If you have recently started an independent business or are thinking about doing so, it’s important to be prepared for the things ahead. Even if you have an excellent business plan, passion, and a great team to support you, it’s still easy to miss things or perhaps not give something as much attention as you should. To help you have a rough guide of where you need to focus, these four things are all areas that you can’t afford to overlook as a small business.
Every business needs to have insurance to make sure they’re not left vulnerable if there is an accident, theft, or complaint from an employee or customer that could lead to financial ruin. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal for your business insurance and check that the cover you’re paying for is something you truly need. Each business will need liability insurance, but depending on what you do, you might need an additional cover that is designed specifically for your trade. Additionally, make sure that your company computers are secure to use so that any sensitive data is protected. You should also make sure your business website is secure for visitors, so look into Secure web Gateway services to have that covered.
2. Customer Service
Every business needs to have good customer service, but as a small independent company that’s trying to get off the ground, it’s more important than ever. You need your customers to feel satisfied with your products and services, but more importantly, that they have been treated as human beings rather than just another number or transaction. If you want to give your customers more opportunities to communicate with your team, list a customer service number on your website and social media, and look at getting IM chatbots to provide help on your website. You should also reward loyal customers with discounts or freebies to keep them coming back for more.
3. Employee Welfare
As well as looking after your customers, you need to make sure that your team of employees feels safe and appreciated at work as well. You need them to keep your business running, so treating them with dignity and respect is essential. Reward them with treats once a month, such as buying them breakfast on Friday or letting people clock out early if possible. Make mental health a priority in the workplace and give them access to helplines and support if they need it. These gestures will mean a lot to your staff and create a positive working environment for everybody.
4. Networking Opportunities
As a small business, it’s not just customers that need to be aware of your brand. Other industry professionals need to know about your company, and making the most of networking opportunities is a good way to pique people’s interest and make connections. It could provide you with the opportunity to collaborate with another company on a project which could be great publicity for you both, or meeting people with expertise that might want to come and work for you and help you develop your company.
You need to focus on so many things as a small business, but make sure you do not forget about these four points as they can do a lot to help you stay successful and grow.