Running a small business sounds easy but can be a nightmare. In theory, you have fewer administrative tasks and fewer things to manage, however, you’re constantly outcompeted and faced with challenges beyond your capabilities.
This is why you must learn how to improve your business model by using every last shred of resources available. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top seven tips for running a small business in 2023.
1. Build up your online presence
The biggest misconception about building an online presence is that you can do it for free. Sure, you don’t need marketing experts to get your social media and website going but deciding to hire professionals always gives a positive ROI.
Even if you’re not going to be the one conducting your social media marketing, email marketing, and SEO campaigns, you must know a thing or two about these fields. This way, you avoid getting scammed, and it’s much easier to track reports/results.
Remember that even if you’re running a small, offline business, most of your audience will check you out online before buying from you in person. So, keeping a tidy website, working on your profiles, and developing your blog is always a good idea.
2. Run a remote business
Another thing you need to consider is going fully remote. The reason behind this is quite simple – it’s significantly cheaper. You don’t need to pay for an office, open a cafeteria, pay for travel expenses, or anything of the sort.
You need a collaboration platform, a few software licenses, and establish a business model. Sure, the more tech-savvy you are, the better the effects will be, but it’s not like you have so much to worry about.
At the very least, you need a collaboration platform and basic tools. It’s also far more cost effective to switch to small business VoIP to additionally save on phone bills.
3. Hire freelancers
Sometimes an increase in workload will be just a fluke. In this scenario, you need to pick scalable methods that won’t cause problems once your workload returns to normal. One of the ways to do so is to hire freelancers to help you with these individual projects.
The best thing about hiring freelancers is that it gives you a potentially smooth recruitment process. For instance, if you’re particularly impressed with someone’s performance, you can offer them to stay full- or part-time.
This way, you skip the most challenging hiring process – hoping their CV will hold in practice. At the very least, you can collaborate with them on multiple projects and if there’s no longer a need for their help, letting them go is a lot easier than with regular employees.
4. Protect your intellectual property
The simplest way to protect your intellectual property is to register copyrights, trademarks, and patterns. This gives you the legal right and the legal framework to cover all your inventions, your business model, etc.
Some small businesses aren’t doing this because they believe they’re too small to be noticed by potential IP thieves. This is not true. Keep in mind that if you don’t have the paper trail to prove it, it will be nearly impossible to prove who was first.
Another thing you need to understand is that this explains the necessity of having the right legal aid from the moment your company was founded. You don’t have to keep a permanent legal expert on a retainer. All it takes is getting someone with a law degree and experience in your industry.
5. Invest in automation
The more tasks you automate, the more hours of work you save. To put this into perspective, if you manage to save 40 hours per week, that’s the equivalent of having one more employee on your payroll. This is, on its own, a huge difference.
Second, your staff will be free for more creative tasks by automating tedious, repetitive tasks. This will make them feel more challenged and animated at work. As a result, their job satisfaction will rise, and their talent abandonment rate will drop. Millennials don’t just want to make money; they want to make a difference.
Lastly, automation is much faster and more dependable than traditional human input. Automated tasks leave no room for manual errors. In other words, by automating, you’re making your business process more reliable.
6. Work on your UPS
If your market is saturated, find a way to offer something new to your customers. Just put yourself in their shoes. If you had to buy your product type, what would make you choose yourself over your competitors?
Just because you believe you’re better than competitors, it doesn’t mean your audience can see this. Also, remember that you’re not necessarily representative of your target audience. This means that your thought experiment doesn’t have to result in success.
Meanwhile, you can also find another way to communicate with your target market and encode multiple video assets to help you reach a wider audience, as different formats appeal to others. It also allows you to tailor content to specific audiences, making it more engaging and effective. Finally, it can help you ensure your content is compatible with different devices, platforms, and browsers.
Ideally, you would conduct a poll or a survey. This way, you would get some unique insight into what you’re looking at and make it easier to create a working strategy.
7. Consider old-school networking
Connecting with people on a personal level is a lost art. Even within the same industry, not everyone is a competitor. You should do your best to improve your networking and avoid making enemies.
Even someone offering the same service can recommend you to one of their potential clients if they’re overworked. They could outsource a project to you. This, however, will only happen if they like and respect you well enough.
To do this, you would have to visit industry events and seminars. While expensive and time-consuming, this is more than worth it.
In the end, we suggest you improve your offer and outreach and learn how to get the most out of your resources. Every time you’re investing in your business, ask yourself about three things:
This way, it will become quite easy to tell if you’re making the right decision. For a small business, every single dollar has to count.