Are you wondering how to make your small business bulletproof? Do you need to find new ways to keep your products or services relevant to your target demographic?
Running a business on the internet is completely different from having a local or brick and mortar-focused business. However, there are many similarities between the two. In either case, you are going to need to offer a service or product, which generates revenue for the business. Once that is in place, you then need an effective marketing plan.
While this seems simple enough, the question then arises… ‘why do so many businesses fail?’…
It’s a well-known fact that only 30% of businesses survive their first decade in operation. But what can you do to ensure that you’re scaling and staying on top?
If you’ve got a small business, this article’s for you. We’ll give you an insider’s look into business school curricula and their top-secret strategies for growth and development across a wide range of business models.
1. Time Management
The time it takes to run your business means that you don’t have time for business school. However, you should try to make time for a time management course or two.
If you haven’t got time to take college courses, you might want to download a productivity tracking app. It’ll let you know how much time you’re spending responding to emails and in meetings.
Try to do a comprehensive audit of your time and feel free to delegate. You might find that you’re much more productive once you have an employee returning non-essential phone calls.
One of the biggest temptations for small business owners is to do everything themselves. While this might have been necessary at the beginning, it could be time to step back a bit.
Do you need to have that meeting in person, or can it happen via a screen sharing program? Are you spending too much time on client outreach?
What business school graduates know is that they have to make hard choices about their time and energy. Raising your time management skills could be key to your long-term survival.
What do graduates of marketing colleges know that most entrepreneurs don’t? They know how to delegate, but also how to outsource.
After you secure your first round of funding, it’s tempting to hire several full-time employees. It’s good to have all hands on deck, but are you ready to invest in training and staff retention?
If you’re committed to scaling your business, however, you should probably outsource as much as possible.
You might not be a computer person, so why should you have to design your own website and write blog content yourself?
The best thing about outsourcing your SEO and marketing is that you’ve got a team of professionals by your side. SEO is a rapidly changing field and you’ll save on staff development by purchasing your marketing a la carte.
Whether you’re going to do your own marketing push or opt for outsourcing, it’s important to have a clear goal in mind.
Are you looking to streamline your sales funnel or do you only want to make your business more recognizable and relatable?
Do you want to have more traffic to your website? Who are you trying to reach? Check out these marketing tips before you start any new ad campaigns.
One of the most lucrative advantages of attending a top marketing college is the opportunity to network. But how can you keep up if you didn’t go to business school?
The answer is simple: network as much as you can. If you’re uncomfortable around groups of people, look for online classes or one-on-one tutoring about forging business alliances.
When you make a new contact, take the time to send a follow-up email. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should include your contact information and a link to your website at the very least. The same holds true for attending local internet marketing conferences — the in-person engagement and interactions ROI is priceless.
Also, play to your strengths. If you’re more comfortable talking to a contact online, don’t push yourself to have a video conference.
If you prefer the phone, try to make at least one important phone call per day.
There are many definitions of effective networking, but try to attend at least one networking event per month. If you can, take a client out to lunch at least once per week.
4. Resource Allocation
What business school graduates know is that to turn a profit, you have to be ruthless about paring down your operations.
There’s a growing push for remote work, so you could conceivably hire an entire team without having to meet any of them.
You’ll also save money on office space if you hire a remote crew.
If you need office space once in a while, consider a local co-working space. You can schedule your meetings and interviews as needed, without having to invest in a brick-and-mortar store or office.
You might also be able to rent out a small office without having to commit to a larger space.
Another benefit to co-working spaces is that they often allow you to use their addresses. That lets you work from home and avoid using your home address on your business cards.
Your long-term survival is going to hinge on your ability to budget and invest. Business school grads know that you have to run an austerity budget, even when you’re profitable.
Spending money to make money isn’t always the way to go. Long-term success depends on paying off your debts, helping customers pay quicker, and cutting costs as much as possible.
Further Strategies for Growth
To succeed in your business, you have to be able to manage people and numbers. Business school graduates learn to manage their own finances, but you can always outsource your financials to a trusted accountant.
Take the time to ask yourself if you’re happy. Do you want to continue with your company for another year, or is it time to sell? Are you in desperate need of a vacation, or can you keep going for a few more months?
There is a world of information online, even if you don’t have the time for an MBA. You can take classes on time management, download a networking app, and find strategies for growth and development.
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