A Guest Post by Lilly Miller
Everyone always thinks that running a business is easy until they try it. From your mother to your next-door neighbor, they talk like they know just what you need to be a good businessperson. And it’s not just them – you’ll find dozens of people, with dozens of different opinions on how you should run your company, but very few of them will understand what it’s really like or be able to offer any decent tips.
So what do you do when you’re a business owner who’s looking to grow their startup? Who do you listen to?
It’s easy – you listen to those who’ve already figured it out so you wouldn’t have to. You listen to the industry leaders who’ve been in your shoes, had your kind of resources, your kind of problems, and your kind of drive to succeed. Here’s what they say.
Learn how to adapt
Just take a look at the current state of the world – the coronavirus pandemic hit us all so hard we’re still reeling, and businesses are crumbling left and right. The only ones who are still standing firmly on their feet are the ones who didn’t count on luck, who didn’t hope things would always stay the same, and who expected bumps along the road.
If you’re going to start a business hoping that everything will always go according to plan, here’s a tip: don’t start a business. Real industry leaders are the kind of people who know how to roll with the punches and who get up even when someone knocks them down. If you want to succeed, always be ready to adapt to the ever-shifting market and be ready for emergencies.
Know your client
You need to build a solid relationship with your client base and then keep working on keeping that relationship strong. Knowing your client doesn’t mean knowing them only until you sell them your product – it means keeping in touch and listening to their feedback so they’d keep coming back to your business.
To stay close to your target demographics, use marketing analytics tools and make sure to engage with the audiences on your social media accounts. Staying active on social media will show your customers you’re present and ready to help them with anything they might need.
Invest in new tech
Businesses that don’t invest in modern technology (especially software) are doomed to fail because the tools they use are slowly becoming obsolete. This is particularly important for e-commerce businesses, regardless of what they sell.
Even heavy industry companies need to pay attention to this. There are modern marketplaces that connect sellers and customers and sell assorted oilfield equipment that’s ready to ship in a few days, and this kind of convenience and innovation is what customers want to see from you. There’s simply no excuse, no matter what kind of business you’re in. If you want to stay competitive, you’ve got to invest in tech.
Be methodical when hiring
Good employees are what makes a business thrive. Don’t waste your time on poor or mediocre candidates because you’re likely to regret it within a few months when they start underperforming. Of course, this does mean you need to offer the right incentive to draw good employees in.
If you hire a team of talented, dedicated people who believe in your company’s goals, you’ll build a sturdy foundation on which your company can thrive. This kind of faith and positive energy will make more customers flock to your business.
Be determined when letting people go
No one wants to sit across another person and tell them that they’re fired, but here’s where you can differentiate between a good leader and a bad leader. A good leader knows that sometimes these things need to be done, and they don’t put them off.
Don’t let toxic employees fester in your company. The longer you keep them around, the more likely they are to bring other people down and make working at your firm a living nightmare.
Nurture company culture early on
A company is more than a place where you do your business. It’s a place where your vision can thrive, it’s where ideas can be turned into reality, and it’s where you and your employees can create a culture of productivity, creativity, and innovation.
If you nurture this kind of mindset early on, you’ll make a great work environment that people will be happy to come to every day.
Become adaptable, invest in innovations, keep close to your clients, and make a community of eager, hardworking employees. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand how to run a business, but it does take a special kind of drive, bravery, and perseverance. If you didn’t possess these qualities already you wouldn’t be reading this article, so stay confident, learn where to turn your focus, and your company will thrive.