Owning a business is not for the faint hearted. We get so caught up in the stories of people coming from nothing to become multi-billionaires, but the reality for most of us is that it takes dedication, commitment, hardwork and daily toil to build a viable business. There are many demands on us and many obstacles we must overcome in establishing our businesses. Here are a few things every business owner must get right to give themselves a fighting chance:
Plan, Plan, Plan
It all begins with your plan. A plan is your map, your compass, your guide. It articulates your vision and the steps you need to take to bring that vision to life. A good plan should be comprehensive and cover all the bases. Why have you ventured into this line of business? What are your business goals and objectives? Who is your target market? What are their pain points? How does your business solve their problems and add value to them? Which channels will you use to ensure that your product or service reaches your market? Your plan is critical and will serve as the foundation of all your business activities.
Do, Do, Do
It was Bruce Lee who said, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Having a great plan is only the beginning; great businesses are built on great execution. As a business owner, you must be focused on implementing your plan and delivering your solution to your target market. Ensure that you are working daily on meeting and exceeding your goals. Plan you work, work your plan.
Promote, Promote, Promote
The life of a SMME business owner is tough as there are so many balls to juggle and so many hats to wear. One of the most important tasks you must carry out is the promotion of your business. You must live and breathe your business, promote it wherever you can and ensure that your target market is aware of your existence. This can be a challenge for businesses where marketing budgets maybe small to non-existent. Owners must be creative to get their business the necessary marketing mileage to attract customers. Here are some ideas on how to market your business on a zero budget. (Editor please provide link to previous article on 5 Ways to Market Your Business on Zero Budget)
Processes, Processes, Processes
Many a small business owner focus all their attentions on revenue-generating activities at the expense of setting up structures and processes within their businesses. While focusing on generating cash flows is advisable, as an owner you must ensure that you are setting up your business for growth from the onset. Establish your financial systems, accounting processes, human resource and hiring practices, company culture, marketing and sales procedures as early as possible in your business. This will professionalise your business operations and give you the best chance to create a viable and sustainable business.
Close, Close, Close
Business is all about the bottom line. At the end of the day, a business that does not make money will not remain a business for too long. As business owners, we must continuously measure everything we do according to the revenue or potential for revenue it generates. We must ensure that we dedicate adequate resources to lead generation, lead nurturing and turning leads into customers. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and it is your job as the owner to lead the efforts of getting customers into your business.
Owning a business is hard and comes with many responsibilities. It is a long road and takes daily effort to build a business. These are some of the factors that you as an owner must consider, strategise on and execute well.