Grow your small businessDate posted: 7/27/15 07:30:00 AM
When looking at the rise and fall of small businesses, it can be hard to pinpoint one thing that's leading a business down a successful or negative path. While struggling businesses often lack leadership, strong companies typically have apt employees, a good product and a solid niche in the market.
Hire the right type of employee
The bloodline of any good company is the people working inside. From the business owner down to the employee with the least amount of experience, a solid group of workers and strong workplace atmosphere can help make everything else run much more smoothly.
Paul Lindley, founder of Ella's Kitchen, thinks a great workforce makes life much easier on a business owner.
"My tip for any entrepreneur would be to inspire your team with purpose and leadership and to foster strong working relationships with those beyond your own organization," Lindley told BBC News. "Collaboration is key for achieving success with a more purpose driven and socially responsible business."
Bloomberg said it's important to hire the right people for the job. If a strong candidate doesn't emerge from the initial hiring process, it's crucial not to fill the role with someone who is unqualified. Even if a company really needs someone in a particular role, it's better to delay the hiring process by a couple of weeks to find the right person than employ someone who does not fit in with the company model.
Angus Thirlwell, founder of Hotel Chocolat, told BBC News that strong employees are the foundation of a business.
"When you have good people with you, anything is possible," Thirlwell said. "Most of the regrets I have in business are around the theme of keeping the wrong people on for too long."
Using a marketing campaign to spread awareness
With mobile shopping numbers going up every year, small businesses need to be on the ball when it comes to luring those on-the-go consumers.
One method for mobile market campaigners is to use push messages to keep customers informed, according to Betsy Page Sigman, a professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. Sigman said push messages are unsolicited messages designed to spread the word of what a business offers.
"It's all done with the idea of engaging customers and getting them to spread your offers on social media," Page told Bloomberg. "If people buy something every time you send a discount, keep sending them. But pay attention to when they stop because that data tells you a lot, too."
That means those who aren't responding to push messages likely don't want to receive them. There's a fine line between sending too many messages and just the right amount, and sometimes, less is more when it comes to advertising campaigns.
Bloomberg reported mobile shoppers are already seeking out a particular product and don't need to be barraged with advertisements for them to make a purchase.
Amp up the security
While some small business owners feel like their companies aren't big enough to be targeted by hackers, The Washington Post stated small businesses are often prime candidates for a cyberattack because larger corporations have better security systems in place, which keeps some criminals from even trying to hack into those accounts.
But big or small, it's important to stay on the ball when any signs of malicious activity appear on the horizon. After all, Sony and Target, two major corporations recently struck by cyberattacks, are taking criticism for ignoring the warning signs that they might be attacked.
The Post recommended all businesses take the necessary steps to improve security while being aware of potential attacks. If computer software or an employee mentions a possible security situation, it's better to meet the problem head on than to wait and see if anything comes up.
That's especially true for small businesses because larger corporations have more money and thus more capital to survive a potential attack.
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