So, you started a new business and things are picking up faster than you expected. Your business is growing rapidly via word of mouth and the marketing you have done on social media.
It’s clear, if your growth trajectory exceeds your expectations, then you have done something right. To keep it that way, as well as to handle the inevitable plateaus, there are some do’s and don’ts to consider to avoid falling into some of the most common pitfalls.
Documentation and record-keeping
No matter the nature of your business, it relies on a client base of some sort and customer service is key. One of the most valuable “staff members” – and one whose importance is frequently overlooked is your printer and copier.
Epson business inkjet printers and copiers from DuraFast Label Company offer all-in-one solutions that will ensure that you are never bogged down by a backlog of paperwork or keep customers waiting because their invoices will not print. Many new business owners fall into the trap of trying to economize on their printer and/or copier, often at their peril.
Speaking of staff
Choosing inefficient or underqualified staff can be the downfall of any business, large or small. If your business grows rapidly, you may be tempted to hire hastily. This could ultimately lead to your failure. No matter how busy things may be, take the time to interview each candidate and verify the references on their resume.
It is very easy to “talk the talk” on a resume but hearing from previous employers will give you a more balanced picture of the candidate. You will need honest, reliable and emotionally mature people working alongside you; these people may not look the best “on paper” but often bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that is rare indeed.
Customer is king
No matter how busy your new business gets, it is vitally important to ensure that customer service remains at the forefront of everything you do. A customer is the lifeblood of any business, whether you’re manufacturing, doing accounting, offering a service, or consulting.
Your entire operation should be customer-centric, ensuring that they keep coming back. Remember that word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow, or destroy, your business. Statistics have shown that an unsatisfied customer is far more likely to voice their dissatisfaction publicly.
Stick to the plan
When you set out to create this business, you will have had a business plan in place. The picture may have changed somewhat, but the plan must have been a good one if your business is doing so well. Analyze the original plan and make changes where necessary, but ensure you never forget the original plan.
If you intended to invest 40% of your profits back into the business on the original plan, stick to that. Or, if you do not need to right now, then invest it for a rainy day rather than splashing out. When you hit your first plateau, you will be so glad you did.
Seek guidance and advice
Find experienced business owners who have been where you are and ask for advice and guidance. You will never “know it all” and having someone with years of experience and wisdom from whom you can draw knowledge and assistance can be a godsend, especially if the rapid growth and increased busyness has you feeling a little overwhelmed.
Counting the beans
Keeping tally of expenditure versus income, controlling stock and ensuring there is no shrinkage, doing regular stock counts and ensuring the usage of your consumables balances with the business’s output – all of these are vitally important, no matter how busy you may get.
Never allow busyness to get in the way of doing regular checks and balances. It may be tempting to let things slide because you have very little time on your hands, but shrinkage has been the undoing of many businesses.