October 8th, 2015 by adminStarting your own small business is an exhilarating endeavor, but it can also be a bit scary. Many small business owners face challenges. The good news is that struggles are completely normal and you aren't alone. The three biggest challenges that small business face are typically with capital and finances, developing a business plan, and finding and maintaining customers. With a smart strategy small business owners can overcome these challenges and be wildly successful. Developing a Business Plan One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is jumping in with no idea what their vision for the business is. Creating a business plan before launching your small business is crucial. You'll want to ask yourself what the purpose of your business is. Once you know your purpose you can develop a mission statement to guide your day to day business activities. You also want to set some goals as part of your business plan. Where do you see the business in one month? Six months? A year? Five years? Having goals gives you something to work toward, to strive for. Businesses without a plan often flounder because they don't know what the next step is. Securing Capital and Maintaining Finances With any small business there needs to be some sort of initial investment. This could be as little as purchasing a computer and business cards, to as much as financing the purchase of office space, inventory and staff. There are many options for investment capital, from small business loans, to personal loans from those you know, to using your own savings. No matter how big or small your investment is going to be, know that you are going to have to spend money and you should do so with a plan. Creating a spending plan and a budget is crucial to your small businesses success. Knowing your spending limits is key to keeping yourself afloat and out of debt. You also need to keep impeccable financial records. Keeping receipts organized, budgeting for the future of your business, and preparing for and filing taxes are all crucial steps in keeping your small business financially healthy. If budgeting and finance is not your strong suit, this is an area where you may want to consider hiring outside help. Marketing and Customer Acquisition and Retention Not knowing where or how to gain new customers can be the biggest challenge that small businesses face. Social media is one of the best forms of advertising, and for the most part, a relatively inexpensive area to market your business. It's also a place that lets you build relationships with your customers. When you build relationships, you build trust. Trust leads to customers liking you and having loyalty to your business. This isn't to say that you should rely solely on social media for your business marketing and customer acquisition. It's just another avenue. Traditional routes like a website and print advertising still have great value in helping to attract new customers. Great customer service is probably the most important way to gain and retain customers. If you provide your customers with a positive experience they are likely to become a customer for life and contribute to the overall success of your small business.
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