Make a good product, sell it for a profit — everyone knows the basic formula of successful entrepreneurs. Everyone also knows that it is much more complicated than that. There are countless smaller habits and practices that distinguish successful business owners from one that fails within a couple of years. Since it can be difficult to wrap your head around “countless” strategies, in this article, we have distilled these to seven simple pieces of wisdom.
Hiring the Best People
This may sound glaringly obvious, but many managers continually fail to hire the best people for their teams. The key is to step outside of cliche hiring conventions; according to TED, this includes considering less-than-ideal resumes, rejecting the standard interview questions and dynamic, and focusing on diversity over culture fit.
The good news: Employee engagement is at an all-time high, with 34 percent of the U.S workforce being actively engaged in their job. The bad news, of course, is that this leaves 66 percent of employees dissatisfied, unmotivated, or just apathetic.
As an employer, it is your job to fight this within your organization. There are many ways to do this, such as giving employees a platform to speak up, supporting them in their career development, and prioritizing their health and wellness.
Exploring Funding Options
Getting funding is hard, which is why it is important to always consider all the options. For example, when you need some extra money, you don’t always have to dip into the business’ savings. In some cases, getting business insurance loan will make more sense. That said, you should always make sure you know the long term of your loan, including the interest rate, which will vary depending on the type of loan, the lender, your credit history, and other factors.
Importance of Good Design
Design isn’t just about making your product, website, or logo look pretty — it is an integral part of business, helping shape your product or service to the customer’s needs. On an aesthetic level, bad design signals to the customer that there is something wrong with the company. At best, it makes you look out of touch; at worst, it makes you look flat-out unappealing.
Search Engine Optimization
You need a solid online presence in this day and age, but this doesn’t stop at having a nice-looking website. You can have the best website in the world, but no one’s going to see it if it is on page five of Google. This is why any company with a decent online marketing strategy is focusing on SEO. Search engine optimization makes you more visible, grows your traffic, and gives your brand some authority.
If SEO is something you’re not quite comfortable with, Stream Creative has a great 10-point SEO plan. This covers the initial research, but also content marketing tips (in short: make good content and promote it hard) and additional website tweaks you can make.
Knowing Your Customer
Knowing your customers has always been a tenet of good business. In a modern data-driven world, it is inexcusable not to. You have access to so much information, from traffic data to social media stats to customer service interactions: learn how to harness and use it. The best way to do this is through a customer relationship management (CRM) system — you can use this guide from FinancesOnline to find the best one for your business.
No one goes into businesses fail for the sheer joy of bookkeeping, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. The basic rules of good record-keeping include saving all supporting documentation for your tax return (invoices, receipts, etc), usually for three years at least, and going paperless by digitizing everything as you go. Starting a business owner is a hugely overwhelming process, which is why it helps to break things down into specific goals and priorities. The practices above may seem simple, but when combined, they make a solid foundation for a highly successful people business in the 21st century. Once you have this, it’s a matter of making a good product and selling it for a profit.
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