth of your new business, and some of the best advertising you’ll have through their own network of friends and family.
You also want to make sure you foster the right kind of workplace culture for your business, and show your employees that you care and support them. One simple way to foster this kind of culture is having drinks once a month after work. You can keep costs down by purchasing bottles of wine online in bulk and charging a small fee per glass, and if health codes allow, host the drinks in the office before the end of the work day. Take a look at some of these ideas for keeping employees engaged for more ideas.
Starting your new business is overwhelming, exhausting, and exciting all at the same time. Remember to take a deep breath and use this guide as a starting point in your planning, but most importantly, have fun in your new adventure. This is only the beginning of doing what you love and creating a profit from it!