10 Things Any Small Business Must Have

If you’re a small business owner, the list of things you need to remember can feel endless. You’ve got to be across pretty much every aspect of your operation, to the point that it’s possible to lose sight of the reason you became an entrepreneur in the first place. Still, if you want to be successful, then you need to make sure that you’re being diligent as well; having passion and drive is one thing, but having the ability to execute that vision is quite another. Here are 10 things every small business must have.

1. Adequate funding

You’re not going to get too far in the competitive world of business if you don’t have decent funding behind you. Funding can be acquired from a number of places; you can apply for small business loans, fund your business from personal accounts, or ask angel investors or venture capitalists if they’d like to take part in your vision, for example. However you decide to fund your venture, just make sure that the funding is in place before you “pull the trigger”, so to speak.

2. A solid plan

You might have heard other entrepreneurs talking about their business plans, and there’s a good reason for that. Creating a business plan is part and parcel of starting a business; if you don’t know what direction you’re heading in or how you plan to achieve your goals, then your business isn’t going to last very long. A good business plan is holistic but concise; it tells a reader exactly what you’re planning to do and how, but goes into detail about your day-to-day operations as well.

3. Strong branding and SEO

When you’re looking to start a business, your brand is one of the most important elements of running that business. Branding will dictate whether customers remember who you are when they’re done dealing with you, so it’s crucial to get it right. You also need to make sure that your brand is optimised for SEO, which means it’s easy to find on Google. Platforms like this site can help, so don’t think you have to work on your SEO alone!

4. Market research

Getting your market research right is imperative when it comes to opening a business. This is because market research is how you’ll understand your demographics; it’s how you’ll know where to pitch your brand and what kind of customer you’re trying to appeal to. Conducting market research is pretty easy, thankfully; you can do it through surveys, direct email correspondence, or even just researching other companies and finding out about their practices.

5. Great employees

If it comes time to hire employees, then you need to make sure you’re getting the right people. It’s not easy to know when you’ve found the perfect person to fill a role; sometimes you’ll “just know”, but at other times, people will need some time to start showing their full potential. The important thing is to be engaged at all times throughout the hiring process. Don’t allow yourself to stop caring about who your company hires, because it will come back to haunt you if you do. You should also focus on work culture, making sure staff are happy and productive. 

6. Data analysis

Whatever your data analysis plan might be, you need to make sure it’s robust and constantly implemented throughout the entire company. Looking at your data and extrapolating conclusions from it is how you will grow; it’s how you’ll know what kind of areas you need to focus on and which ones aren’t working for you. Sites like Google Analytics can help you to figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and there are a range of third-party tools available out there as well.

7. Great customer service

Your customers are the beating heart of your business, whatever product or service you provide. It’s important to make sure that your approach when it comes to your customers is more than just satisfactory; you want customers to talk about your customer service and extol its virtues to their friends. Great customer service can go a very long way towards mollifying angry or upset customers, and it can also build you a reputation in and of itself.

8. Flexibility

Being able to adapt to changing markets and changing business landscapes is absolutely paramount for any business. While a strategy might work for you in your initial years, there may come a time when it’s no longer serving you, and if that happens, you need to be able to change with the times. If you can’t, then you’ll quickly find yourself superseded by more agile and young businesses that can meet the challenges you fail to meet.

Read: 7 Ways Big Data Changes Business Processes

9. Good legal representation

Unfortunately, there are many things in the business world for which you’re going to need solid, robust legal representation. You don’t want to come across a law that prohibits you from doing business in a certain area, but the last thing you want is to accidentally break that law, which is why it’s important to have someone constantly watching your activities and making sure they’re legal. Don’t skimp on legal representation, as it’s important for the running of the business.

10. Passion

A small business needs to be hungry and passionate about the industry in which it finds itself. If you don’t really care about the products you’re selling or the service you’re providing, that’ll eventually come across in your customer service and your overall approach. It’s important to maintain the passion you have when you start out, even when things get bad; it’ll help you to rally your workforce around you and come back stronger. 

Leave a Comment