A roadmap to staying in business for the long haul: Part 2
The journey to becoming a successful small business owner is one of twists, turns and the occasional speed bump. In our two-part series (catch up on part 1 here) we map out some of the areas to focus on with strategic tips to help you stay in business for the long run. Strap in and come along for the ride!
Make a pit-stop for chit-chat
We know that running a small business can be isolating, particularly if you are operating as a sole trader. However, take heart, guidance, inspiration and industry insights are only a phone call or mouse click away.
You can stay connected by:
- Joining association groups and foundations within your industry
- Attending conferences, exhibitions, symposiums and seminars that are relevant to your business
- Always having business cards- you never know who you are going to meet!
- Connecting online. There are so many Facebook groups and online forums to join within the small business realm, it’s also a great way to pick up new tips and share best practices.
Keep the motor running
Your customers are the bread and butter of your business. That’s why it is important to have a system in place that captures every stage of the customer journey and supports your sales strategy. Having an efficient CRM system will save you time and make you money when used correctly. Here’s how it can help your business:
- Captures data and details about your customers. This information is vital to inform your sales forecasting. It will give you insights on customer buying behaviour and help determine your customer lifetime value which will help you target more profitable customer segments.
- Monitors the forms of communication that have been made with your customer database and when they were made. You can get insights like which emails were sent, what phone calls were made to help inform your direct marketing strategy.
- It’s a platform to track your customer complaints and compliments, providing awareness into what areas of the business are doing well and those in need of improvement.
Protecting against hazards
Life is full of ups and downs, and when we hit a roadblock that’s when a helping hand is needed. The business world is unpredictable and regardless of whether you are a mechanic or an architect, curveballs can be thrown in the way. Having business insurance in place to protect your business from unexpected challenges is a wise move and one that can help save your business when things don’t go to plan. These are just some of the ways business insurance can help keep your business alive:
- Public Liability is an essential cover for any business that interacts with customers or any third party. It provides financial protection if you or your business are found liable for causing accidental injury to an individual or damage to their property. Even if you are not found liable, your Public Liability policy will cover the associated legal costs of defending your claim, so you’re not left out of pocket.
- If your business is mobile, insuring your tools of trade is vital. Portable Equipment cover provides protection if they are lost, stolen or damaged so you can get back to doing what you do best, stress-free.
- Having business insurance gives you peace of mind. If a claim was made against your business, you can relax knowing that you have financial protection in place- a feeling that money can’t buy. Without it you could be faced with having to use your hard-earned business savings or worse still your personal finances, potentially causing your business to shut up shop for good.
Turn off the blinkers
It’s easy to fall into a routine, doing the things the same way over and over again, and if it’s not broken, why fix it? But sticking to only what you know can sometimes lead to missed opportunities to learn new skills and for your business to grow.
Start broadening your horizons by:
- Staying aware of what is going on in your industry. Subscribe to relevant email newsletters, magazine etc. This is a good way to identify trends, opportunities and what other businesses are doing in your field.
- Be prepared to change. With the increased use of new technologies, it may mean adapting to keep up with the times, and who knows it may save you some time too!
- Embrace continuous learning. There is an abundance of online course providers where you can learn new skills in a variety of areas from website design, content writing, SEO tactics and much more. SkillShare and Udemy are two good resources to check out.
If you would like to find out more about what business insurance options are available to help protect your business get in touch with the BizCover team, Australia’s Small Business insurance specialists.