Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What to Do When Your Small Business Has Growing Pains

In the first few phases of owning and running a startup, every decision counts. From the storefront you operate out of, to your first hire, every detail great and small needs to be thought out in order to set your business up for success in the future.

For many entrepreneurs, having a business is like having a baby and while we love it unconditionally, it’s easy to get impatient and frustrated when the startup suffers unexpected setbacks.
Keep cool and avoid having a startup version of the “terrible twos” with these tips:

1. Create the best possible business plan

Way early on in the game, it’s crucial for you, the business owner, to draft the most accurate, well thought out, flattering business plan you can for your business. A business plan is not something to write up absent mindedly as you binge watch Netflix on the couch. It deserves your full attention because a good business plan will not only outline a concise plan to set you up for the future (typically for the next five years), but it will be what helps gain your startup investment capital. Be sure that your plan includes an executive summary, business description, market analysis, implementation strategies, a web plan, management plan, and clearly defined financial analysis.

2. Don’t over hire

It’s easy to assume from the start that it takes a village to raise a business, especially because if you go it alone you’ll be wearing all the hats as an entrepreneur. Hiring twice as many employees as you really need is not the answer. When you have too many employees staffed, there won’t be enough work to go around and people will start feeling bored and as though they don’t carry much value in your business. It’s also expensive to hire on full-time. Your startup should focus instead on finding the perfect balance, which means the best number of people to do all of the necessary work. Employees should be working hard, but not be overwhelmed day in and day out.

3. Step up your social media game

Establishing a social media presence is a great way to grow your business quickly and inexpensively. There are no hard and fast rules for social media as it is still a new phenomenon that grows and changes every day, but the most important facets to keep in mind are to ensure you post regularly and with quality content.
Once you create an account for your business’ Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and/or blog pages, it’s important to show your followers and customers alike that you are an attentive and dedicated business that finishes what it starts. Respond back to any @ mentions or an inquiry as soon as you can and make sure what you’re posting is a little all over the board as well. Experiment with content. Take fun behind the scenes photos from your headquarters, interview others in your industry, and tie in the overall theme of what you post back into your business.