In our previous post we saw major reasons why businesses fail, some of those factors are controllable while some are not. There is a saying which goes thus "failure and success is a choice”, when asked no one wants to fail everyone wants to succeed in everything they do business not being left out. One thing we should note is that failing keeps you ahead of others because it makes you gain experience firsthand and in fact most successful men in the world today failed at one point but to prevent failure in business the following steps should be your guide:
1) Have good customer service
This is one thing most small businesses don’t have and what every big business does. Taking the banking industry for an example, every bank has a customer care where you can go to present your complain some even have a customer care line where as a customer you call to say how their products affects you whether positively or negatively. As a beginner you might not have such customer service strength but you can still perform this function satisfactorily. As customers patronize you, you can establish a very strong relationship with them collect their contact, call them once in a while. Ask them how your service affected them, try to get their reaction concerning your service. Sometimes you compliment them if it’s a female, give them bonuses when they purchase in large quantities. With these they would keep coming back.
To most people marketing is the heart of a business. Without the heart you can’t be alive so it is with marketing and business. Marketing helps produce the funds which are used in running the business. Marketing is all about promotion or creating awareness on the existence of a business. It can be done in so many ways, you can create awareness through the word of mouth, through advertisements, through the media. One of the cheapest means of marketing is through the word of mouth. It is very important to make your business known by telling people. Tell friends, family, friends of friends, tell a friend to tell a friend and so on. This helps a lot since it is more physical and persuasive. Also through the media such as social media, print media etc. as we would always note, every business without a social media account is bound to fail, just as Bill Gates said
“Any business not on social media
Would soon be out of business”
The radio is another means, tv etc. so it is very important to market your business.
3) Reduce costs
Costs in business are inevitable, some are fixed, and accountants would call them fixed costs. Every business has something it spends on every day, some fuel costs, some maintenance costs e.t.c. all these bills are being settled using the business money and as a result there is shortage in working capital. The best thing to do is to review these costs on a weekly or monthly basis, from what you get always try to get discounts from people you buy from or you can change who you purchase from. It is also advisable to pool resources with other businesses to reduce cost of purchases. To reduce costs, it is advisable to join trade unions or associations.
4) Make a business plan
Generally a plan is a guide which directs ones action. So also a business plan guides the actions and decisions a business man makes. It shows steps to be taken, when and how to take these steps. It is always said a man who fails to plan plans to fail so a business plan is a sure means for success in business. It is also advisable to review this plan frequently.
5) Build a team
You cannot build an empire alone, so it is with business. You cannot build a really large and successful business alone. You need the help of people in some aspects of running your business, you can’t be the salesman, marketer, manager, accountant of your business all at same time. So there is a need to employ more capable hands to assists in the running of your business. Sometimes as an upcoming entrepreneur, you might not have the managerial know how for managing your business so it is best to employ one. If you feel the cost of paying for their services would be high then make them partners. One thing to note is, not everybody is a worthy business partner so choose your business partners wisely as Prince Agoha noted,
“Choose your business partners wisely, not everybody
With a business mindset has the business attitude”
6) Analyze your competition
Competition is one thing in life which is inevitable. Life itself is a competition. To survive in business you need to know who your competitors are, know what they do better than you, how they organize themselves, how their products are in relation to yours. Analyzing your competitors helps you know what to do, what steps to take so as to be able to withstand competition and also beat it.
7) Be creative
Business is all about being creative, for you to think of starting up something for your self is creativity. So creativity is part of business and should not end once the business starts it should continue. Be open to business ideas, try new ideas, inventions. Always look for ways of improving your business, always try out what competitors don’t do and see if it works for you. If it works then believe me you would definitely stand out, if it doesn’t work out then it would be an experience. Being creative and innovative should be your goal.
In conclusion, following the above suggestions prevents certain mishaps upcoming entrepreneurs usually face in their businesses. Hard times in business are sure to come but the wise and those with the lion heart are sure to overcome.
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Wish you all the best in your business career.
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