Running your own business is one of the most rewarding challenges a person can experience. If you recently started your own business, you likely have had some issues making your business exactly how you want it, due to the pandemic.
Optimizing your business can be done in a number of ways. Whether you own a coffee shop, a pet grooming business, or something completely different, these five tips can be applied to any business, in any industry.
1. Use a Business Loan to Fund New Initiatives
Any business owner will tell you that running a business is expensive. Almost every project or decision will have a price attached to it. Some efforts will be more cost-effective than others.
This year, due to the pandemic, more business owners than ever do not have the funds available to effectively carry out their business plans. If you find yourself in this situation, do not let the lack of cash on hand prevent you from exploring new business initiatives.
There are a variety of ways to gain access to funds for your business. Taking out a small business loan is one of the most popular business capital solutions available. As a startup, you may not have the best applicant profile to qualify for funding. There are alternative lenders that provide business loans for owners with bad credit. Be aware that these loans will come with higher interest rates and more restrictions that protect the lender, as if your credit history isn’t optimal, you will be considered a high-risk applicant.
Every initiative discussed after this tip will cost your business money, so having the cash on hand to fund these initiatives will help optimize your newly formed business.
2. Make an Effort to Create a Workspace
We have all heard this question, “is 2020 the year the traditional office died?” Although many industries have adapted and thrived in the current remote work climate, employees will also need a proper place to land.
While going into an office building may be on pause for the moment, this does not mean that you should work from your couch or kitchen table. Creating a dedicated office space at home, or wherever you are working from, will help make your business better.
As you think of what you may want to include in your office at home, think back to what you had in your workplace. Bringing these items home will ensure that the space is best optimized for how you work. Most people do not have commercial-grade printers, WiFI capabilities, or even an ergonomic office chair in their homes.
The common issue with making a dedicated home office is that this situation is temporary for most people. That means that after you return to the office, you would have all of this top of the line equipment sitting at home. Instead of purchasing your home office furniture, look into saving money long-term by renting with CORT instead. This will also save you the headache of figuring out what to do with the old furniture if you no longer need it.
Creating a home office space will help make your newly formed business feel more professional, while also promoting better productivity.
3. Bring on the Right Hires
The first hires you bring on will be extremely important to the success of your business. These new hires will be laying the foundation of the business moving forward. Each new employee will likely be the first of their department at your business.
If you have never hired someone, that is okay; most people have never been in this situation before. Hiring someone is an extensive process that should be approached strategically.
First, before you just throw job postings up, think critically about where you need assistance. Popular departments to explore hiring for include:
- Human Resources – HR teams today are responsible for more than just “hiring and firing”. Having a dedicated HR professional on staff will help you get the most out of your future employees.
- Marketing – You could have the best product in the world that doesn’t sell if you don’t market it well. Just creating a useful product will not be enough to stand out.
- Accounting – When you started your business, the financial lift was likely very light, but now, as the business grows, the financial information is going to be much more nuanced in nature. Bringing in an accountant will help take some of the stressors of balancing your finances off of your hands, while also improving the accuracy of your bookkeeping.
Hiring the right people will help move your business forward.
4. Improve Your Web Presence
Marketing a business can get expensive. Luckily, traditional marketing tactics, which are often the most costly, are beginning to become obsolete. In modern times, companies have begun to turn towards more cost-effective digital marketing strategies, and for good reason. In a world where more than half of the population is online, optimizing your online presence will be crucial in winning over potential customers.
Your business’s online reputation is controlled by a few main channels. To improve your web presence, you will need to optimize these channels.
Social media should be the first channel you prioritize when attempting to improve your online existence. Improving your social media efforts is a relatively low-lift that can be carried out right away. The best thing about social media is that it is cost-effective to create content that stands out. A decent camera, robust editing software, and an internet connection are all you really need to get started.
Your social media pages will allow you to showcase the more human side of your brand online. It is a place where customers can interact with your brand and get a feel for who you are, not what you are selling.
5. Go to Your Local Small Business Development Center
Nobody has ever run a business without outside assistance. Help can come in a variety of ways. One of the best ways to learn more about running a business is by joining an entrepreneur support group.
One of the largest small business support networks to join is America’s Small Business Development Center. The SBDC is a nationwide network of business development centers that provide no-cost business consulting services, as well as low-cost training. There are over 1,000 centers across the country, so finding one in your local city should be no issue.
These centers are great for business owners who are ready to take that next step but are not sure where to start.
In fact, there is not a better time to join your local SBDC than right now. On top of the regular consulting services the SBDC offers, they are now offering COVID-19 support to assist any business that has been impacted by the pandemic.