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A roadmap to staying in business for the long haul: Part 1 

It all started with a dream, that developed into printing some business cards and before you knew it you became the proud owner of your own small business. By no means, an easy feat, getting your own business up and running is an achievement you should be proud of. From all that hard work and effort you don’t want just five minutes of fame, you want to make an imprint and be around for the long run. 

By implanting a few simple strategies from the start and maintaining key areas of your business, you can inject some longevity into that business plan and survive in the small business world. Pack an open mind, a sense of adventure and come along for the journey as we explore the roadmap to staying in business for the long haul. 

 

Start on the right track 

From the get-go it important to practice good habits and routines when running your own business. If you start off on the right track, it’s going to set you up for a good momentum of the days to come. They may seem simple, but try getting into the right habit with these business activities from the start: 

  • Tidy your books– keeping them in order will make life much easier at tax time and you will thank yourself later 
  • Consistent marketing– establishing a marketing plan or guide can help maintain a consistent representation of your brand e.g. your logo, the company colours, the tone of voice etc 
  • Spaced out-create a workspace you actually want to work in 
  • Keep balanced-yes you may be putting the hours, but you need to stay balanced and avoid burning out. Keep up your exercise, chat to family and friends and make time to put the tools down 

 

Money keeps the wheels spinning  

To stay in business you need to be profitable because let’s face it, nobody works for free! Keeping a finger on the pulse and an eye on the books is vital to being a good small business owner. If you’re not financially savvy fear not and hire help in the form of a bookkeeper or accountant. If you are looking after your own finances here are some tips; 

  • Digital assistance– there are many apps available online that assist with managing your budget and finances. They often can be integrated with other systems like your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or online sales portals.  
  • Manage your receipts– invent a system that works from the start and keep track of them 
  • Accounting tip 101-always keep your personal finances and business accounts separate  

 

Tune in to the social channel 

You want people to know that your business exists and there are a variety of social media marketing tactics that you can use to keep your brand alive. It’s important that your brand is actively promoted on a regular basis, not just once a year or every month here and there. These are some social media marketing shortcuts that are easy and effective in maintaining your brand in the online marketplace: 

  • You don’t need to be on every social media platform– not every platform is going to suit your business and it is better to be able to focus on one or two channels well, than four or five poorly. For example, if you’re are a clothing business, Instagram is going to be a strong visual outlet to promote your products to your customers.
     
  • Get Linked– LinkedIn is a great resource to not only promote your business but to connect with other small businesses 
  • Make it personal– share posts of your business’ achievements and staff. Creating a personalised approach makes your business humanised and helps to connect with your customers, new and old. 
  • Stay regular– if you find it hard to make time to post on social media, there’s an app for that. The likes of Buffer and Hootsuite make regular posting to your social media channels a breeze by scheduling posts. You literally set and forget and let the magic happen. 

 

We hope you enjoyed the first part of our twopart series on tips and tricks to staying in business for the long run. In part two we explore the importance of networking and the one investment that is essential for every small business to consider.  

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