As a fresh start-up, you have the distinct luxury of drawing on the experiences of those who came before you and getting a little help. The numbers are scary – 40% of new businesses fail within their first year. Just over 80% will have shuttered within five years. But that’s not going to be you. Here are a few ideas to help you build your business and survive in 2023 or beyond.
1. Dress (your store) to impress
If your business is in the retail sector, then you’ll be acutely aware that presentation is everything. Well-dressed, well-groomed staff are one thing, but they’ll be forgotten if your fit-out isn’t top-notch. Being cheap when it comes to a fit-out is one of the worst mistakes a fledgling retail business can make. Hiring professional, reputable shop fitters ensure you’ll get a fit-out that will be eye-catching and high-quality. Customers will remember you if you visually stand out from the crowd.
2. Mean what you say
Excellent customer service is of huge importance to businesses of any size, but it’s critical for new businesses to really get it right. Without a lot of money to spend, it can be hard for small businesses to properly train their staff, which is why training is something you should budget for, to begin with. Equip your staff with the tools they need to solve problems. Give them what they need to keep customers happy and if a customer is making unreasonable demands, back your staff up, don’t throw them under the bus.
3. Don’t ask ‘why’, ask ‘why not
Businesses that thrive tend to be the ones that are willing to evolve and tackle new challenges. It would help if you always were willing to hear pitches and suggestions from your staff – they’re the ones in the trenches every day, and they’re always going to have ideas on how certain systems and processes could be improved or streamlined. Always go one step further than just asking for feedback and ideas too. Nothing is ever accomplished if you don’t take the time to put ideas into action!
4. Have a little black book
Curating a list of business contacts is something smart business owners are always doing. Developing a list of contacts allows for potential savings in the long term – become friendly with the right companies or distributors and you might find doors begin to swing open for you quite quickly. The wider the network the better, so get out there and get socialize.
Building your new business is hard work. You’ll need to keep your head firmly on your shoulders and make intelligent decisions in order to get and then stay ahead. Have a smart-looking shop front, respect your customers, respect your staff, be receptive to new ideas and develop that list of contacts and 2023 will bring success. What are your tips for building a small business? What would you do differently if you could do it all over again? How important is choosing a merchant account to your profit margins? Let us know your thoughts on the startup hustle in the comments below!