It is a daunting task running a SME and it’s also one that takes courage, risks and belief. This doesn’t mean that you cannot make running your SME an easier task than you initially thought, that is, if you follow through with these top tips on how to run an efficient business for SMEs.
Ezypay’s top tips on how to run an efficient business for SMEs
Have a clear vision of the type of business you want to run, and the direction you want it to take
The value of vision in business cannot be underestimated. It is your vision that helps drive your business as it gives you a picture of what you want your business to look like and where you want to take it. It is your vision that gives you the motivation to grow and the direction that you should take.
Define your product/service and your target audience for this product/service
From the beginning, you need to define what exactly your business does and what it offers. If you are unsure of what your business provides people, then what makes you think that people would want to use your product/service? By knowing exactly what your product/service is, it can help to identify the direction in which you need to take to move your company forward. It also clarifies who you are and what you do to customers, members and important partners or investors in the future.
No matter how big or small your business is, money is a definite must. You cannot grow your business without having the efficient funds to do so. Explore all the available financial options that there are, including family, friends, banks or investors. One great financial resource for small business owners is Kabbage, an online provider of small business loans. These options should be each thoroughly researched so that you choose the right option for your financial plan, and one that will offer support to help grow your company. There are several financial institutions and banks as well that are great ways to help businesses; you just need to do your research and explore your options to find that right one for you.
Get guidance from Small Business Development Consultant(s)
While many small business owners have the mentality that they can do everything themselves, it is a good idea to seek professional advice and guidance to get information that will assist in efficiently running your SME, including legal advice and consultation, business development and strategies, recruitment and management of staff from business psychologists and more. They are really beneficial because they will provide solutions and help for all stages of the business life cycle. With guidance from Small Business Development Consultants, you will feel more confident in running an efficient business because they will assist in helping you make the right business calls.
Develop a workable business and marketing plan
Create a detailed business plan that includes the direction you want to go, what you do, your target audience, and projected growth. You also need to ensure that you create a marketing plan as these two work in tandem with each other. By having a detailed marketing plan, you can carefully outline sales numbers you need to meet to break even, as well as fuel your business or company’s growth. This is why it is so important that every SME needs a functional marketing plan that is properly geared to meet the target market and generate sales.
Build a strong brand identity
This is something that you should be thinking about from the get go. Your brand identity is so vital in efficiently running your SME. It is how your target market recognises you, and remembers you. It includes your business name, logo and brand personality. Your brand identity is something that is constantly evolving and changing as your business grows and takes on new directions. Be creative with your business name and logo and use symbols and images and colours that will make you memorable to your market. However, whatever you choose should ultimately reflect your brand personality and the message you want to convey.
Prioritize on making profit
Money makes the world go round, and this is why you need to prioritise on making profit. Without profit, you won’t have the sufficient funds to keep funding your business, or grow and improve it. To put it simply, more money should come in than come out, and when there is more money coming in than there are coming out, you ensure two things for our business:
- There is enough to re-invest in the business
- There is enough to make you feel it is all worth it going into business
Prioritising profit also means that you will be prioritising cost management. By doing so, you will be eliminating the chance of mistakes or time wasted, enhancing productivity time and hence, profitability. If you ever need help on this, there are professionals that you can hire that will get you on the right track, such as an accounting professional.
I’m sure you already know this, but networking is such an integral component of business. In order to grow your business and have a wider reach, you need to connect with other like-minded people in your field, and other small business owners. A way to do this is to regularly attend business conferences, events or meet ups in your area to mingle and swap contact details with others and share business ideas and opportunities and experiences that you can learn from and grow. This is also a chance for you to promote your business and to promote yourself as a savvy businessman or businesswoman that they would love to work with in the potential future.
Keep all your customers satisfied
It is true that you will never make every single one of your customers happy, however, try to keep every customer you have at least satisfied. It is really important to have a pro-customer orientation when you first head into the business industry, and this is a mentality that must be maintained in order to ensure your SME remains efficient. Just remember that you need your customers to keep your business alive and running, and you need to keep them satisfied to continue making profit. Make customer satisfaction as one of your main priorities through great customer service. Use positive feedback as a reinforcement that you are doing what you should be doing and use negative feedback as a way to see where your business, products/services, or customer service can be improved.
Advertise, advertise, advertise
How are people going to use and buy your products/services that your business provides if they don’t even know about them? This is where advertisement comes in. You need to constantly advertise your business to keep people aware of your products/services and promote them as something that you need. Nowadays, there is a myriad of platforms that you can use to advertise your business. There are the traditional methods: flyers, brochures, billboards, posters – and there are also social networking platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon and more. Let’s not forget about digital marketing such as blogging about your business which has proven to be pretty beneficial for businesses, as well as giving out freebies or setting up events.
Be passionate and constantly improve
Your business is not going to go anywhere if you are not passionate about it. Why should it? You need to be passionate about it because that is what is going to fuel your dedication to growing your business and making sure that it is constantly evolving and improving. It is also important to remember that if your business is not growing as quickly as you want it to, that major companies you see every day now started off small as well and that it took time and a lot of passion.
If you follow these top tips on how to run an efficient business for SMEs, you will be well on your way to ensuring that your business is successful and thriving under your passion, commitment and dedication.
For more information on these tops tips on how to run an efficient business for SMEs, please read this article by Benedict Chidiele, a trained Psychologist, writer, editor, poet and named as one of the Top 100 Leadership Experts to Follow on Twitter 2015.