Running a small business is a rewarding enterprise, but it can also be a stressful one. There is nothing more empowering than being your own boss, setting your own schedule, and looking around the office knowing it's all yours. However, you may also encounter moments where payroll is due, and you're not entirely comfortable with your account balance. So the big question for business owners is: how do you keep things rolling along smoothly?
Marketing & Basic Market Research
Small businesses are not known for having blockbuster budgets that can absorb massive investments in expensive advertising methods - print, radio, or tv advertising. However, any savvy small business owner understands that the internet has provided an invaluable asset for cash-strapped budgets. Creating a Facebook page, Instagram account, or Twitter profile can increase your business visibility and showcase your quality. These channels are also relatively inexpensive and, especially with Facebook, can help you target certain demographics or geographic areas.
Performing some basic market research on your current and potential clients can also be helpful. Where did they hear about you? How were they referred? Understanding where your clients are predominantly introduced or discover your small business is the key to increasing the efficacy of your advertising methods. Don't spend money on an expensive radio ad when your best clients find you through Google searches.
Once you have managed to catch a potential customer's attention, you need to retain them. Often, small businesses lose potential long-term clients when they fail to deliver a consistent quality product or service. Quality control is comprised of two low-cost, high-return tasks: creating a brand identity for your business and developing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Developing a brand is not simply creating a logo and catchy slogan for your enterprise - it is about the entire client experience. What does the office look like? How formal or casual are the interactions between employees and clients? Do you have any perks or potential amenities that you offer clients that are unique?
Once you have sorted out your brand identity, you need to develop an SOP. An SOP is simply a set of procedures that you employ across the entire business operation, allowing for streamlined operations. Creating an SOP ensures a high level of consistency for customers and lowers the effects of employee turnover.
Accounting & Bookkeeping
Good bookkeeping means good business. Without proper documentation, you cannot effectively make decisions for your business. Can you honestly determine the success of a large business investment without fully understanding what your revenues and expenditures are? Can you identify inefficiencies without a streamlined accounting system? Probably not. Fortunately, accounting is not inherently difficult. Using an SOP and keeping consistent records will avoid catastrophe.
As your business expands, research outsourcing tasks. You will see diminishing returns on the labor spent managing your own accounts, payroll, taxes, and compliance matters. Instead, that time and energy is better spent increasing your company's revenue stream. Professional accounting services will reduce the stress, increase your security and peace of mind, and leave your business more efficiently spending valuable resources. Contact us today to see how Reconciled It can help your business grow.