If you have recently started your own business then you may be thinking if you will survive the long haul. It can be incredibly tricky for businesses to reach their fifth year of trading these days, there are many factors that stop this from happening. It is a well-known fact that as many as 90% of new businesses will fail to reach the one-year mark. If you don’t want your company to become another statistic then you will need to put time and effort into making your business survive. Take a look at the article below to find out how you can ensure your business stands the test of time.
Your business will struggle to stay afloat if you are not pumping enough money into it. Without the right amount of funding, you won’t get enough attention or sales. The money you put into your business will cover everything from your employee’s salaries to your marketing techniques. You will need to ensure you have factored everything into your budget when the time comes to do the maths and work out how much money you need. If you don’t have the money to hand straight away then you will need to successfully apply for a business loan. These more often than not come from your bank and they need to know you are a safe lending option. Your credit score should be in top form in order to get a good business loan.
Something else you will need to do if you want to see your business go far is market research. This will give you a better idea and understanding of what your customers want and how much you should be charging them. There are many different types of market research, you could be doing research into your competitors. This may sound illegal but it is in fact perfectly legal, as long as you don’t do it secretively. You might also want to do some market research on the type of products your customers will be buying. You might find it easier using conjoint tools to predict if a product will be adored by customers and if so, how much you should be charging.
Good Quality Products
Speaking of products, you will only sell a good amount if they are of the highest quality. If you are selling bad quality goods then you won’t get any returning customers. The existing customers that have bought from you may also give you negative word of mouth. This means you won’t get any new sales coming through the door either. People will happily pay money for high-quality products, so make sure you are only offering the very best to your customers. As a business owner, you will need to be looking for ways to cut costs, one way you can do this is by shopping around different suppliers.
Your business will only ever be as strong as the team holding it up, these people are of course your employees. Employees are the backbone of any great company, they are always there for you come rain or shine. It is essential you get your best employees as soon as you can, this way you are saving yourself from a potentially fatal high churn rate. This happens when your employees come and go in quick succession of each other. Usually, if people are not fulfilled in a job role or the job is asking too much from them they will quit. This means you will need to take time away from your other tasks to find new employees.
You may find it useful to use a recruitment agency when it comes to finding the very best employees for your business. You need to know that they will not up and leave at a moment’s notice. However, you will also need to give them incentives and perks to stick around. A good boss will send their staff on training courses and give them opportunities for promotions at various points throughout the year.
Location, Location, Location
When it comes to your business surviving, you will need to make sure that your customers know where to find you. If you have a shop or business premises then this needs to be visible to your customers or clients. If you are set back away from the main hustle and bustle then you might want to invest in some high-quality signage so people know where you are. When the time comes for you to shop around for your business location, always keep in mind that people need to be able to find you. You don’t want to get somewhere and then not make any sales due to invisibility. Be aware, you will pay more in rent or mortgage if you decide on a prime location.
If you want to show your customers that you truly value their custom then there are many loyalty schemes that you can dish out. For instance, if you provide your customer with a card, and each time they shop they get a stamp then they are more likely to be returning customers. You could give them money off their next purchase when they have filled their card. Don’t make it impossible but don’t make it too easy either. A nice number for your card, depending on your prices, is eight or ten stamps. Make sure your customers are aware of the loyalty scheme in place and how it works. Also, remind your staff to ask if your customers have a loyalty card when they are at the checkout.
Finally, your business will only survive if your customers are happy with the service they have received. This will result in customers coming back time and time again to shop with your business. You will want to aim for five stars from your shoppers, and if they provide less then find out why. Have a dedicated customer service team on hand every minute of the day to help your customers with any questions or queries they might have. Rather than having your existing customers come and go to customer service, having a separate team do this means customers aren’t waiting days for a reply. You could also install a chatbot onto your company website, this will be preloaded with popular FAQs and your customers could get answers this way.