Key Considerations Every Small Business Should Be Making

small-business

Studies show that two-thirds of small business owners admit that they find it difficult to grow their company. This is unsurprising when we take into account that everything falls on their shoulders, from finding the perfect office space to deciding what services to invest in. So what are the five key considerations that every small business owner should be making?

  1. Finance

One of the most difficult things for a start-up is securing finance – how to fund your business and finding the right people to invest. First of all, look into whether you are eligible for a government-backed start-up loan. This is an unsecured personal loan of up to £25,000 to be used for business purposes only.

If you are reluctant to apply for a bank loan, there are alternative ways to fund your business. Family loans can provide a simple and reliable source of funding, with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms. Also, Crowdfunding is a great alternative way to raise funds without accumulating debt and simply providing products or gifts in return for monetary donations.

You may want to find ways to entice investors by utilising the “soft sell” strategy through networking. This will allow you to discuss your business idea in a natural and organic way rather than a formal pitch.

Finding the perfect co-founder can boost your company as it will attract investors and also give you some additional input from a talented partner. Ultimately, you are not only selling your business to an investor, but also your team. In addition, look for an investor that can help make your business stronger, either through advice or industry connections. Financial backing is obviously your main aim, but a shared interest in your business will be valuable to both the investor and your business.

  1. Office space

Your office space should be representative of your business and what it offers. It must be a professional space that clients can visit and immediately get a good first impression of your company. Take into account how easy it is to access, with adequate parking available for customers and clients. Don’t forget the details – tea and coffee facilities for visitors and tidy meeting room spaces will make all the difference.

If you are looking to take your business onto a global stage and want to meet clients in their own country,look into using an interesting and creative meeting space to leave them with a strong impression of your business so they will be more inclined to collaborate with you. Citizen M have created innovative, high-tech meeting rooms to prevent stale and un-inspiring meetings their rooms are based in key airports, which allows you to step off the plane straight into your meeting and then back to your hotel room, making international business meetings easier than ever.

  1. Technology

When you have settled on your office space, you must make sure that you are fully-equipped with the equipment and software that your business will require. Make a list of the essentials you’ll need, including a desktop computer and monitor, photocopier/scanner, a printer and good phone lines with an answering phone service.

A good internet connection and Wi-Fi is crucial for your company as a consumer-grade router may become overloaded with business use. Breaks in service can affect productivity, which can cost you time and money. Also, communication break-downs during video conferences or Skype conversations can reflect badly on your company and create frustration for your client.

Regular maintenance to your technology will be required so make sure that all of your electrical equipment is PAT-Tested to ensure that they are safe to use and also test your wireless and mobile devices regularly.

  1. Staffing

Investing in a good team can provide long-term value to your small business. Many successful companies like Apple have made customer service their priority from day one and have built up a strong and loyal customer base as a result.

Focus on your company’s customer service offer to build up your reputation and trust. This could be as easy as hiring an admin assistant to answer phone queries and to respond to emails quickly. Investing your money in an efficient and knowledgeable employee will encourage repeat business as customers will be happy with the service provided to them and will be more likely to return, or even recommend your business to others.

This word-of-mouth recommendation is vital as 92% of consumers say that they trust recommendations from others and one bad review from a customer on social media has the potential to reach hundreds more.

  1. Website

Similar to your physical location, your online presence must reflect the product or service that you are offering. Customers are spending more and more time online so it is important that you harness the web to your advantage and ensure you have a stylish and functional website that is easy to navigate.

Customers tend to go online to research a company before they make a purchase so making your company information easily accessible, and offering the option to purchase your goods online will ensure that people can find you and purchase your goods, quickly and easily. 74% of small business websites have no eCommerce and with the increasing consumer trend of ordering goods online, it may be an area that you want to invest in so that your business has the competitive edge.

Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly as research has shown that a smartphone is the second most popular device to search the internet, right after a PC or laptop. If your website cannot be accessed on a mobile phone, you run the risk of missing out as many users will give up and go straight to a competitor with a more user-friendly website.

Follow these five tips for a smooth-running, efficient business that has the capacity to expand onto a larger stage. They are key considerations that you should make as a small business owner and they will help you to set the groundwork to ensure the longevity and success of your business.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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