4 Surprising Methods You Can Improve Your Business
Most people dream of being their own boss. Dictating your hours, being in charge and, of course, earning top dollar are just a few reasons such an opportunity is tempting. Some people follow through on this urge by starting their own companies. But being a business owner is more difficult than you may think, and businesses are a lot more fragile
According to industry statistics, over 21 percent of new ventures shut down within the first year alone. The second year is barely any better with 30 percent of the survivors closing within 24 months of their opening.
Below are some surprising methods you should consider if you want your business not just to survive but thrive in these uncertain times.
Expand Your Social Network
Facebooking and tweeting is rightfully frowned upon in the workplace, but these massive social networking platforms actually hold the key to your business’s success. According to a recent survey of over 1,800 consumers in the United States, 52 percent of respondents learned about new businesses on Facebook rather than Google or Yelp.
Expanding your personal social network as well as your business’s online presence in these social media platforms can be useful. This is especially true if you’re running a microbusiness, such as a small online store. Your first and most loyal customers will be your friends and assorted contacts, whose support will be invaluable in those first shaky months.
Further Your Education
When people think of taking courses online to further their business, they’re probably thinking about courses on management, operations and economics. But that’s not necessarily true. There are a host of other skills and classes you can take online that could help your business prosper. A few examples include the following:
- Business websites need great photos. Online stores require excellent images of their products. When you learn how to take excellent photographs, you can cut out the middleman and take the photos yourself. This is more convenient especially if you run a very small operation.
- Web Design. A business website is essentially a digital storefront. Without one, clients will have a difficult time finding your business. If you take web design classes, you can build one exactly as you imagine it at little cost.
- Graphic Design. All businesses need marketing materials, not matter the size. If you have training in graphic design and know how to use the dedicated software, you can create your own posters and adverts with ease.
Sometimes you need to take a step back to see the bigger picture. Traveling won’t just open your eyes to the wonders of other cultures and their rich history, you may be able to gain useful insights on new markets and witness different management styles. If you cater to an online market through an e-commerce platform, traveling may show you what you need to know to break into a foreign market. You could also observe how business owners from different countries manage their companies and learn something from them. In this increasingly globalized environment, exposure to the wider world is essential in creating a competitive company.
Work Another Job
Empathy is something every business owner needs to ensure you can keep the needs of future employees in mind. If you had a job before you started a business, you’ll know exactly what sort of problems employees routinely face. But working another job while you’re starting your own venture isn’t just about building experience. It will allow you to supplement your business with another source of income, supporting it until it can make it out of those rocky months. The perspective that comes along with working another job is a definite bonus.
Keeping a business viable is a difficult job, especially in the first year. But these methods can help you ensure your business has the stable foundation and creative support it needs to thrive even in uncertain times.