By Erica Silva
Every year, numerous businesses are launched. While some make it in the long-run, others don’t. Even though small businesses have odds stacked against them, no one can deny the fact that they form an integral part of the economy.
Why? This is because every industry needs ambitious entrepreneurs and small businesses.
After all, according to Fundera, small companies help create over 1.5 million jobs in the US alone. And as per SalesForces, 90 percent of the business population constitutes small and medium-sized businesses.
Are you considering launching a new business? Regardless of what sector you operate in, here are some of the factors you need to work on immediately.
1. Business Process Management
No matter how cool your business idea is and your products and services useful, you need to make sure you have the capacity to run your company effectively. Any business can quickly go south if the operations behind it are not structured and well-managed as it looses on quality.
Just as you’re building the team of your new business, the importance of collaboration and centralised management system should be of top priority. Business owners and managers need to always keep track on who does what in the company, regardless its size, as it’s easy to lose control on projects and not know who was responsible otherwise.
Business process management solutions like SaaS BPM facilitate communication within your company and eases collaboration between staff on different levels and between projects. BPM tools are developed to provide businesses with easy-to-navigate dashboard and a simple onboarding system. Features include reports, task assignments, checklists, notifications and performance reviews.
Automating processes like task management and onboarding take a lot off the manager’s shoulders and saves time and money in the long run. If there are any discrepancies within the team that affect productivity and worflows, the earlier they get fixed, the better.
2. Cash flow management
A study conducted by a US bank revealed that 82 percent of small businesses crumble because of cash flow issues. This means that even if your business might be profitable on paper unless you have a steady cash flow, you will face problems.
Therefore, it is imperative that you come up with a cash flow management plan from the moment you start a business.
To do so, understand what factors of your operations affect your cash flow. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much inventory of products do you need to maintain?
- How long does it take you to collect payments from clients?
- Have you taken out loans that you need to pay back?
- Are the raw material or supplies you require dependent on market conditions for their prices?
Document the answer to these questions and then create a plan for your cash flow. Know exactly when and where your cash is being invested. Similarly, you should also know the timing and amount of cash you are receiving. Make sure that you plan it out in a way that your receivables are greater than your payables.
3. Investors and Partners
While everyone wishes to make it to the top alone, the bitter reality is that to survive in the competitive corporate world; you need to take help from others. This includes approaching venture capitalists for funds and onboarding people with expertise of the industry as partners.
However, the trick here is to not overdo it. This is because the more people you bring in, the more diluted the profits of the company will get. Additionally, it will also confuse your business’s vision and strategy.
Therefore, before giving positions of authority to people, create a business plan and think hard about who should be involved in your business and what impact their presence will have on your startup. You must also time it right. See how far you can go on your own, as this will help build the essence of the business.
For instance, the owners of Shopify were initially interested in building an Ecommerce site for snowboarders. Unable to find an apt shopping cart solution, they created their platform.
However, the company ran independently for six years before seeking money from venture capitalists to expand. Today, the business is worth a billion dollars!
Let’s have a quick exercise. See if you can recall the logos of the following brands.
Coca-Cola, Apple, McDonald’s.
The chances are that you are imagining the logos of each of these businesses in your mind, right at this moment! This signifies the importance and power of logos for the overall branding of a business. According to RenderForest, logos are among the topmost recognizable brand identifiers.
It is not enough to create a great product. You must also ensure that you have a target audience who is able to recognize and recall your brand, among a plethora of others. And this is what a logo creates a foundation for.
When starting a new business, make sure you design a logo that is well-aligned with your vision. Make it relevant, meaningful, scalable, simple, and timeless. This way, you can truly make the symbol a part of your brand identity.
As a pro tip, always take the help of professionals to create your logo. This will ensure that you don’t jeopardize your brand image. You can choose to hire a logo designer in-house or outsource the job to professionals like Logo Design Valley.
57 percent. As per Credit Expert, over 57 percent of businesses don’t have a functioning website! This is preposterous when you consider the fact that, as reported by Statista, over 50 percent of the world’s population is online.
Businesses of today have a cost-effective way to reach a wide variety of their target audience through their online presence. And not leveraging this opportunity from the get-go is a grave mistake to make – especially during the prevailing situation of the world, where internet consumption has increased even further owing to COVID-19 restrictions.
Therefore, when you launch your business, make sure to create a website. Use it as a means to relay your brand story, information about your product as well as a potential channel for transactions.
You can take inspiration from the various websites around you. Let’s take the example of Simply Chocolate.
You are likely to get a craving for chocolates just by looking at the website – thereby serving the purpose of creating a demand for the product.
The aesthetically pleasing design uses creative product names and distinguishing colors to promote its different chocolate bars. Yet, as you scroll through the product list, you notice that the branding of each item is consistent.
Additionally, the company uses a 3D image of each bar, making it seem as if you can just grab it off your screen, further fueling the consumer’s desire to purchase.
Starting a new business is surely stressful. However, if you take the right steps from the start, the chances of your startup thriving will increase.
Get the right people on board. Manage your cash flows effectively. Create a stunning visual representation of your brand via a website and include a memorable logo for branding.
Once you have taken care of the basics, the bigger challenge of standing out from the competition and ensuring sales begins! For that, we wish you good luck!
About the Author
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place. Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1