Five Successful Practices of New Business Owners
As a marketer of businesses large, small and everything in between, I’ve had a front-row seat to many business trends that have come and gone in central Illinois over the past 25 years. One thing that has always remained constant is seeing new entrepreneurs burst onto the scene. Other times they may walk backwards into a business opportunity, stumble over it, or run into it. Regardless of how their company originates, business owners drive industry, create new technologies and grow communities—and they have more potential than they realize. The following are five successful practices of new business owners that you can learn from.
- They get to work. The decision to take the leap into entrepreneurship is a significant step. Your dream of owning your own business has become a reality, and that is exciting. Congratulations! Take time to celebrate, and then get to work! All too often, new business owners enjoy their new title and telling everyone about their new venture, but they neglect their day-to-day responsibilities. Be sure to maintain regular business hours, develop business policies and procedures, train your staff, and take an active role in doing everything necessary to move your business forward—even the little things.
- They spend their marketing dollars wisely. Most businesses are working with a limited marketing budget, which makes it all the more important to do your homework before making a major media purchase. Understand the demographic of your ideal customer, and then determine which media avenues are best to reach them. Depending upon your audience, it could be television, print, direct mail, billboards, radio or social media. Find a business consultant or advertising agency that can help you weed through the many solicitations you will receive, and develop a marketing plan that works best for your business and your goals.
- They watch out for the weirdos. Some people understand that new business owners can be taken advantage of. Because new businesses are often hungry for sales, customers might inappropriately request discounts and extras, or solicitors might inappropriately pressure you to make purchases that are not in your best interest. Other individuals may simply demand too much of your time. To be prepared for such people, develop and follow clear business policies and procedures that establish appropriate parameters. There is always room for flexibility in dealing with people, but not to the extreme.
- They avoid rabbit holes. A “rabbit hole” is any activity that draws you away from actively moving your business forward. If you are spending all your time taking professional development courses, unnecessarily calibrating and recalibrating equipment, or pursuing an indifferent client for months, you may be wasting valuable time. Revisit your business policies and procedures and revise them when necessary to make sure you are not spending too much time on activities that are not going to provide desired results.
- They know that customer service is king. Customer service is becoming a lost art, but businesses that go out of their way to meet customer needs are more likely to have a loyal and long-term customer base. It can be as simple as returning a call on the same day, delivering an order on time, or integrating customer feedback into future business practices. Develop a customer service policy and make sure everyone follows it. When you take the time to understand your customers’ needs and then help them understand their options, you are fulfilling the goal of your business.
Regardless of how your business originated, you have more control over the outcome of your business success than you realize. The themes running through each of these successful business practices are developing strong policies and procedures, following them closely and revising them as needed. Doing this will help you to accomplish your ultimate business goals. PM
Greg Wilson is president of POGO Marketing. To learn more, visit pogomarketing.agency.