Setting up and running a small business can be a huge challenge to take one. There’s little hiding from the statistics – according to this study, for example, a whopping 80% of small businesses end up folding within the first 18 months. That’s enough to put anyone off, right? But if you persist and get through that first difficult period, running your own small business can actually be one of the most rewarding and fun things you can do with your time. That said, there are a few different tools you can bring on board to make sure that your business is one of the few that survive.
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Before even embarking on your business plan, you probably had an ideal target customer in mind. Then, you probably built on this in your market research and fine-tuned it for the operational side. What a lot of small business owners tend to fail to do, however, is to actually check whether they are reaching the people their business is targeted at. If you’re lacking in clients, this could be the reason why. One easy way to see where your online outreach is going is to use tools such as Google Analytics. This way, you can track who is seeing your content and where, and can tailor it accordingly. Social media apps such as Twitter also have similar tools integrated into them, some of which you can use for free. If your website or social media feed is not being seen by the people you want it to be seen by, you can use SEO and boosted posts to help increase the outreach.
If there’s one thing your business needs to be one step ahead of, it’s technology. Technology has completely transformed the way in which businesses operate, and you are kidding yourself if you think you don’t need to move with the times. Often, the internal technology you have in your business – phones, laptops, tablets etc – can be integral to how efficiently the company operates. If your office computers are more 1999 than hot off the press, you might want to bring in some experts in IT Consulting. Professional expertise will help you be able to choose the best system for your business and you can even improve features such as bandwith and security protection while you’re at it, too.
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For the first few months of your business, you may be able to operate with everything written down in the same old notebook, or even with it all in your own head. But fast forward to when things are picking up, and you will soon realize that you need a much more precise organizational strategy at hand. If you have staff on board, this is even more important. Consider getting hold of an organization-focused app such as OmniFocus, or even using a group Google calendar with your team. This way, you can see everyone’s to-do lists and you can notify each other when tasks have been completed – and there’s no better feeling than ticking something off your list, right?