For many starting a business during the pandemic has been about survival. For others an opportunity to start their dream venture due to consumer change of habit or lifestyle. There is no doubt the pandemic has changed our habits and the way we live and work. Spending more time with families, working from home, keeping the little ones entertained or becoming a maths teacher?! Perhaps we’ve got round to decorating the house or finally tidied up the garden! There has certainly been a lot on our agenda’s and balancing home life and trying to run a new start-up business or keeping up with an existing one can be challenging at any time – not mentioning during a pandemic!
Particularly with the regular and sudden changes of restrictions and adapting your business to those new requirements and changing regulations.
Keeping on top of this can be really time consuming, mind consuming and stressful, with little time to switch off and relax.
I’m in the fortunate position to be supporting new businesses growth, along with providing our web design and social media services, its rewarding to see significant client growth during such troubling times.
So, for those of you whom can relate to the above, trying to start a business, or run a business during these unprecedented times, I thought I’d share with you my top ten business tips! Drum roll please:
- Personal and professional
Setting up a family run/small business gives the opportunity to really get to know your clients and customers. Unlike high street brands or enterprise retailers where the customer is a statistic, you can offer a relationship. That is warm and recognisable time and time again. Use this advantage to take the time to help your customers and surpass expectation.
- Best bang for your buck
When searching for services or products for your business check the detail and asses the value of your purchase. Sometimes more beneficial to spend a bit more because the package or product gives you more value overall and saves you time or ways to work more efficiently.
- Time is money
Focus on what you’re good at and automate (if you can) your routine administrative tasks and consider giving things you aren’t so good at to someone who specialises in that field. It is far better for you to focus on your strengths and delegate or automate your weaknesses to someone else or software that can help you.
- Be a solution
Identify the problems your customers are facing, whether that is a product or service that is not available elsewhere or a unique selling point that sets you apart from your competitors, it’s really important that you show off what you can do that others can’t and fix or resolve the problem that your customer is facing. Ensure this is prominent on your website, backed up by reviews and have a marketing plan around this. Your product or service doesn’t have to be different but think about how you can do it differently or include an additional feature or benefit.
- Tell your story
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, I think this is particularly important for small businesses and family run organisations. Profit is a result of that, but why does your organisation exist? What motivated you to get where you are and how is your experience and belief going to help me with the product or service you are offering me. Many businesses market themselves with what they are selling but never tell us why. Your customers will be more receptive to buying from you when they know your background and why you do what you do.
- Manage Expectations
It’s really important to manage your customers’ expectations throughout the sales process. Whether this is keeping them informed of the project, letting them know when you have dispatched their purchase. Managing expectation will result in satisfaction, and your customers being satisfied will result in good word of mouth, which is free marketing and the best marketing in my view, helping to achieve repeat business.
Networking is so crucial in a business particularly a start-up, now I don’t mean physical networking groups and of course this cannot be done during this time. But, online networking groups on social media are brilliant to throw ideas around, see what other businesses are doing. They are a great source of ideas and support when you need it. Also, it allows you to keep tabs on any upcoming trends that you may be able to incorporate into your business.
- Adjust as needed
This is really important particularly during the current climate. Mike Tyson, once said “Everybody has a plan until they get hit”, So let’s just think about that for a moment, any business needs to embrace change, always being ready to try new things. Of course, that is scary and it can be challenging, but offering new services that are more relevant to your customer at that point in time, which may be out of the ordinary for you, is far more likely to result in sales. Being able to pivot your business at short notice, will ensure the longer-term survival and growth which is what you want to achieve. Embracing change and adjusting as needed will ensure you always stay relevant.
- Involve your family
Involving your family in your business is so important. They can understand your current workload and what you do but I think families have an even more interesting and important role and I believe that is feedback and sharing their own business tips! The nature of a family is that you’ll have different age groups, therefore different generations with opinion. So, use their life experiences and ask them what they think of your product/service or a generic question about a new idea you have. I guess its market research on your doorstep likely to be approached differently by each family member due to the age difference and generational change.
- Our final business tip …. Plan to succeed!
Now you may not have an elaborate business plan but you need a plan. Think about where you want to be in 6 months. What you need to do to get there and remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take a step a day or a few steps a week to those goals and this will all add up in a positive way. It’s likely the plan will change as you progress, learn more about your customers and your target market all of which will help you stay focused and headed in the right direction.
Here’s my top 10 business tips, why don’t you share yours with me? You can also share these business tips with friends and colleagues using the share buttons below!